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Please join me in this commemoration of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Friday 1/15/2021. Heb 4:1-5, 11 "Let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains, that none of you seem to have failed. For in fact we have received the Good News just as our ancestors did...let us strive to enter into that rest," Today's scripture leaped off the page today for me. "Rest", entering into rest; ah, it is Friday. Jesus is the haven of rest and all we need to do is fall back on him and be carried along. The hymn text, "My fetters fell off, and I anchored my soul: The "Haven of Rest" is my Lord" All it takes is faith - makes it all seems so simple, right?
Thursday 1/14/2021. Heb 3:7-14 "Oh, that today you would hear his voice, 'Harden not your hearts' ... We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end." As we move away from the Christmas mysteries and face the radiance of the Light in the world, we get distracted; we get tired; well, our hearts get hardened. The enthusiasm of the coming of Jesus fades. In order to hold the reality of Jesus to the end, we must be open to the voice that calls us again and again into a relationship with Jesus our brother and friend. what reminders can you build into your day to help keep this relationship developing?
Wednesday 1/13/2021. Hebrews 2:14-18 “Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, “ This is an amazing testimony. Jesus did not come to help angels, but us. That was not enough. Be came to be one of us. I find this a great comfort as I face the ups and downs of daily life. How do you feel about putting your arm around Jesus’ shoulder and saying, “Hi, brother”?
Tuesday 1/12/2021. Mark 1:21-28. Jesus' public ministry begins with the healing of a man possessed by the devil. The community responded, "He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” As disciples, we are called to be ministers, to denounce the devil and bring new life in Jesus' name. The prayer of this song "Let my care be active, healing just like you" bring Jesus' love to a broken world so we can dance on suspicions graveyard. Do we have the courage to "walk faith's tightrope" and follow one step behind Jesus? It requires denouncing evil through radical love.
Monday 1/11/2021. Hebrews 1:1-6 "...in these last days, he spoke to us through the Son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe,..." Jesus spoke to us as the children of God. He also spoke to us as his brother and sisters. He did this in a deeply passionate way; in words, deeds, healing, death, and resurrection. I am not quite sure why this particular musical selection was the voice of Jesus today, except to say the power of this singing put me in touch with the power of that voice of Jesus in my heart. How do you hear that voice?
Friday 1/8/2021. No music this evening, just some quiet time. It has been quite a week of anxiety, chaos, and questioning. Georgia, Covid vaccines, increasing infections, unemployment the Capital building.....and soul searching questions like, "Do I have to forgive them? In today's gospel, Jesus heals the leper. Tonight, in the quiet of your heart, turn to Jesus and look into his eyes. In faith ask him for healing peace. We all need it.
Thursday 1/7/2020. 1 John 4:19–5:4. Today's reading from the first letter of John opens " Beloved, we love God because God first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother or sister, they are a liar; for whoever does not love those whom they have seen cannot love God whom he has not seen." John is clear about the centrality of God in coming to know God. In this time of great struggle, consider what it means to love? What does love require? What does God require of us?
Wednesday 1/6/2020. Psalm 23 I am not sure I could have ever imagined what I have seen unfold in the US capital today, even when in most cynical moments I waxed on about civil war. Yet, here we are. It is time for a calm, faithful embrace of this expression of David's words that have brought hope to generations of frightened, unsettled pilgrims on this earth. The Jews witnessed the destruction of the Temple and held to the kindness and mercy that followed them all the days of their lives. Jesus showed us how to dwell in the hose of the Lord. How will we respond?
Tuesday 1/5/2021. 1 John 4:7-10. "Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we might have life through him." This setting of the Rosetti poem (printed below the video) brings us to the heart of this passage from John. Love is our token, our sign to the world. We must love to be of God. How have we loved today? How have we experienced God's love?
Monday 1/4/2021. Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first canonized saint born in the USA and US citizen, faced many trials and losses in her life, beginning when at 3 years of age, she faced the death of her mother. She had five children. William died of tuberculosis in 1803, leaving Elizabeth a young widow. After which, she founded the Sisters of Charity. She brings a thoroughly American perspective to the mission described in today's gospel, "They brought to Jesus all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them. The hymn offered for today's reflection is the one that was very dear to Elizabeth. so much, that she created a paraphrase of the text and wrote a tune to accompany it. Her version is not currently available. We follow the example of Elizabeth and bring those most in need to Jesus for healing.
Friday 1/1/2021 Numbers 6:22-27 Happy New Year! On this first day of the calendar year, it is fitting that we are reminded, "The LORD said to Moses: 'Speak to Aaron and his sons and daughters and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites.' " What is there to say at the end of this rich setting of this ageless blessing but "Amen, and again Amen."
Thursday 12/31/2020 John 1:1-18 We read and hear these opening words of the gospel of St John on this last day of the calendar year to be reminded that our salvation is a continuous process of acceptance, rejection, forgiveness, and openness to new life in Christ. The statement of belief in these brief few verses challenge us as they offer promise. How often does the phrase "But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God..." ring true in our lives? How often can we say that we are among those who accepted him?
Wednesday 12/30/2020 1 John 2:12-17. Today, once again, the readings call us from the safety of the manger scene to face life as it is. John writes, "Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him...Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever." "For lo the days are hastening on..." we live our dance with the Incarnation to bring peace to the world. How did we "sing back the song" that the angel's sing" today?
Tuesday 12/29/2020. 1 John 2:3-11
1 O little one sweet, O little one mild,
thy Father's purpose thou hast fulfilled;
thou cam'st from heav'n to dwell below,
To share the joys and tears we know,
O little one sweet, O little one mild.
2. O little one sweet, O little one mild,
with joy thou hast the whole world filled;
thou camest here from heav'n's domain,
to bring men comfort in our pain,
O little one sweet, O little one mild.
3. O little one sweet, O little one mild.
in thee Love's beauties are all distilled;
then light in us thy love's bright flame,
that we may give thee back the same,
O little one sweet, O little one mild.
On this 5th day of Christmas, something a little different than 5 gold rings. This hymn is a reflection on today's scripture, "And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. " We are part of that light shining when we accept the bright flame of love and give back the same. Jesus Incarnate is in the dance of Love with us. Take time tonight to meditate on the beauties of Love that are distilled in our lives
Monday 12/28/2020. The Slaughter of the Innocents. The Church makes it clear that the Incarnation brings struggle and pain. As St Luke reports Jesus saying "I come to bring the sword." So it is in the martyrdom of Stephen and now the Innocents. In order to follow Jesus, we must die every day to our selfishness and unbelief. To believe is to generously accept the Love that has come down, accept the trials we face in life, accept that we are God's alone. In the quiet of this evening, feel Love fill you. Allow it to melt away the fear that has created your personal Herod by which you are slain each day. Rejoice because Love has set you free.
Wednesday 12/23/2020. Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24 . "O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!" Today's O Antiphon and the prophesy of Malachi remind us that the coming Messiah comes to save the nations and restore the kingdom. We are formed from the dust, we have strayed and are purified like gold in the furnace by the redeeming power of the One Who Comes. This single selection of Handel's oratorio Messiah, is one of the striking presentations drawn from this moving prophecy. I suggest quietly listening to the movements that precede and following this aria. How does it call you to live?
Tuesday 12/22/2020. Luke 1:46-56 "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior." We again are called upon to meditate on the Annunciation and Mary's great song of praise. I cannot help but remember the intimacy of yesterday's reading from the Song of Songs, "“Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one, and come!“For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone." This setting of "Magnificat" from Taize draws us into a swirling dance with Mary and the Spirit in our soul. In your heart, rise up beloved and dance with Mary and the Spirit, be blessed.
