Reflections on the Gospel

February 11, 2020: A Reflection for Tuesday of the 5th Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 7:1-13 This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Inside out. That’s how you lived, isn’t it, Jesus? Inside out. You lived from the heart, from the center of your being. You knew that it was a way of being that we, your much- loved creatures, all needed to grow into. You hold us in the tenderest of care and love. So when you are questioned in today’s Gospel, you go right to the heart of what underlies the question and expose a place in the human person that, if we can but accept and take your hand in...

January 10, 2020: A Reflection for the Friday after Epiphany 1 John 5:5-13 Luke 5:12-16 … great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray What was it about Jesus that drew so many to him? It wasn’t just that those with ailments, or loved ones who needed help, flocked to him to “get” something. There was another quality, something else that seemed to touch their very center, helped them discover depths in themselves where they knew Jesus could be trusted. That He was a holy man. He seemed to live from a depth that called to their depths and awakened in them the ground of...

December 21, 2019: Eve of the Fourth Sunday of Advent This evening’s candle gathers the light of Advent and completes the circle of light. The candle of the Fullness of Time. In just a few days, we will celebrate the breaking forth of the Light of the World into our hearts once again. The fullness of God’s love manifest in a little baby, human and divine. Because of this, God’s plan to make us aware of his presence to the farthest reaches of creation in every particle of matter is accomplished. We are never alone. God is the very air we breathe. We are loved beyond measure and can share that love with one another in Christ. “In the beginning...

December 14, 2019: Eve of the Third Sunday of Advent This week’s candle will light the way to love with the Heart of a Servant. Our other candles, Quiet Trust and Humble Listening light this path of service. “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for the many.” In faith, all three candles join to follow the path laid out for us in this little baby soon to be born in us in a deeper way. How great is the call to serve! How deep it plunges us into Jesus and his self-surrender into the Father. The Heart of a Servant is humble. It knows itself to...

December 7, 2019: Eve of the Second Sunday of Advent Tonight we light the candle of a Listening Heart. Think of the Prologue of Benedict’s Rule. To turn the ear of our hearts to a loving Father who speaks to us at every moment. His voice is spoken in the person of another who comes into our lives, who asks us to listen to God in their need, their pain, their joy. His voice is heard in all that binds us together in community, locally and universally in the myriad ways we serve one another. Each one, our sister and brother. Each one, like ourselves, beloved of God. To lay aside our self-absorption and as Benedict counsels us, by the...

November 30, 2019: Eve of the First Sunday of Advent Who could have thought it? God bursting forth into our world as a human, one of US! Yet, here we are again, about to be immersed in the journey into the all-embracing love and mercy of God pouring itself out into hearts barely awake to their incredible destiny as a beloved child of God. At the end of our Advent journey, a little child shall be born for us and given to us in an ever-deeper way. How can we open our depths for God to prepare a way in the desert places of our hearts to walk in ways of love and service, how yield to the working of...

March 22, 2019: A Reflection for Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent Genesis 37:3-4,12-13a, 17b-28 Mt 21:33-43, 45,46 Yesterday I began the usual Spring, Summer and Fall ritual of watering the various growing things on the grounds. Suddenly, as I half-mindedly opened the faucet to allow the flow of life-giving water to refresh some trees, it hit me. The fruitfulness of our lives is a matter of whether our inner channels of life are open or closed to the Spirit. Both readings today speak to this human capacity to be either open or closed to the Living Water of God’s Spirit in Christ. What we see today is the result of closing off the stream of life and the...

January 26, 2019: A Reflection for the Feast of the Founders of our Cistercian Order Quite a few years ago on a warm summer’s night, I awoke in the middle of the night. There was no moon, so the land lay in darkness and profound stillness as only the night can produce. My window was wide open to catch any stray breeze and I lay in bed quietly wondering when sleep would overcome me. Then from the heart of the stillness and dark, one lone bird began to sing. Loud and clear, as if pouring its heart into the night, it sang and sang and sang. It was of the thrush family, I am sure, because the tone was rich...

December 22, 2018: Eve of the Fourth Sunday of Advent Here we stand on the brink of Christmas. Our final candle awaits the flame. It will soon join the growing circle of light. Tonight, our candle will gather up our weeks of preparation. Listening for the approach of God in each of our moments, opening our hearts in awakening to God, receiving the Deifying Light into the secret places of our being. And tonight, to walk while we have the light of life. It is the candle of commitment that embraces action. May Jesus, the tender Son of the Father, strengthen us in our life’s journey to walk in the light. The light of the presence of the living God....

December 15, 2018: Eve of the Third Sunday of Advent A third candle awaits the flame tonight. It will join the others and swell the presence of light in the circle of our Advent Wreath. One candle sheds its light in listening, the second with eagerness and meekness that welcomes the light into its depths. This evening, our candle opens itself to the deifying light. The first week is our spiritual sense of hearing, the second our spiritual sense of an awakened heart. Tonight, it is our spiritual sense of sight. How eager are we to welcome the Deifying Light? It is a kindly light, even when it sheds it’s glow on the cobwebbed corners of our being, all the...