Weekly Reflections

Good That We Are Here

The Preface of the Second Sunday of Lent tells us that the impressive display of breathtaking glory enveloping even the body of Jesus at the Transfiguration, was shown to Peter, James, and John to help them (and the rest of the group) to get over the scandal of the cross. (cf. Mark 9:2-10) To fully appreciate the intensity of our readings, we need to become a bit familiar with their colorful oriental symbolism. A high mountain: God reveals his presence on high…

Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus

The readings for the First Sunday of Lent leave us feeling uneasy, somewhat uncomfortable and with troubling questions in our minds. The first and second readings (Genesis 9:8-15 and 1 Peter 3:18-22) mention the global devastation caused by the flood survived solely by Noah and seven others. However, confronted by havoc, at times, we dare to question the promise made by God himself: …there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth…” (Genesis 9:11). The second reading also mentions the Risen Lord descending…

Lent With The Little Flower

Lent is upon us. Many take the opportunity to grow closer to our Lord by taking on extra penances, fasting a little more often, or perhaps allotting additional time for prayer and devotion. Lenten practices are meant to establish more permanent spiritual habits that will continue long after the celebration of the Easter Vigil. Turning toward St. Therese, the Little Flower, can yield an abundance of spiritual fruit and instill lifelong habits, responding to the invitation of Jesus, “for everyone who asks, receives;…

That We May Be Healed

This past Christmas marked 10 years since my father’s passing. During his illness (that began in early October), there was a two-week hospital stretch that I remember as a “twofer.” For each morning, I sat in the middle of a room he shared with another man (a WW2 veteran) also suffering from a heart condition. During Morning Prayer, with both men sleeping (my father on the right and the other man on the left), I prayed that God would heal…

God’s Time

A young nurse named Leslie once witnessed something that, according to her, defied medical science. A patient was told by a hospital surgeon that his badly infected leg needed to be amputated—but a few hours later, the doctor discovered that somehow, even though this normally never happened, circulation had returned to the man’s leg, and he was going to be okay. As the mystified doctor later stated to Leslie, “When I walked into the waiting room to talk to the patient’s family,…

To Glorify God

Years ago, a friend told me of a trying time in her life. After being diagnosed with skin cancer, her physicians recommended that she receive treatment at a renowned skin cancer center. Upon arriving there, her condition continued to worsen. The following day, she recalled laying on a hospital stretcher and feeling as though her body was on fire. At that moment, this faithful woman of prayer needed Jesus more than ever. With a desire to enter into lengthy prayer…

7 Steps to Holiness

In days gone by, many thought of holiness as something only for priests and nuns. While it is certainly true that our clergy and religious are called to be holy and should make it a central pursuit of their lives, it is the same for every Catholic, whether bishop, priest, deacon, religious, or lay person! The Catechism of the Catholic Church says of holiness: “The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness: ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn from…

He Heals Our Inner Turmoil

The older we are the more evidence we accumulate to agree with Job and his assessment of life: So, I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. (Job 7:3) In painful situations stretched out over the years, one might feel pushed inexorably towards bitterness, cynicism, even near the brink of despair. Job, this iconic Old Testament figure of composure and dignified reaction to misfortunes and tragedies, proposes unconditional trust in God as the correct remedy to…

Resisting Evil

Some years ago, there was a woman in Mexico who supposedly possessed great spiritual powers, including the gift of healing; people from throughout the country were going to her for help, and afterwards singing her praises. This was brought to the attention of the local archbishop, a very holy man. Something didn’t quite feel right about the situation, so he sent a priest to investigate. This priest, after spending time with the woman and observing her so-called healings, reported back to the archbishop,…

God’s Love

A prophet like me (Moses) will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kin; to him you shall listen. (Deuteronomy 18:18) God has kept this promise by sending us THE Prophet, his only begotten Son Jesus Christ in human flesh. This event must become a mighty reason for rejoicing and celebrating. If God were to speak to us without the “screen” of his human flesh, we would die of fright. ‘Let us not again hear the voice of…

Following Jesus

In my family, annual vacations have always been a priority. Looking back, all have brought grace-filled moments and, given that there are six of us, always a tussle or two. But, despite the latter, I can’t think of one that I’ve wished we’d never taken. Today, however, with all but one of our four daughters in their twenties, my wife and I are nearing the so-called “empty nest.” For me, this has resulted in a new tradition of spending one-on-one…

Holy Indifference

What is the message we should glean from the very familiar tale of the prophet Jonah? God loves and cares for everyone in the world and he wants everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth because all are meant to be his children forever.  Instead, Jonah was convinced that only the Israelites, the chosen people of God, were to be saved because only they were the objects of God’s care and love. So, as the story…