Reflections on the Gospel

Third Sunday of Advent Candle and flame.  Light and relationship.  Our third Advent Candle burns with the desire of the God-who-waits that we yield our substance to the flame of his love in relationship.  Relationship which takes its expression in how we relate to God’s presence in us, in others and in the circumstances that make up our lives.  We have moved from experiencing God in our depths, to experiencing God in his creation and now are invited to union with himself through union and relationship with other human beings.  This week our third candle will shed its glow by becoming relationship of flame and candle.  God is love, St. John proclaims, and everyone who lives in love, lives in...

Second Sunday of Advent Another candle expands the circle of light we call the Advent Wreath.  One more candle welcomes the flame of our God who waits.  Last week we spoke of yielding our inmost depths to God-with-us in the silence of our being.  Our second candle invites us to open out to the God who surrounds us in all creation.  Can we hear God’s comforting voice beckoning us to become one with himself in time and space, in life as we find it?  Can we see not only creation but the God who fills it and draws us into his love in the very created things that surround us?  A God who waits, a God who beckons us to...

First Sunday of Advent The first flicker of light tops the candle among the greens of our Advent Wreath.  Our candle has yielded its substance to fire and casts its gentle glow.  The candle and the fire have become one.  We stand at the threshold of a season of longing, of waiting.  “O Come Emmanuel, God with us.”  He is present in every atom of his creation.  He surrounds us and is the air we breathe. He has sent his Son as Divine Love in our midst.  All has been accomplished. So just what is it that Advent is all about?  Jesus has been born and lived among us as light and life; he is yet to come at the...

A REFLECTION ON LUKE 12:49-53 Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!" We are surrounded by fire--the fragments of the ball of fire that Jesus cast upon the earth and of which he speaks in this Gospel passage.  It was his mission and it consumed him--this passionate desire to ignite all creation with the recognition that the spark at the heart of all that exists is his Presence, the presence of the Trinity. This spark pulses deep within all that God has made, making everything a Burning Bush, a Theophany, and it is the joy of being a creature because God is closer to us than we are to...

A REFLECTION ON MARK 9:30-37 Jesus was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death he will rise.” When you look at today's Gospel, what do you see?  I suppose there are many fruitful avenues to explore and certainly ones that Jesus was urging his disciples to journey upon.  What I see is the bedrock, fundamental core of what it is to be human and to experience at the deepest levels of our being what it is to be a child of God.  It is summed up in what Jesus calls being handed over. Jesus, as Son of the Father, knows...

REFLECTION ON EXODUS 34:29-35 Radiance!  We are just swimming in radiance.  It fills us, and all we can look upon, and all that is.  The Scriptures tell us, "His radiance fills all things."  Presence could be another word for it. His presence fills all things.  How could it be otherwise? Only the veil of creation obscures it, but don't we experience it when we encounter one another at the level of faith, when, in the stillness of our hearts, we open out to a God who is present in all that he has made.  And this radiance is the person of Jesus:  in him all things were made, as John says.  Jesus, the radiance of the Father and the exact representation...

CHAPTER TALK FOR THE FEAST OF ST. BENEDICT Here we are, on the Feast of the glorious Benedict. A giant of a saint in so many ways, and whose Rule we follow. And for whom does he write this Rule? Plain, ordinary human beings – you and me and all who follow it and have followed it over the centuries. In a sense, you can say it is a plain, ordinary Rule for plain ordinary people, living lives that are, as our Constitutions say, “ordinary, obscure and laborious.” At first glance, you want to start running in the opposite direction. What’s so “great” about plain and ordinary? It sounds like a waste of life. Well, maybe it’s one of those...

LIVING FROM THE HEART--reflection on Luke 2:41-51 Today is the second of the great “heart” feast days:  yesterday was the Sacred Heart, today, the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  There are many different ways to look at what “heart” means in the context of the scriptures.  It is most often seen as the place where love resides, the seat of our emotions and warmth, as in “I love you with all my heart.”  In today’s Gospel we get a little different picture.  Jesus wanders off from the caravan travelling home and sits in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking questions.  His responses astounded them because of his understanding.  You might say, he spoke to them from his...

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD: a reflection on Mark 10:17-27 Today’s young man in the Gospel was quite the person, wasn’t he?! Something tugged at his heart to go beyond, to go deeper. And so he approached this holy man that he had been hearing so much about and inquired of him what he should do now. Jesus certainly recognized the devotion and cast his gaze of love upon him. What the young man didn’t realize was that when Jesus looked, his gaze went all the way down. Deep down into the essence of this person he had created and in whom he had placed so much good and for whom he wanted so much good. The young man...

GLORY: Reflection on John 17:1 “Give glory to your Son that your Son may glorify you.” Glory. Who doesn’t want glory? But, as we all know, there’s glory and there’s Glory. Two very different paths to travel in this world, and choosing the true path will determine our happiness. There’s the idea of glory that we humans have that is shiny, and full of all that glitters. We succeed, we have all the right answers, we’re in control, or at least think we are. I’m reminded of a pack rat’s nest where you’ll find bits of tinsel, aluminum foil, anything that glitters, but doesn’t have real quality. It simply looks flashy to the poor pack rat. The glory that Jesus...