Facing The Truth – Good News for August 31

31 08 2009

Luke 4:16-30

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

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.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?”

He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb, ‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’”

And he said, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

The Daily Path: How often have I been confronted by the truth, only to be offended and attempt to drive it from my presence? But you can’t escape the truth. It always returns to dwell in your midst.

Room to Chat: Two members of my parish are seriously ill. One with pancreatic cancer. Another will have major surgery on his heart tomorrow. Please keep them in your prayers.

An Act of Contrition – Good News for August 30

29 08 2009

The Daily Path:

“(The) gift of faith has sustained and nurtured and provides solace to me in the darkest hours. I know that I have been an imperfect human being, but with the help of my faith I have tried to right my path.”

Senator Ted Kennedy

(Excerpt from his letter to Pope Benedict XVI that was hand delivered by President Obama on July 10, 2009)

This is not the gospel as handed down in Sacred Scripture, but when I heard this excerpt read during Ted Kennedy’s burial service at Arlington National Cemetery, the words echoed in my heart. Like Kennedy, and all of mankind, I too, am an imperfect being struggling on the road home to our Father in Heaven. And, as with Kennedy, it has been my faith and my renewal in Christ that provides the strength to continue on through the darkest of times.

We try to right our path and in doing so have faith that we will be forgiven.

Room to Chat: Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word…


Tranquility Base – Good News for August 29

29 08 2009

St. Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians 4:9-11

Brothers and sisters,

On the subject of fraternal charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. Indeed, you do this for all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Nevertheless we urge you, brothers and sisters, to progress even more, and to aspire to live a tranquil life, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you.

The Daily Path: When Apollo 11 landed on the moon some 40 years ago, the lunar module touched down in the Sea of Tranquility. The days leading up to that landing, and especially the moments before touchdown on the lunar surface, were far from tranquil. A nation watched with great anxiety wondering if the tiny spacecraft would land safely. I’m sure that at NASA’s Houston Control Center, where every detail of the mission was being micro-managed, the stress level must have been off the charts. All in all, the event was anything but peaceful.

Yet imagine when Neil Armstrong and Buz Aldrin stepped out of the landing module to surface of the Moon and its absolute stillness. There couldn’t be a more tranquil place in the universe.

Our lives can often feel like a space mission. Danger. Anxiety. Problems. Chaos. Fear. They lurk everywhere waiting to pounce on us.

Yet, I have found the one place of tranquility that truly exists in our life on earth. That place  is with God. For me, living a tranquil life is to bring Christ into my heart and mind. It’s in those moments when I consciously reach out to Him that if feel at peace. He is my Tranquility Base.


Lamplighters – Good News for August 28

28 08 2009

Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable, “The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.

Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’

While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

The Daily Path: As I believe that Jesus knows what is in my heart, I strive to keep it filled with love and compassion for Him in all things. This is not easy when facing the world we live in. The journey features hurdles around every corner. Frustration, anger, temptation and ego are never far away. As such, keeping the lamp of our hearts filled becomes more important to light the darkness in our life.

Room to Chat: Lord, help me to keep your spirit burning bright within as I face today’s challenges.


Shepherd’s Legacy – Good News for August 27

27 08 2009

Matthew 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples, “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

The Daily Path: The passing of Senator Edward Kennedy has unleashed a torrent of media coverage that would be expected for a man of his fame and stature in America. Stories swirl around the family legacy, his iconic brothers John and Robert, scandals, and the seemingly endless string of tragedy that has followed the Kennedy clan. Teddy was arguably one of the U.S. Senate’s greatest members ever, dedicating 5o years in pursuit of social justice. As remarkable as his legislative record was, it’s important to note his legacy acting as a shepherd of Christ on earth.

As I watch the media coverage, a theme emerges that is often overlooked when thinking of Sen. Ted Kennedy. It falls within Jesus’ teachings of charity and compassion that we read about in the gospels of St. John.

Countless members of the Senate recall how Ted Kennedy was the first person to be present for them in their hour of need. Teddy was always the first to call or visit. His outreach was not superficial, nor was it fleeting. Time after time, he acted as good shepherd to guide them through personal tragedy for as long as his presence was needed. And it was not just members of Congress. Kennedy reached out to strangers and people he barely knew. Their crisis resonated all too well with him.

Few people in history have dealt with the tragedies faced by Kennedy throughout his life. He knew the pain but did not allow it too consume him. Instead, he used these experiences to help others cope and move beyond their own suffering. I believe this may be Kennedy’s true and greatest legacy

In this calling, Edward “Teddy” Kennedy lived his life in the way of Our Shepherd.


Scabs – Good News for August 26

26 08 2009

Matthew 23:27-32

Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”

The Daily Path: Here’s another prompt to recall the folly associated with those facades we so often build around ourselves to achieve worldly acceptance.

While not the most appealing mental image, I’m reminded of the scab that forms over a wound. A scab is unsightly on the outside, but inside the miracle of healing is taking place. An unsightly exterior may not get you in the country club but God promises what’s inside us is our ticket into the Kingdom.

I’m for inner healing.