Monday 12/21/2020. Song of Songs 2:8-14. "Hark! my lover–here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills." Such excitement. Here He comes, the King who loves, who will rule the peoples by love This is only the beginning. The One who comes is our Lover. "My lover speaks; he says to me,“Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one, and come!" There is no limit to the intimacy of this coming. "Let me see you, let me hear your voice, For your voice is sweet, and you are lovely.” The Love comes to into us and around us and sings sweetly with us.
Wednesday 12/16/2020. Isaiah 45:6C-8, 18, 21C-25. "I am the LORD, there is no other; I form the light, and create the darkness, I make well-being and create woe; I, the LORD, do all these things." Isaiah brings or focus to the God of Creation, the God who assures us "Turn to me and be safe, all you ends of the earth, for I am God; there is no other!" In these final days of Advent, we acknowledge how much we need the reminder from Isaiah, to turn toward God, the creator of the stars of our everlasting light. The days are short, the nights are long. Take this time to quietly pray the Spirit bring you openness to the power of the Incarnation.
Tuesday 12/15/2020. Psalm 34. Consider the psalm for the day "When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,and from all their distress he rescues them. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;and those who are crushed in spirit he saves." As we get closer to Christmas, our hearts call out, "hear my cry, O Lord." The assurance that we are heard is clear and constant throughout scripture. Do we toward God in our distress or are we a "stiff-necked people" like the Israelites who insists on doing it our own way? In the final days before the feast of the Incarnation, turn toward God and give over your distress, prepare your heart to live fully in the light of Christ. What are those dark places into which you are afraid to invite God? Take a chance.
Monday 12/14/2020. Saint John of the Cross - mystic, confessor of St Theresa of Avila, reformer of the church, and major voice of the Spanish Counter-Reformation, John. Was first and always a person of contemplative prayer. There are two quotes of his that hit me today “ "Silence is God's first language" “"In the inner stillness where meditation leads, the Spirit secretly anoints the soul and heals our deepest wounds." So in lieu of music today, take time to sit and be silent. Be alert for God’s voice and be anointed by the Spirit.
Friday 12/11/2020. Isaiah 48:17-19 ."I've got peace like a river......I've got love.....I've got joy....." These come directly from God. In Isaiah, we read, "I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river..." By following the teaching of God, our is peace, love, and joy. Advent is a time of listening and waiting. Listening to our heart and feeling the presence of the Divine shaping us, preparing us for Incarnation. Take a moment this evening and listen to your heart and find the peace, the love, the joy of the Divine.
Thursday 12/10/2020. Isaiah 41:13-20 ." I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, “Fear not,I will help you.” The eternal promise, the Lord God is with us, Jesus comes to us to take our hand. Are we ready for that? Are we ready to reach out and believe that the God of the ages considers us important enough to take our hand? Are we humble enough to say, "Yes?" Advent is our time to prepare for the great YES of Christmas when once and for all time God proves that we are important enough. God takes not only our hand but embodies our flesh. Take time today to hold out your hand and feel your Precious Lord take it in love.
Wednesday 12/9/2020. Isaiah 40:25-31. Matthew 11:28-30. "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest..." Such comforting words from Matthew. Take a moment to imagine yourself being carried in the arms of Jesus, held close to his heart. "Though the young faint and grow weary, and stagger and fall, They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,.." Our strength is renewed in this embrace that is always our if we have the courage to allow it to happen.
Tuesday 12/8/2020. Feast of the Immaculate Conception. "Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us." On this most misunderstood of feasts, we take a fresh look at Mary and Elizabeth as two cousins meet to celebrate Mary's pregnancy. They are the first of whom it can be said as in St Paul's letter to the Ephesians, "In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,..." These women come together to celebrate as they celebrate the miracle of birth. They are family who support each other in these most unusual times. In this season of families celebrating a miracle birth in most unusual times, I pray that we all find a unique way to share joy with those we love as a proclamation of the love that is God's will.
Monday 12/7/2020. Feast of St. Ambrose. Ephesians 3:8-12. Ambrose, one of the great Latin church fathers, is remembered best for his preaching, his struggle against the Arian heresy, and his introduction of metrical and antiphonal singing into the Western church. He was unexpectedly made Bishop of Milan in 374 by popular acclamation — before he was even baptized! The Te Deum chant is said to have been written on the occasion of the baptism of St. Augustin His life is a full expression of today’s scripture, “to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things, so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church. . May our lives be the same.
This evening, a little something different, text alone. This powerful psalm, appointed for today, captures the struggles of our life as Christians. It points us toward the coming of Jesus today and every day in the very act of our hope. "Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage, wait on the Lord."
Thursday 12/3/2020. St. Francis Xavier, SJ. Mt 28:19a, 20b. 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23. "How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of peace." This selection is made in the spirit of St Francis Xavier and today's reading, St. Francis Xavier, one of St. Ignatius Loyola's closest friends and an original founding companion of the Society of Jesus, is most honored for his missionary accomplishments particularly in India, Southeast Asia and Japan. He brought the good news of peace to all he met. Our mission may not be as dramatic as Francis' but it is much the same. We are called to spread the good news of peace every day.
Wednesday 12/2/2020. IS 25:6-10A. "The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces;...On that day it will be said: “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!" The essence of our Advent is waiting for the moment when we can exclaim, "Behold..." Yes, soon and very soon we are going to see the King. There is an excitement in this expectation. How often are we charmed by the anticipation of a youngster for Christmas. It is real. It is alive. It is contagious. Somehow we grow up and become hardened by life and this is lost. Reclaim it today. We see Christmas differently today, but it is nevertheless, an explosion of joy as we once again embrace the Incarnation.
Tuesday 12/1/2020. IS 11:1-10. LK 10:21-24. Much to think about today, World AIDS Day. Many years of work in the HIV/AIDS community shaped me and now colors my reading of today's scripture. We begin with Isaiah, the inspiration for today's music "A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom." That moment of Incarnation changes everything and made it possible for me to learn that the words of Jesus in Luke are addressed to me "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see." I came to know saints and angles of many stripes. With "Mary we behold it" the wonder of the Word made flesh in the lives of these lost to disease and those that selflessly cared for them. This is the light that "dispels the darkness" Thanks be to God. Text to carol.
Monday 11/30/2020. Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle. Andrew, a disciple of John the Baptist, at once recognized Jesus as the Messiah and introduced Jesus to his brother Peter. The Byzantine Church honors him with the title. "the first called." It is no coincidence that the Church celebrates his life and work at the beginning of Advent. John the Baptist and Andrew recognized Jesus, the light in the darkness. In this time of Advent darkness, waiting to the coming of Jesus as they did, will we recognize the face of Jesus when we see it?
Friday 11/27/2020. Revelation 20:1-4, 11—21:2. Again today, we read about the end of time. The coming of the angels with the book of the living and dead. It is a great battle. " He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan...which he locked over it and sealed,..so that it could no longer lead the nations astray... the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God... came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years." Quite a battle is presented. This is the battle we wage each day as we turn toward God and turn away from sin. We sing in praise to the God of all creation that we are among those who are chosen in baptism.
