Reflections on the Gospel

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...

December 6, 2020: A Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent, Year B Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8 In the desert, prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!  (Isaiah 40:3-4) In the desert… Jesus, you seem to single out the desert as a place of growth and promise as another person might single out a meadow of flowers. You ask us to make a nice, straight, even road in the desert wasteland of parts of our hearts and lives that we have taken detours around for a long time. You are not too important to walk the bleak and boulder-strewn parts of us that cry out for your...

December 5, 2020: Eve of the Second Sunday of Advent Mary crowned with living light Temple of the Lord Place of peace and holiness Shelter of the Word. SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT “Temple of the Lord.” Temple. Such an evocative word: sacred space, a place of celebration, the altar of sacrifice, meeting-place with the Divine. Mary, God chose well in sending the angel Gabriel to request of your teenage heart a yes that would, in your flesh, transform you into all those things: a sacred space of intense love for Yahweh; through your yes, a place where The Eternal Word “leapt from his royal throne” in joyous celebration of Divine outpouring love; your heart became the altar of sacrifice where...

November 29, 2020: A Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent, Year B Mark 13:33-37 …he orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. (Mk 13:36) Today we open the door and take our first step into the Season of Advent. And what is the first word that the liturgy offers us but “Watch!” That is a very loaded word, isn’t it? There are different ways of watching for someone. One way could be out of fear – fear of the person we are watching for, or fear of punishment, - on and on goes the list. We can also watch for someone out of anticipation born of love – a relationship filled with promise and trust – that keeps...

November 28, 2020: Eve of the First Sunday of Advent This year our lighting of the Advent Candle centers around Mary. This week I will use the first line of the first stanza of a hymn from the common of Our Lady: Mary crowned with living light Temple of the Lord Place of peace and holiness Shelter of the Word. FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT “Mary crowned with living light.” Living Light! Mary, your whole-hearted yes welcomed into the bridal chamber of your womb Living Light, uncreated Light, the Light of the World. The core of your being was transformed into Living Light through your humble word: Be it done to me as you say. Living Light became flesh and dwelt...

November 22, 2020: A Reflection for the Solemnity of Christ the King, Year A Matthew 25:31-46 Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (Mt 25:35) The Kingdom. You speak about it constantly in the Gospel, Jesus. Just what are you talking about? It is our inheritance, you say. Does that mean that we will possess it at a later date, say, when we die? Yet that doesn’t seem to be the case. You also say the Kingdom is within. So it is not a destination. What then, is it? It is you. You, Jesus are the Kingdom and since you are the spark of Being in every particle of creation, the Kingdom is everywhere and...

November 15, 2020: A Reflection for the 33rd Sunday in Ord. Time, Year A Matthew 25:14-30 Master you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more. His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy. (Mt 25:22-24) We’ve all heard this quote from St. Irenaeus: “The glory of God is a living human being; and the life of the human consists in beholding God. The glory of the human being is God…” Jesus, is this life, this glory, what today’s Gospel on the talents is all about? Irenaeus continues, “For if the manifestation of God which is...