Reflections on the Gospel

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...

November 13, 2020: A Reflection for the Feast of All Benedictine and Cistercian Saints You might say the core meaning of God’s revelation to Julian of Norwich can be summed up in the “showing” where she gazed upon a hazelnut which God revealed to her as representing the created world and she expressed God’s reason for creating it as: His reason is love. All creation, you, me, Jesus’ self-sacrificing love in His passion and death, in all the moments of His life has this as the raison-d’être: His reason is love. There is no other reason why we all exist. Today we celebrate all our Cistercian and Benedictine sisters and brothers who have gone before us. This ‘reason for being’,...

November 8, 2020: A Reflection for the 32nd Sunday in Ord. Time, Year A Matthew 25:1-13 While the foolish virgins went off to buy oil for their lamps, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. (Mt 25:10) “Everybody’s looking for something” goes the old saying. Today’s Gospel of the wise and foolish virgins speaks to that ‘something’ for which we all ultimately search. In the end, it is God but that is not immediately obvious to us little creatures. It takes time and patience, falling and rising to realize that what will ultimately satisfy the human heart is a relationship with the living God, a relationship which is expressed in loving service....

August 9, 2020: A Reflection for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A 1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a Matthew 14:22-33 After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When Elijah heard this he hid his face in his cloak. (1 Kings 19:13a) Take courage it is I; do not be afraid. (Matthew 14:29) You reveal yourself in the most unlikely places and ways, Jesus. Is it any wonder that we miss your tiny whisper which announces your Presence? Surely you would be in the great, grand, and glorious. It is befitting a God to make a splash. To announce divine Presence with a real eye opener. Who would ever even begin to look for you in the ordinary, obscure...

August 2, 2020: A Reflection for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A Matthew 14:13-21 There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves. (Matthew 14:17) Jesus, today’s readings envelop us in the free gift of your love. We don’t have to earn it: “Come without money and without cost.” We come from Love and by very definition of our creature-hood we are the extension of your hands and heart in this world because in you we live and move and have our being. It is our essence to be love in our daily lives, Jesus, because nothing can separate us from your love. You teach your disciples what it means to be your...

July 26, 2020: A Reflection for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A Matthew 11:25-30 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Matthew 11:30-31) Labor, burdens, rest. Jesus, that is something you, like us, were no stranger to. It is the cycle of each day and stretches into the years with its sameness. Yet in today’s Gospel, the clouds part, and the yokes of our outer and inner being which we place upon ourselves become tinder in the fire of an invitation to accept your yoke, the yoke of letting go into the...

June 28, 2020: A Reflection for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A Matthew 10:37-42 What would you say unifies Jesus’ life and teaching? Today’s Gospel gives us some manifestations of what this unifying focus is. When Jesus counsels us to take up our cross and follow him, to lose our life in order to find it, to see his Presence in every person and make it our purpose to serve them in their need, he is giving us a glimpse of his inner disposition, his abiding way of being. This unifying disposition is his complete inner surrender of himself to the Father. Today’s Gospel gives us a peek at what it looks like and to what he invites...

June 21, 2020: A Reflection for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A Matthew 10:26-33 So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:31) Here we are again, Jesus, dealing with fear. You approach it from so many angles. Today, it is “Fear no one.” Other times it is, “Do not be afraid” and “Do not live in fear.” You know how our fear can be triggered by so many unpredictable and scary things. And today you take it up again. "Do not be afraid," you say. And the best thing of all is that you don’t just leave us hanging with a command but no direction. You once again remind us that we...