Thursday 11/26/2020. Happy Thanksgiving! Wherever you are today, take a minute to stop and give thanks because we are truly blessed. I found this online, attributed to anonymous, "If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world. If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy." We have a way of singing praise for fields and harvests on this holiday. This hymn updates those images to those of today's world. So, in gratitude for all the plenty we share and hold dear, blessings to you all. Please stay healthy and well, share from your plenty, and give praise to the God of all creation.
Wednesday 11/25/2020. An Interfaith Thanksgiving Service provided by the Peekskill Area Pastoral Association. Blessing to you and yours as we recall with gratitude the bounty with which God has blessed us. Peace, Owen
Tuesday 11/24/2020. Revelation 14:14-19. Luke 21: 5-11. The end of time is the image in both of today's readings. Jesus teaches, "There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.” We are to prepare for this time by holding fast to the teachings of Jesus: love of God and love of neighbor. The readings today are frightening. We see pictures of the end for those who are not faithful. It is a wake-up call to live each day as if it was the last.
Monday 11/223/2020. Saint Columban. Revelation 14:1-3, 4b-5. Today is a moment for mission, sharing the faith. "They were singing what seemed to be a new hymn before the throne,..These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes..." On this feast of St. Columban, an Irish saint who was a missionary to Italy (How many of us think of missionary work moving only from the continent to Ireland?) brings the following the Lamb to life. Both Columban and the saints in Revelation move from the "church in liturgy and song" to praise God in all things sharing the message of the redeemed. How did you share this joy today?
Friday 11/20/2020. Here we are, Friday. It has been a noisy, busy week. The sunset by 4:45 and darkness has enveloped me. I find myself drawn to quiet contemplation and with that these ancient chants. If you look at the text provided below the video, you will see the parts of the mass that are recorded. Listen to what brings you rest and calm. This is not an evening for more than this, thanksgiving for a week well lived and gifts received in abundance. Peace.
Thursday 11/19/2020. Revelation 5:1-10. Again in today's reading, the heaven's are resounding with hymns of exaltation. "“Do not weep.The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed." It is easy to forget that we are the people of the Resurrection. Our life is a constant Alleluia in praise of the one who died and was raised to set us free. Jesus was "slain and with your Blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation." How does that make you feel today?
Wednesday Meditation 11/18/2020. Revelation 4:1-11. Today's reading from the Book of Revelation reminds us that we are called to give praise to God, with a full-throated hymn of praise. God does not need nor asks for our praise but we are so filled with awe and thanks for the gifts that are ours that we cannot stop. We join the angels in heaven praising "God in thy glory, through eternity." because "for you created all things; because of your will, they came to be and were created.” In this, we are united with the angels and saints of all time. How did we give praise to God today?
Tuesday 11/17/2020. Revelation 4:1-11. Today's reading from the Book of Revelation reminds us that we are called to give praise to God, with a full-throated hymn of praise. God does not need nor asks for our praise but we are so filled with awe and thanks for the gifts that are ours that we cannot stop. We join the angels in heaven praising "God in thy glory, through eternity." because "for you created all things; because of your will, they came to be and were created.” In this, we are united with the angels and saints of all time. How did we give praise to God today?
Monday 11/16/2020. Luke 18:35-43. In today's gospel, Luke recounts the story of the blind man who calls out to Jesus, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” And, again, "“Lord, please let me see.” Jesus heals him saying, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” The text of this hymn, written by the blind hymn writer Fanny Crosby, echoes this story and brings it alive to us. Each of us is deeply wounded in dark places about which we never speak. Turn to Jesus, call out for healing, and let the healing power of faith in the promise transform you today. Truly, "Thou the spring of all my comfort, more than life to me, whom have I on earth beside thee?" Amen.
Friday 11/13/2020. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. 2 John 4-9. Today we reflect on the life and work of Mother Cabrini, the first US saint. An Italian immigrant, she worked tirelessly with the recent immigrants and refugees who arrived on the shores of the US in the later 1800s and early 1900. Her heroic work brings to mind the situation here and abroad. In her time, people were not subject to the current practices of the US at the border but were consigned to tenements where they died of TB, dysentery, and starvation.The selection today reflects on the experience of refugees around the world. How can we learn from the life of Mother Cabrini to relieve the suffering in today's world?
Thursday 11/12/2020. Eph 4:1-7, 11-13. Saint Josaphat. This section of the Letter to the Ephesians is particularly relevant to St.Josaphat, who brought peace to his region. Paul writes "...urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience,.." A vision of this charge is captured in this hymn. "Put peace into each other's hands..." Once given, peace in the hand can then be used in a world in great need. How did you put peace into someone's hand today?
Wednesday 11/11/2020. Mt 25:31-40. Saint Martin of Tours. Something a little different today. "God help the outcasts" aligns with today's gospel in which Jesus presents the final judgment. "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink,..." is the standard by which we are judged. Although we develop a deep interior life of prayer, we are required to take this life and share it with those we meet. Our immediate circle is not wide enough. We must go to the margins and care for the outcasts.It is here that we find the face of Jesus in the world.
Tuesday 11/10/2020. Ti 2:1-8, 11-14 In today's reading, we are reminded that "For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,..." Jesus is the model, the grace of God which appeared to save us and show us the path to holiness. We are all filled with struggles to even when we are "eager to do what is good." What are the moments where I failed to live on the path of holiness? This setting by Wesley helps me identify them and turn them over to God for healing forgiveness.
Monday 11/9/2020. 1 Corinthians 3:9C-11, 16-17; Psalm 91. I have spent the day reflecting on the power of "On Eagle's Wings", the unbridled, enthusiastic response of American's to Joe Biden's reference to this setting of Psalm 91. I think it comes down to the answer to the question posed by Paul in today's reading, ""Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" Yes, I do. Listening to, praying this Psalm in this setting makes me know that: Yes, I do know. We need to know this comfort and assurance everyday. Yes, I know.
Friday 11/6/2020. Philippians 3:17—4:1. Paul is writing to a community that expects the imminent arrival of Jesus for the Second Coming. He instructs "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." So as they faced hardship and persecution, he tells them to stand firm in the Lord. The enthusiasm of these young people at the U of Notre Dame helps me imagine the excitement and spirit of those early Christians. It is infectious. How were you able to bring that spark to life in your day?
Thursday 11/5/2020. Luke 15:1-10 In today’s gospel, Jesus tells the parables of the Lost Sheep and the Woman with her lost coin. In both stories,Jesus is telling us that no matter how we feeler what we have done, he seeks us out and offers us a radical welcome. “In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”Jesus always says, “Come.” How were you welcomed by Jesus today?
Wednesday 11/4/2020. St. Charles Borromo. PHIL 2:12-18 “Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life,…” These words jumped off the page today. St.Charles embodied this passion. A major architect of the Council of Trent ugh, I know) he was committed to reform. There is only one way to reform, to love to the Lord and wear his crown. Now is our time to let the light of the gospel shinefromour hearts.
Tuesday 11/3/2020. St Martin de Porres, OP. Philippians 4:4-9. St. Martin de Porres, a Dominican brother, was born in Lima, Peru, an illegitimate son to a Spanish gentleman and a freed slave from Panama, of African or possibly Native American descent. The result was a lifetime of ridicule and hardship leading him to work at the most menial of tasks. He never lost his vision of service as a grace. This is the focus of today's reading from Philippians. "Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God."During an epidemic in Lima, Martin was corrected for ministering to the sick. His reply: "Forgive my error, and please instruct me, for I did not know that the precept of obedience took precedence over that of charity." A saint for our times.
