Reflections on the Gospel

January 17, 2021: A Reflection for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B John 1:35-42 Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” (Jn 1:38) Imagine following a stranger you had heard about and with whom you really wanted to speak, and that person turned, looked you in the eye and asked, “What are you looking for?” Quite the question! No wonder the disciples could only mumble an incoherent answer of: “Where are you staying?” It wasn’t exactly what Jesus was asking, but it was a start. And so Jesus invited them: “Come, and you will see.” Come, get to know me, follow me to where I abide. And then you...

January 10, 2021: A Reflection for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Year B Mark 1:9-11 You are my beloved Son . . .  (Mark 1:11b) It was among the first inspections when we began construction of our monastery. To look at the work that lay at our feet, you would wonder why you needed anyone at all to check out these deep trenches lined with re-bar. Yet, here stood the inspector with checklist in hand, poring intently over its depth, how the re-bar was tied together and a lot of other very unimpressive, to me, data. As the years have passed, I understand more and more how important these seemingly unimportant-looking channels really are. One of the...

January 3, 2021: A Reflection for the Feast of the Epiphany Matthew 2:1-12 Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage? (Mt 2:2) Where is the newborn king? That is the question that lies in the depths of every person. You have hardwired us to desire to find you in our depths and in all creation, Jesus. In the Gospel we hear it said, “Everyone is looking for you.” Indeed, everyone IS looking for God. God is the ‘true north’ on the compass of our hearts, if we really look into it. Some may not recognize this ‘true north’ as God, but every time we seek...

January 1, 2021: A Reflection for the Feast of Mary, Mother of God Luke 2:15-20 And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. (Lk 2:19) The December sky this particular night seemed to dance with stars. There was something in the night air that spoke of great things, things yet to be revealed. As the local shepherds made their way in the glimmer of these stars, a strange excitement drew them on. They were looking for a stable in Bethlehem where, of all things, they were to find a man and woman, taking shelter there. The woman, Mary, had just given birth to her first child and she and her husband Joseph took shelter in the...

December 27, 2020: A Reflection for the Feast of the Holy Family We move so quickly from the manger to your life and mission, and all that the Incarnation means for us. Today we look at Jesus’ becoming one of our flesh through the optic of the Holy Family in the day-to-day meaning of life together. What do you have to teach us about what being fully human, fully divine (to quote Michael Casey) looks like, Jesus, in the ordinary, obscure and laborious days which make up all our lives and how we interact with one another? I would like to quote a passage from Richard Rohr in which, to me at least, it speaks to this. Rohr is speaking...

December 25, 2020: A Reflection for Christmas Day Tiny One, within your swaddled body the mystery hidden for ages and generations is now revealed. The soft glow of the Christmas star bathes you in its rays and points to the intense Light within you, invisible to our eyes, made manifest in human flesh. You are Son of God and ben adam – Son of Adam. Fully a human being, fully the Divine Son of the Father. Yet there is nothing about you that would stun us with the divine or make us think you are any different from us. You are just like us. And you bear within every cell of your being, the fullness of God and the fullness...

December 20, 2020: A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year B 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a-16; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38 . . . the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages but now manifested . . . (Romans 16:25b) “Above all, trust in the slow work of God.” (Teilhard de Chardin) Decembers can feel like that, can’t they, Jesus? The light tapers off a little bit more every day until there is only a predominance of starlit darkness. All that is left to guide the next step is a certitude deep within that all shall be well, as Julian of Norwich would say, if we follow the light given us. And so we get used to...

December 19, 2020: Eve of the Fourth Sunday of Advent Mary crowned with living light Temple of the Lord Place of peace and holiness Shelter of the Word. FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT “Shelter of the Word.” Shelters can be many things. Some fancy, some just a place where we stay for a little bit and move on and it is then quickly left behind. Or they can be a place of safety, a place of emerging life and growth. A place where someone finds nurturance and care. Mary, at Compline we sing: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High…” That is who you were to Jesus. A shelter of the Most High. The Life which is the...

December 13, 2020: A Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent, Year B John 1:6-8, 19-28 “Who are you? . . .” “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord.’”( John 1:25-26) “You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” So says Augustine. Today’s Gospel seems to throb with that restlessness, Jesus. The restlessness at the heart of every person and that bears the question: Who are you? When John the Baptist was asked, he answered his questioners from the depths of his own experience and spirituality: I am the voice of one crying out “make straight the way of...

December 12, 2020: Eve of the Third Sunday of Advent Mary crowned with living light Temple of the Lord Place of peace and holiness Shelter of the Word. THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT “Place of peace and holiness.” Peace and holiness. It sounds so perfect and it is. Peace and holiness. Who wouldn’t want it? The thing is, you can’t seek it directly, can you Mary? It is God you desired with your whole being. You welcomed Living Light to take flesh in your womb, you became a living temple of Emmanuel, God-with-us. Your peace was in your yes. Holiness was a state of being received from the heart of God and lived as a letting go into the Divine. Peace...