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Showing posts from January, 2017

Lambs among Wolves: A Poem

Luke 10:1-9

From the dark the wolves do watch
as naked lambs travel to and fro
no bag, no cloak, no sandals
as to every town they go.

Messengers of the One to come
to each house they bleet out peace
announcing to all the Kingdom of God
and His eternal feast.

To make such a feast
the field must yield
its bounty in due time
but laborers are few
so pray the good Lord
send those to tend, to prune and hive.

The bleeting peace
does go out
and often times returns
But those who accept
that potent peace
give the labourer what he deserves.

Relying on the Shepherd
the sheep heal
by word and by hand
no mind to wolf
with fiery eyes
God's Kingom is at hand!

Be a Fool for Christ's sake!

Mark 3:20-21

I often wonder what life would be like for St. Francis if he were to live in our day. What would it be like if a friend of ours renounced the successful family business his father owned and chose a life of poverty? What would our reaction be if a friend we went to high school with showed up at our door dressed in burlap asking for the scraps from our dinner or extra building materials we may have in the basement? Most likely you and I would smile, offer them a cup of coffee, and then call his or her family members or doctor. We would think that our friend had lost their mind!

We see similar behavior in young men and women who are in love. They can be in love with another person or an idea but the effect is usually the same. They do and say crazy things. They are consumed with their thoughts. They have this strange look as though they are looking through the world and everything in it to something beyond.

In today's Gospel we find that Jesus' friends think h…

We're on a Pilgrimage

Mark 3:7-12

I don't like crowds. I am the type of person who stays away from a crowd. I don't do well at football games or concerts. You can imagine my anxiety level when I took a youth group to Toronto in 2002 for World Youth Day. There I was sleeping in a field, soaked to the bone with close to a million of my closest friends. But it was all worth it. The lack of food, the long hike, the downpours, the heat, the sweat, the blisters, the fatigue was all worth it. It was a tremendous blessing to be part of such a pilgrimage of faith. It was a blessing to see how "universal - catholic" the Church really is and it was a blessing to see, in the flesh, Saint John Paul the Great - a witness, a fellow pilgrim, a role model, and a saint.

In today's reading we find a pilgrimage of sorts taking place. People have heard about this Jesus of Nazareth and are coming from all over to see Him, to listen to Him, and perhaps be healed by Him. Scripture mentions different location…

The Most Ridiculous Commandment

Mark 2:23-28

Thou shalt rest. Thou shalt take it easy. Thou shalt relax, read, spend time with friends and family. Thou shalt spend time with Me for one day before going back to work.

How many of us have ever uttered these words or similar words? - I'm so busy, I need a break, If I only had some free time I would (insert favorite activity here). I always thought the third Commandment was sort of ridiculous. Who needs to be told to take a day off? Who needs to be told to not work? Most of us spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get out of work. Yet God, who knows His children best, saw fit to make one of the Ten Commandments tells us to take it easy.

Of course keeping Holy the Sabbath is not simply about being a couch potato. It is supposed to be a day of retreat. It is a day where we can duck out of the world and spend time with God and enjoy His gifts - creation, family, Scripture, etc.

I treasure my Sundays. That is my favorite day of the week. It is a day when we get up …

Undaunted Faith

Mark 2:1-12

There is so much to this reading. Every time I read it I think of something different to meditate on. In the past I have always seen the paralytic as merely along for the ride. I have read it with the idea that perhaps he was telling his friends to put him down or to give up. Maybe he was discouraged by the crowd and asked them to simply take him home and they could try another day when Jesus wasn't so busy. Maybe that says more about my personality and what I need to work on.

But today it hit me that maybe it was just the opposite. Maybe it was the paralytic who pushed his friends into doing something radical. Maybe in the past he had tried to get others to get him close to Jesus but to no avail. And now he wasn't giving up. I can hear him begging them to find another way, any way and telling them that he refused to go home.

No matter how you look at it it is apparent that we are in this together. We need each other. In pre-Cana classes I lovingly tell couples tha…

The Wilderness of the Confessional

Mark 1:40-45
[Leprosy] was a feared disease, and its victims were shunned because of their disfiguring stigmata—collapsed facial bones, fingers, and toes, with the hands and feet ultimately rotted away. Leprosy was among the first diseases identified as contagious. Early societies took measures to shield their healthy members from contagion: lepers were obliged to wear distinctive clothing and carry a bell to warn others of their presence, or they were segregated in lazarettos, precursors of quarantine stations and isolation hospitals. (source)

We are given the impression that perhaps Jesus is alone in the wilderness on the outskirts of a town or city. He was probably praying and escaping the pressure of His growing fame. Jesus seeks the refuge of the wild for peace and the leper seeks it for peace as well but for different reasons. Here we see Jesus associating with the most marginalized of His time, lepers. We may assume He is alone, otherwise word of this "touch" would have…

Behold the Lamb, A Poem

John 1:29-34
Cain, the jealous sower spills first the blood of man Abel, the innocent shepherd A cry, Behold the lamb
Abram witholds nothing an angel stays his hand God will provide the sacrifice A cry, Behold the lamb
Pharaoh's heart is hardened Mercy ends in the land The angel passes over A cry, Behold the lamb
John by waters edge Many baptized by his hand a dove descends upon the Christ A cry, Behold the Lamb
The Heavens all cry out Here is the Son of Man Holy, Holy, Holy A cry, Behold the Lamb
Another Christ at altar host and chalice in his hand with trembling voice and body A cry, Behold the Lamb