Monday 11/2/3030. Feast of All Souls. Romans 6:3-9; John 6:40. "It is a privilege to die." I heard this statement ina. short clip over the weekend, if only I could remember where, and it got me. On the feast where we remember our beloved dead, it is easy to embrace grief and sorrow. We miss them. The letter to the Romans reminds us that, "If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him." This is the privilege of our death; to have the promise of eternal life, and I shall raise you on the last day. This grace is a privilege, this assurance is our Alleluia for eternity. Death has no power. Jesus lives. So do the dead who die in the Lord.
Friday 10/30/2020. Philippians 1:1-11. This opening section of Paul's letter is one of my favorite passages in scripture. Take a read, https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/103020.cfm It is a love letter to his followers, "For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus." Paul makes the love of Jesus real and human. What do you think of when you think of affection? To my mind, affection is immediate and intimate. It is an experience shared by two that know each other well. It is not distant. It is here and now. I think the text of this song is a powerful meditation on the depth and breadth of this love.
Thursday 10/29/2020. Ephesians 6:10-20 As we continue with Paul's letter to the Ephesians, his concern for the community is clear, "Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the Devil." We "And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" and struggle to be faithful to the gospel in a world where the Devil is alive and active. Pray these words each day as a reminder that Christ is our ever-present guide and friend.
Wednesday 10/28/2020. Feast of Saint Simon and Saint Jude. Today we celebrate the feast of two of the Apostles. The musical selection focuses on St Jude (scroll down on the YouTube page for the text), the Saint of the impossible. Simon and Jude traveled together to teach others about Jesus. Because of their eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ miracles and his death and Resurrection, many people became believers and were baptized. They died on the same day in Beirut. Their example teaches us that all of us are called to spread the gospel and live a life of faith.
Tuesday 10/27/2020. Luke 13:18-21 In today's reading, Jesus provides analogies to the kingdom of God. He said, "It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.” Right at this moment, there are a flock of birds eats in the berries on my burning bush, so many birds I am afraid the branches will break, but they don't. Such as it is in the kingdom, there is bounty, and no matter how much we ask, we are held on the branches of God. Those birds are really hungry and so are we. So how does this kingdom come? When we are salt and light, spreading the gospel, we bring the kingdom into being by the grace of God.
Friday 10/23/2020. Ephesians 4:1-6. The Spirit about which we read yesterday is the Spirit that we share as one body in Christ. We are called in the Spirit to "all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love," This is not so simple, is it? Working on patience today and every day. A lack of patience leads to judgment. Judgment becomes the poison that creates division and cruses unity, Come, Holy Spirit, come.
Thursday 10/22/2020. Ephesians 3:14-21. Paul moves from the community to the individual in the community with today's reading. That through the "Spirit in the inner self," we might know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." This action is both together and individually. In both cases, the Spirit comes to show us the full measure of God's love in order that "accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us" to the glory of Jesus. I find this very humbling and awe-inspiring. How has the Spirit been alive and at work today? In what moments did I give glory to Jesus in the Spirit?
Wednesday 10/21/2020. Ephesians 3:2-12 "...members of the same Body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel." This is a major goal of St. Paul, to make Gentile and Jew equal, to build one Body. This setting of the hymn, "One Bread, One Body..." text at http://www.songlyrics.com/hymns/one-bread-one-body-lyrics/ brings the works of Paul to life. What are we doing every day to foster unity in the body of Christ?
Tuesday 10/20/2020. Ephesians 2:12-22 Today I encourage you to link to the scripture passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=EPH+2%3A12-22+&version=TLB . It is extraordinary in its clarity and comfort. "Now you are no longer strangers to God and foreigners to heaven, but you are members of God’s very own family..." Every time I read this, I explode with joy and find hope in this sometimes difficult world. This song is an exuberant dance of affirmation that we are made new, in God's image. Dance with me?
Monday 10/19/2020. EPH 2:1-10, LK 12:13-21.The readings today bring us to a reflection on the covenant between God and each of us. "Be Thou My Vision" guides our thoughts toward the balance of our lives in response to God. We are beloved and call you for the living presence of God. I find this hymn comforting and challenging. As my friend, the Rev. Susan Townsley would always say, we cannot sing this often enough. Peace, Owen
Friday 10/16/2020. Ephesians 1:11-14. "Beloved, God’s chosen, put on as a garment; compassion, forgiveness, and goodness of heart." Chosen is the key idea today. We are chosen to love one another wearing our garment that is grace. With this grace and in reliance on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we live freely in Christ. Carry this grace to those you meet and "let love be your raiment that binds into one ev’ry dissonant part of your life and your world.
Thursday 10/15/2020. Ephesians 1:1-10. Today I was inspired by this text to look to a setting of Peter 1 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ..." at about 2 min in this recording is a lovely phrase "Love one another with a pure heart, fervently." following on the theme of freedom in the Spirit, this is how we live, free in the Spirit. We love one another. This is how we are known as followers of the One who rose from the dead and opened heaven to us. Live in Love.
Wednesday 10/14/2020 Galatians 5:18-25. "If you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law....If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit. " St Paul continues his teaching about our freedom, freedom in the gift of the Spirit. This is a freedom from the darkness we carry inside, those dark places that hold us back, the false power of earthly measures we apply to ourselves. The gifts of the Spirit are poured out on us. Recreate us, O Spirit, to live as children of the Light.
Tuesday 10/13/2020. Galatians 5:1-5, Luke 11:37-41. Both of today's readings deal with the unease of the followers of Jesus with the lack of rules. Their focus on externals holds them back from an experience of the freedom that is won in the death and resurrection of Jesus. We are free. The old law has been fulfilled and a new love based upon love of God and love of neighbor has been born. Heaven is opened. Sin is destroyed. i think we all struggle with this freedom and like to fall back on the "rules" and "customs" to make us feel comfortable. How often do you rely on these? Can we ever truly be free in this life?
Monday 10/12/2020. Galatians 4:22-24, 26-27, 31–5:1. To continue the thought from yesterday's homily, we come to the feast. As St Paul writes in today's reading, "For freedom, Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery." We celebrate that freedom as join together at the table and then move into mission in the community. WE become the sign of faith in the world, the hands are the sign of Jesus to the world. How does this happen in your daily life?
Friday 10/9/2020. Luke 11:15-26,Galatians 3:7-14. Today's reading focused on the kingdom and faith. The world needs justice peace. How does this come? Through the gifts of the Spirit. What is key in this chant is that we pray "open in us the gates of your kingdom." The kingdom is not far off; it is not other wordly. It starts in us. through the gifts of the Spirit, We long to be the instruments of justice and peace because this is our duty as disciples
Thursday 10/8/2020. Luke 11: 5-13. Last week, we were twice told to be like children. Today, let the innocence of the children bring this scripture to life in you, "tI tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you..to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." The gifts of God are always within our grasp. All we need do is ask.
Wednesday 10/7/2020. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. Today's celebration was instituted after the Christians defeated the Moslems at Leponte; winning because of praying the rosary. It a significant day for Dominicans. Though Mary’s giving of the rosary to Saint Dominic is recognized as a legend, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of Saint Dominic. As it is with many cultures who pray with beads, it is a prayer form that is simple and brings us to a meditative state. For Catholics, there is particular meaning as a devotion to Mary the Mother of God that draws on repetitive prayer and scriptural reflections. Enough teaching. The rosary is a tool that teaches us most basically: to pray constantly. Meditate on the Word of God and the mysteries that shaped the life of Jesus with his Mother. Most importantly, let this prayer form be an opportunity to enter into the ultimate LOVE that is God.
Tuesday 10/6/2020. I don't know about you, but I needed a break today. So little so say with so much to say. So I have opted to sit quietly and just be with this stunning arrangement of Bach's masterpiece and allow the Spirit to speak. Peace to you and yours in this time of endless confusion, trial, sinfulness, and separation. God is here with us and among us. Call the Spirit into your evening. Amen. Owen.
Monday 10/5/2020 Luke 10:25-37. Jesus is asked, "Who is my neighbor?" What follows is the story of the Good Samaritan. So why in the world have I chosen "O Holy Night"? I was drawn to it as a curiosity and now think it is right where we need to be. This gives us a moment to step out of the romanticism of Christmastide and hear the words in a new way. "Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother....." Substitute neighbor in that phrase and we have the answer to the question. Every day our chains are broken in our lives of faith. Baptism is the beginning of a lifetime of freedom. With it comes a command to "Love our neighbor as ourselves" to help break the chains of others. How are your chains broken? How can you share that experience with those around you?
Friday 10/2/2020. The Guardian Angels. How often do we invoke the image of the Guardian Angels? These energetic forms are the living presence of God's love that surrounds us always. Jesus gives us clear instructions on how to greet these angels when teaching us about children "And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father." (Matthew 18: 5, 10) Or as Bernstein set to music, "God is the simplest of all." The love shared by Guardian Angels is the pure love of God, in the same way as the children. God loves us a children love, we are loved as we are perfect in this moment, created in God's image. Receive the child of love in your heart as you are held by your Guardian Angel.
Thursday 10/1/2020. Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child JesusSt. Thérèse was to have said, “I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul.” To develop and model the interior life of patient faith was her call through quiet acts of love. She is one of the great examples of the gospel paradox that we gain our life by losing it, and that the seed that falls to the ground must die in order to live. How do we do this in a world that expects much the opposite?
Wednesday 9/30/2020. Job:9:1-12, 14-16 ; Luke 9:57-62. The story of Job continues today. Today, Job says, "If I appealed to him and he answered my call, I could not believe that he would hearken to my words." It hit me between the eyes. How often does God hears and answers our prayers and we don't recognize it? One of the themes that emerge for me is the presence of God whether we recognize God or not. This constancy should lead us to trust that no matter what, like Job, we know it will be well with our soul. Sorry,I cannot always say that I find that true, do you?
Tuesday 9/29/2020. The Feast of St Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels . What can be said about angels? Something old is new again? Archangels are those spirits who herald the plans for God, serve in the defense of heaven, provide healing. They have been recognized and spirit forces since before the writing of the New Testament and now, today, play a central role in contemporary spirituality of many descriptions. Ultimately, their vocation as a model for our life - to execute God's word, to of service. As I listened to this chant, I recalled the many who are "angels" in my life, not so much for their kindness, but for their powerful voice that proclaims God's plan. Who are they in your life?
Monday 9/28/2020. In today's reading from Luke (9:46-50), Jesus says, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me." So, so, I ask, why children? I think this setting from the text in Mark, really brings the question home for me. There are simplicity and stark honesty in children that we lose as we become adults. They can find wonder in the simple things and love without reserve. Simplicity, so hard to achieve as an adult. I want to go find some kids to play with and become renewed.
Friday 9/25/2020. I was again struck by the psalm today. My mind went immediately to this spiritual that takes the gospel of Luke 9: 18-22 to a new depth of understanding in the framework of the psalm refrain ""Blessed be the Lord, my rock." The text of the spiritual lists all the marvels of God salvific actions, the wonders that show God's faithfulness to us. After this list of 2 events, how do we answer the question in the gospel " “But who do you say that I am?” I confess I don't even think of it some days. Only when shaken, do I remember and rely on the Rock of my salvation.
Thursday 9/24/2020. Psalm 90 is the appointed psalm for today. It is particularly great for today. I am having some of those life difficulties and was questioning my trust in the universe. Midday - poof - an unexpected shift alleviated the stress for a bit. Why did I doubt? Why do we ever doubt?
Wednesday 9/23/2020. In today's gospel according to Luke (9:1-6), Jesus commissioned the disciples and " “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money,..." They had little more than the assurance that they would be held in the palm of God's hand. Listening and watching this version of "On Eagle's Wings" gives me faith in that ageless assurance. No matter what the world brings as Proverbs (30:5) from today teaches "God is a shield to those who take refuge in God." I urge you to sit with this video and let the full experience touch your heart. Share the hope that I find herein. Peace, Owen
Tuesday 9/22/2020. Today's reading from the book of Proverbs (21:1-6,10-13) is a strong follow-on to my thoughts of yesterday." Do what is right and fair. The Lord loves that more than sacrifices. Proud looks and proud thoughts are sins. They show a person is evil....God is good. He knows what the wicked are doing, and he will punish them. Those who refuse to help the poor will not receive help when they need it themselves." Ultimately, we ask the question posed in the text of this setting "What shall I bring before the Lord...And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" It is a time crying out for humility and justice. It is my earnest prayer for all of us.
Monday 9/21/2020, I am sitting here just lost in my thoughts and saddened that we are such a narrowly focused society. There is no collective WE just a selfish ME. I already read the critique of RBG. by the self-possessed raising their voices in attempts to deface her legacy, I am so sorry for them. History, sacrifice, and leadership are so lost. RBG was not Christian but she was a WE, not a ME. We as Church have failed, seriously failed. It is a community of WE. Generations of focus on the institutions -- schools, hierarchy, succession.....- and have created critical blindness to the call do justice and walk humbly with God, to become the Body of Christ. The energy of these young people gives me hope. If they can even live this text in even a small way, the Light of Christ will shine brightly. Walk humbly with God.
Saturday 9/19/2020. 1 Cor 15: 35-37, 42-49. Today's reading again brings us a reflection on the resurrection. "someone may say, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?” "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible." We don't often think about death and beyond. It is central to our faith that we will rise again on the last day with Jesus, incorruptible. This firm assurance changes our relationship to each day to fuel our hope and bring us peace. Owen
Friday 9/18/2020. 1 Corinthians 15: 12-20 . Reading today's scripture reminded me of this song I first heard in the 1970's . For me, it brings to life the final line of today's reading from Paul "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep." It is so easy to live as though the tomb was the end of the story. We are free because we know Jesus lives and we live with him today and always. This is our greatest challenge, to live every day with the risen Jesus as our head. We cannot sleep. We must be alive.
Thursday 9/17/2020. St. Hildegard von Bingen. Born around the year 1098, St. Hildegard was an author, healer, mystic, and composer; first in many fields. Her wisdom was sought by many. She was also a strong abbess and held her own against the dominant forces of her time. In this, her setting of her vision, we can sit back and meditate on the power and ecstasy of creation, ordered by the heart of God.
"Power of Eternity, you who ordered all things in your heart, through your Word all things are created just as you willed, and your very Word calls forth flesh in the shape which was drawn from Adam."
Wednesday 9/16/2020. 1 Cor: 12: 31- 13:13 "Ubi Caritas" Where charity and love prevail, there abides God. This meditative setting by the brothers at Taize leads us into a deeply meditative moment on the text from Corinthians.
"If I speak in human and angelic tongues
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
Love never ends."
Tuesday 9/15/2020. Our Lady of Sorrows. 1 Cor 12: 12-14, 27-31. John 19: 25-27.Today's gospel places us at the foot of the cross with Mary and the beloved disciple John. How easy it is for us to focus on the sadness and pain of a parent witnessing the torture and death of their Son. This song, which is new to me, brings to the central message of salvation that Mary teaches us, Jesus is Love. At then foot fo the cross this love comes alive in a very human way, as Jesus commends Mary and John to each other. Love expressed never dies. In our meditation, l hope we can enter into the love that Mary knew and share it with each other as the One Body of Christ. Owen
Monday 9/14/2020 The Feast of the Exultation of the Cross. In today's readings, we are faces with the complaining Israelites "“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!” (NM 21: 4-9), the Incarnation, "He emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,..coming in human likeness (Phil 2:6-11) and the firm assurance that "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:13-17). Wow! So, what do I takes away: that no matter how much there is complaining, Jesus comes, humbly, to save us as one of us; not to scold us for our humanness but lift us up to everlasting life. This is the miracle of the Cross. Alleluia!
Saturday 9/12/2020. 1 Cor 10:14-22. Luke 6:43-49. "When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun, O, Lord have mercy on me." To my ear, this rendition of the familiar hymn really emphasizes this phrase. Many of us routinely gather around the table and break bread together following the command in Corinthians. Yet, we are like the person who builds a house on sand. We are missing the foundation addressed in Luke. We are called to more than a private reception of communion. We are called to build a house on a solid foundation of faith. That faith begins both praising the ever-living God of the sunrise and from this "fullness of the heart the mouth speaks." Plan tonight to fall on your knees..." tomorrow morning and ask God's mercy on your heart, weak in faith. The grace will come. Peace, Owen
Friday 9/11/2020 . Psalm 84. Today is one of those days that evokes widely different feelings depending on your geography, generation, culture. Bringing who we are and what we experience is a central tenet of liturgy and worship. We know God through our experience of ourselves and the world. I have chosen to focus on Psalm 84, the appointed psalm of the day. It is memorably set by Johannes Brahms in the German Requiem here performed in its original German. This performance was recorded at Trinity Church Wall Street, an iconic place, just about as close as one can get to the 9/11 site, where hundreds were cared for, sadness was met with comfort, and exhaustion was met with care. Brahms wrote his requiem as a comfort for the living, not a prayer for the deceased. I pray that this musical moment can wash over you and hold you in your memories of this day.
Psalm 84 vs 1,2,4
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise!
Thursday 9/10/2020. 1 Corinthians 8:1-7, 11-13; Luke 6: 27-38 The sentiment of today's readings is captured in this contemporary worship song. We are told by St. Paul "But if one loves God, one is known by God." In Luke, Jesus tells his disciples, "But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great..." The prayer we hold today is "Melt our cold hearts, teach us compassion, Come change our love from a spark to a flame."
Wednesday 9/9/2020. Feast of Saint Peter Claver, SJ. A Spanish Jesuit, Claver, became the patron saint of slaves, the Republic of Colombia, and ministry to African Americans as a result of his life and work. This musical adaptation of the Beatitudes, today's gospel Luke 6: 20-26, brings this scripture to life "For within your heart is born the kingdom of the Lord." It is the building of the kingdom beginning in the heart that makes the work of a Saint like Peter Claver possible. Claver said, ""To love God as He ought to be loved... We must love nothing but Him, or if we love anything else, we must love it only for His sake." This love is the fullness of the kingdom surging in your hearts. I hope that this musical meditation brings your heart alive with this total love, that is God.
Tuesday 9/8/2020 Nativity of the Mary, the Mother of God. This is the kind of feast day that we don't think much about. It is, however, directly related to the Immaculate Conception. Mary conceived without original sin enters the world as a beacon of hope. I always wonder about what Mary actually knew or thought about all of this. Certainly, she did not know she was "special" until Gabriel arrived and announced the pending arrival of Jesus. How often do we forget that we are special too and even miss the "Gabriels" in our lives that herald our blessed uniqueness in the eyes of God?
The translation of the text set in this selections:
"Thy Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God,
announced joy to the whole world:
For out of thee arose the Sun of justice, Christ our God,
who paying for the curse, gave blessing,
and confounding death, gave us life eternal. “
Monday 9/7/2020. Ah Labor Day.......a simple few words from the 1 Corinthians 5:1-8 "Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." I hope your holiday has been filled with moments of sincerity and truth .. I can add little more than sending your blessings on your work and labor. Continue to do the good work of sincerity and truth. Owen
Saturday 9/5/2020. Luke 6:1-5. When I read this final line of today's gospel "Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath,” I immediately thought of this song. The Pharisees tried to trick Jesus by questioning him about violating the Sabbath. After offering a quick explanation, he simply said, I am in charge. This is a great moment. Jesus, God, is not to be contained by our human rules, the boundaries we create, or the limits of our imagination. Our God is an awesome God who came and lived as one of us. Breathtaking.
Friday 9/4/2020. 1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Luke 5: 33-39 This passage is close to my heart today. Paul is telling people to be patient. The key is "He (Jesus) will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will reveal the purposes of the hearts." I find this song particularly moving. "Showing me all that I must see." How else can we become the new wineskins to hold the new wine?
Thursday 9/3/2020. St Phoebe, Deaconess. St Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church. Today we reflect on two leaders who embraced lives of service; both associated with Rome, both known for their commitment to those in need. Phoebe (1st century) was a deaconess of the Church, praised praise by St Paul in his Letter to the Romans, and is said to have brought Paul's epistle to the Romans to Rome with her. Gregory is known as a skilled, pastoral administrator and is famous for the emphasis he put on missionary work. Both were was well known for their care of the poor. Both were clearly dedicated to telling the story of Jesus far and wide. Spreading the good news and caring for the poor are acts of joy that should lead us to sing and dance. Dance with me in the joy of the Good News through this lilting musical selection.
Wednesday 9/2/2020 1Cor 3:1-9; Luke 4:38-44 The gospel today takes us to the side of Jesus - healing and preaching, casting out demons and cornered by his followers so he would not leave them. He clearly told them that he needed to continue to spread the good news to all the villages; he could not stay. Paul writes to a very divided city that they had lost their connection to Jesus. The factions were destroying them. He writes, "For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building." We walk with Jesus from village to village each day. Why? Because people need the Lord. We share in the work of Jesus, not as casual witnesses but as members of his body, as the co-workers of God. Give me the grace to make this the focus of every day because I need the Lord too.
Tuesday 9/1/2020 Luke 4: 31-37 Here we have Jesus stirring up trouble again. The crowd is astonished at the authority with which he teaches. A demonic spirit rises up in the crown and Jesus silences it. They said, "They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word?" I am not sure about you but I am waiting for Jesus to say the word and banish demons from our world. The simplicity of this tune the raw emotion of this text: "Our common life declares our ills, is there no cure, O Christ, for these?" reach into me and raise my heart in unison with this choir and communities around our nation. Heal us, O Jesus. I know I have a role in bringing this healing to the world. How? I am not quite sure. I trust in the Spirit, through whom we each have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16). What else can guide the way?
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord."
In the gospel reading today, Jesus enters the temple and reveals himself to the community. It does to go well. He is driven from town and threatened with stoning. He passes through the crowd without harm. Everyday, I feel as though I am faced with the same -- the gospel message is not well received. Sometimes, the tis clearly because of my delivery and behavior; other times it is the ears of those around me. My content prayer is that live fully into being anointed as a baptized member of the community. As I sit here today, I se that there were areas in which cold do better tomorrow, with God's grace. You?
Friday 8/28/2020 Saint Augustine of Hippo. There is not enough time and space allotted for a complete telling of my thoughts. If Augustine can be declared a saint, we all can be a saint. He did not have a straight line to holiness, his trials often centered around sexual activity. Hence, his mother Monica wept. We still bear the result of his struggles in the teachings of the Church; we can thank him for the final formation of the doctrine of Original Sin, for example.He was indisputably brilliant and shared his struggles with us freely. This prayer attributed to him sums up the spirit of his quest - Holy Spirit, make me holy. our path to holiness is in the struggle with abandonment to the Holy Spirit. Peace, Owen
Thursday 8/27/2020. Saint Monica; Monica, a mother for the ages. She was an African woman k own outstanding Christian virtues, particularly the suffering caused by her husband's adultery, and her prayerful life dedicated to the reformation of her son, Saint Augustine. As we will mention tomorrow, Augustine was quite the son. I selected this hymn that celebrates strong women throughout time. Monica could be added. Let's take a moment and step back to reflect upon the women who silently weep for us, as was Monica's silent act for her son. Who are the strong women who silently support us? Lift them up in thanksgiving. Peace, Owen
Wednesday 8/26/2020. Matthew 23: 27-32Today's reading from Matthew brings us front and center to the indignation of Jesus with the Pharisees. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,......" And, Jesus goes on! We are all whitewashed tombs unless we continually invite Jesus to live in our hearts. He was the model that St Paul shows to the Thessalonians as recounted in the first reading. There is Jesus and no other. In our day's we work to keep the invitation alive "Jesus, reign in me again." Let's work on this together. Owen
Tuesday 8/25/2020 Memorial of St Louis of France
St Louis heard the call of God and acted upon it. He led a crusade, saved his troops when surrounded, and at home build schools and cared for the poor. This poem/setting from the Iona Community in Scotland captures the experience of St Louis in Christ . The importance of the saints to us lies in their humanness. Here we celebrate the leader of a nation-state who was a warrior on the battlefield and in the streets setting an example for all of us. Yes, we can say. much about the Crusades as 21century people looking back. In the context of his time, he did what he knew was right. Do we have the same courage?
Jesus Christ Is Waiting, Waiting in the Streets
Meter: 11 11 10 11
Jesus Christ is waiting, waiting in the streets,
no one is his neighbor, all alone he eats.
Listen, Lord Jesus, I am lonely too;
make me, friend or stranger, fit to wait on you.
Jesus Christ is raging, raging in the streets
where injustice spirals and real hope retreats.
Listen, Lord Jesus, I am angry too;
in the Kingdom’s causes let me rage with you.
Jesus Christ is healing, healing in the streets,
curing those who suffer, healing those he greets.
Listen, Lord Jesus, I have pity too;
let my care be active, healing just like you.
Jesus Christ is dancing, dancing in the streets,
where each sign of hatred he, with love, defeats.
Listen, Lord Jesus, I should triumph too:
where good conquers evil let me dance with you.
Jesus Christ is calling, calling in the streets,
“Who will join my journey? I will guide your feet.”
Listen, Lord Jesus, let my fears be few;
walk one step before me, I will follow you.
Text: John L. Bell, b. 1949 and Graham Maule, b. 1958; © 1988, WGRG, c/o Iona Community, GIA Publications, Inc., agent Use with permission OneLicense A-730264
Monday 8/24/2020 Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle
"Can anything good come from Nazareth?" John 1:46
Bartholomew, an Apostle to India and Armenia must have looked like he was from the "wrong side of the tracks" to these people! He, like Jesus , came from unfamiliar or is-used cultures from the “wrong side of the trucks” and brought gospel joy to them. How often do we look away from those who are different, those who are from the Nazareths of our day?
If we can out aside our aversion to male forward language, this simple poem and setting ask the questions we must ask ourselves everyday and reminds us of the power of a simple smile as he vehicle for speeding gospel love.
"Who is that man in garments quaint and rare?
Who is he who speaks in rhythms alien to my ear?
Who is he? Who is he?
To him I am as strange as he to me;
and in his questing eyes I read a silent plea.
Who are you? Who are you?
How sad it is we do not know each other;
but when he smiles,
At once I recognize -- my brother!
I hope that he can see in me his brother."
Carl M. Steubing was director of Mohawk Valley Chorus when, in the early 1960's he composed the music to a poem written by Dr. Miles J. Martin
Saturday 8/22/2020 Luke 1:38 "May it be done to me according to your word." Today we celebrate the Queenship of Mary. Mary's "yes" to the plan outlined by the angel Gabriel, is an act of courage and strength. The Lord of sea and sky, wind and rain, life and death, has called her and she took a risk - a big risk. But, she went forward. This musical selection gives voice to this "Yes" and challenges each of us to live the will of God. We, like Mary, follow and hold God's people in our heart through a life of service and contemplation. Take a moment today and listen to this popular song with the ears of Mary and again through your ears transformed. Peace, Owen
After a very long, draining week, today's reading from Ezekiel touched me and then the landed on this tune by Matt Maher. Joy did not always come in the morning but I did keep praising the Lord. waiting for my grave to open. What were your trials this week? Will you keep focused on praise of the Lord? I hope so. Owen
Ezekiel 37: 13-14
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
Thursday 8/20/2020. Maybe it is because I have been working on our children's liturgy or that the upbeat nature of this selection blew into my head when I read the gospel, but please indulge me a little nostalgia. Yes, the tune is simple, the fidelity of the sound is not up to our current standards, and it the interpretation of the story does not exactly match the last line of the gospel "Many are invited, but few are chosen.” It does link the reading from Ezekiel and the gospel - God call's we have to respond or we live with the consequence. So not all music has to be "high brow." On this Memorial of St Bernard, let today's children's tune from your author's childhood, bring you a smile and an ear worm about discipleship. Owen
Wednesday 8/19/2020. Psalm 23. I was so relieved to see this psalm as the appointed psalm of the day. I love this setting and hope opens you to the power of grace that comes when you are anointed and your cup overflows. I needed to be reminded that kindness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. I guess I am tired, really tired. How about you? Owen.
Tuesday 8/18/2020 Today's readings bring together two important elements for us.In the reading from the prophet Ezekiel (28:1-10), the people of Israel are chastised "Because you are haughty of heart, you say, “A god am I! I occupy a godly throne in the heart of the sea!”— And yet you are a man, and not a god, however, you may think yourself like a god." Jesus summarizes his teaching on discipleship with the very well known phrase "But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” (Matthew 19:30). Following the will of God's love requires a humble heart and gentle spirit of service. The message is clear today, get with the program. How can we accomplish this every day? Peace Owen
Monday 8/17/2020 Today's gospel reading ends:
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went away sadly, for he was very rich." There are days when this is my experience. I am rich in possessions, talents, people, ...God's has blessed me greatly. I often don't want to give them up! I try to not fall into the trap of this young man but struggle to give it all, give my heart to God. It is not so simple. How about you? Peace, Owen
Saturday 8/15/2020. Solemnity of the Assumption. Sister says things which weave a tremendous tapestry to will elegance. She is very scholarly, don't let her academic frame distract you from her powerful message. The promise of the process is what we each live. Peace, Owen.
Friday 8/14/2020 St Maximilian Kolbe, was a Polish Catholic priest and Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the German death camp of Auschwitz, located in German-occupied Poland during World War II. Under the guidance of St Pope Paul VI, This very traditional hymn popped into my head when considering Kolbe's life. This version moved me. Are we really ready to say "Take my life," and mean it even in the smallest ways each day? I really wonder about me. How about you? Peace, Owen.
Thursday 8/13/2020 Another unlikely person who was recognized as a saint....Hippolytus was both an anti-Pope and a strong defender of orthodoxy, and admitted his excesses by his humble reconciliation. He was not a formal heretic, but an overzealous disciplinarian. What he could not learn in his prime as a reformer and purist, he learned in the pain and desolation of imprisonment. How are we over zealous and not open to the message of the Gospel? Do we need an imprisonment to teach us the ways of the Lord? Peace. Owen
Wednesday 8/12/2020. St Jane Frances de Chantal.
We continue today with our reflection on Saints. Today Saint Jane Frances de Chantal. She founded the religious Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. The order accepted women who were rejected by other orders because of poor health or age. When people criticized her, Chantal famously said, "What do you want me to do? I like sick people myself; I'm on their side." During its first eight years, the new order also was unusual in its public outreach, in contrast to most female religious who remained cloistered and adopted strict ascetic practices. Can you just hear God saying "I'm not finished yet"? Her own life was one of continuous trial. Her mother died when she was 18 months old,At 21, she married Baron de Chantal, by whom she had six children, three of whom died in infancy. Jane’s husband was killed after seven years of marriage, and she sank into deep dejection for four months at her family home. Her father-in-law threatened to disinherit her children if she did not return to his home. He was then 75, vain, fierce, and extravagant.
Jane Frances was 45 when she founded the order. She underwent great sufferings: Francis de Sales died; her son was killed; a plague-ravaged France; her daughter-in-law and son-in-law died. She encouraged the local authorities to make great efforts for the victims of the plague, and she put all her convent’s resources at the disposal of the sick.
Again, you can hear God saying "I'm not finished yet?" Are we open to hearing that same refrain in our own lives? "I'm not finished yet."
Tuesday 8/11/2020. Today we celebrate the Feast of St Clare of Assisi, St Francis' trusted companion. This brief video provides a glimpse into her profound connection with the Divine and her instruction to us all. Peace, Owen
Monday 8/10/2020 This week is filled with memories of saints. We began with Dominic over the weekend, today we celebrate St Lawrence, a deacon who was killed in the Roman persecutions in 258 ad. Imagine the faith he showed and the inspiration he gave that people were moved to celebrate his life across Rome. Certainly, he felt his chains were gone. Do we? Peace Owen.
Saturday 8-8-2020. Feast of St Dominic. Matthew 17:14-20
Friday 8/7/2020 Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life? Matthew 16:24-28
Thursday 8/6/2020 Hello My Friends, Working with spotty internet on my phone, still feeling the impact of the storm, I wanted to get something out to you. Today's scripture is from Jeremiah. Take a moment to read the text and reflect while listening to this lovely rendition. Peace. Owen
Jeremiah 31: 1-7
At that time, says the LORD,
I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel,
and they shall be my people.
Thus says the LORD:
The people that escaped the sword
have found favor in the desert.
As Israel comes forward to be given his rest,
the LORD appears to him from afar:
With age-old love I have loved you;
so I have kept my mercy toward you.
Tuesday 8/4/2020 I have looked and looked for a better version of this Psalm but not to be found. So sorry for the quality. This has been an earworm for me all day so it must mean I am to share it. I apologize.
Tuesday 7/28/2020. Selection from Selection taken from Radcliffe, T. (2012) I call you friends.Bloomsbury, pg. 82. God is greater than we can hold.
on taken from Radcliffe, T. (2012) I call you friends.Bloomsbury, pg. 82. God is greater than we can hold.
Monday 7-27-2020. Selection from Selection taken from Radcliffe, T. (2012) I call you friends.Bloomsbury, pg. 81. We cannot know the fullness of God.
Wednesday 7/22/2020. Music for reflection on the Feast of Mary Magdalene.
Friday 7/17/2020. He's Got the Whole World in His Hands.
Thursday 7/2/2020. Psalm 91. This is a story full of love.
Monday 6/29/2020. 2 Timothy 4:17-18; Snatched from the jaws of the lion everyday of our lives.
Saturday 6/27/2020 Matthew 8:5-17
Friday 6/26/2020. Matthew 8: 2-4 . Jesus heals us as he healed the leper. Owen
Thursday 6/25/2020. Matthew 7: 21-29; Built on the rock of faith nothing can shake us.
Wednesday 6/24/2020. Acts 13:23; Saint John the Baptist, Live humbly
Tuesday 6/23/2020, Matthew 7; Golden Rule
Monday 6-22-2020. Psalm 60; Hold fast to your faith.
Saturday 6-20-2020 Luke 2: 41; Immaculate Heart of Mary; Blessed Mother as a good mom.
Friday 6-19-2020. 1 John: 16; God is Love: Take up My Yoke
Thursday 6-18-2020. Matthew 6:7, Lord teach us to pray, The Lord's Prayer
Wednesday 6-17-2020. Psalm 31
Tuesday 6-16-2020. Matthew 5:43-48. Love your neighbor
Monday 6-15-2020. Matthew 5:38. Turn your cheek
Tuesday 6-9-2020 (light of the world; Matthew 5: 13-16)
Eucharist 1/10/2021. The Baptism of the Lord, Year B
Eucharist 12/20/2020. Advent 4. Year B.2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16 ; Romans 16:25-27 ; Luke 1:26-38.
Eucharist 12/6/2020. Advent 2 Year B. Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; 2 Peter 3:8-14 ; Mark 1:1-8
Eucharist 11/29/2020. Advent 1 Year B 11-29-2020. Isaiah 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37
Eucharist 11/1/2020. All Saints Day. RV 7:2-4, 9-14 ; PS 24:1BC-2, 3-4AB, 5-6 ; 1 JN 3:1-3; MT 5:1-12A
This is a "rerun." Sinuses have me down, so sorry. Back next week!Blessings and peace, Owen
Eucharist 10/11/2020. Eucharist 28th Sunday Ordinary Time. Isaiah 25:6-10A; Psalm 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6; Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20 ; Matthew 22:1-14. Come to the Feast.
Eucharist 10/4/2020 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. Isaiah 5:1-7, Philippians 4:6-9 , Matthew 21:33-43. Look to the good and find peace.
Eucharist 9/27/2020. 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. Ezekiel 18: 25-28; Philippians 2:-11; Matthew 21:28-32; Put on the mind of Christ.
Eucharist 9/20/2020. 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. Isaiah 55: 6-9; Philippians 1: 20-27, 27. Matthew 20: 1-16A.
Eucharist 9/6/2020. 23rd Sunday in Ordinary time Year A. Ezekiel 33:7-9, Romans: 13:8-10, Matthew 18: 16-20
Eucharist 8/30/3030 22nd. Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. Jeremiah 20: 7-9; Romans 12: 1-2; Matthew 16:21-27
Eucharist 8/23/2020. 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time. Isaiah 22: 19-23; Romans 11:33-36; Matthew 16: 13-20
Eucharist 8/16/2020. 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. Isaiah 56:1, 6-7; Romans 11: 13-5, 29-32; Matthew 15: 21-28
Eucharist 8/2/2020. 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. Isaiah 55:1-3; Romans 8:35, 37-39; Matthew 14:13-21. We are fed and nourished without limit.
Eucharist 6-21-2020 12 Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A; Jeremiah 20:10-13; Romans 5:12-15; Matthew 10:26-33; Be a Saint
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