Twelve Baskets – Good News for June 6

6 06 2010

Luke 9:11-17

Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God, and he healed those who needed to be cured. As the day was drawing to a close, the Twelve approached him and said, “Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”

He said to them, “Give them some food yourselves.”

They replied, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.” Now the men there numbered about five thousand.

Then he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty.” They did so and made them all sit down.

Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets.

The Daily Path: Have you ever taken a moment to step back from a perceived shortfall in your life to see the actual abundance that exists?

Today is Sunday. Where will you find baskets of abundance that exist in your life?

Common Miracles – Good News for April 16

16 04 2010

John 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.”

One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”

Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.

When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

The Daily Path: “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”

I’ve heard stories of the days of The Great Depression in the U.S…. yes, that would be the FIRST one that began in 1929 and lasted for most of a decade. During those times relatively few people had abundant reserves of anything. Yet, it was common for those who had a little something to share it with those who had nothing. A meal intended for four was stretched to provide sustenance for seven. More water and another precious potato was thrown into a pot of soup so the family next door could eat.

Once again, we are experiencing widespread economic crisis. I don’t think I need to remind anyone of what is going on. All you have to do is follow the news. However, today’s Gospel from John is very timely for all of us…

Common miracles occur every day. The realm of miracles is not that of Jesus alone to perform. Each of us are miracle workers in our own way. Miracles come in all shapes and sizes. Was one neighbor providing a helping of soup to another neighbor a colossal act? Of course not. It was a small sacrifice, but no less a miracle to the out-of-work father who couldn’t provide a meal to his children that evening.

Friends, I see miracles as the act of sharing our abundance. We all have some form of abundance, no matter how difficult our situation may be. There is always something that can be shared with others in need. And it’s not always about money. You’d be amazed at how a few words of encouragement shared at just the right moment can have a lasting and profound impact on someone who may be feeling desperate. Perhaps you have a skill or even just some time to share that can make a huge difference in one life or many. I’ll bet if you took a quick mental inventory of what you have to share, you’d be amazed at the abundance in your possession.

In this Gospel, we see how the fear harbored by Philip – over expense – was overcome by the hope of Andrew who saw where abundance existed. A few fish and a couple of loaves ultimately satisfied five thousand.

What’s in your basket of miracles?

Saving Faith – Good News for November 11

11 11 2009

Luke 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed.

And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?  Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”

Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

The Daily Path: Ten men were healed, but only one gave thanks.

How often have I become so “comfortable” in my current condition that it’s difficult for me to see change? As I continue to focus and reflect on the abundance God has provided, it seems that I have acted more like the nine than the one. Have I truly recognized his redemption and returned to give thanks to God? Or have I been so busy “showing myself” that all too often I forget the source of all that I have been blessed with.

Room to Chat: Father, you alone have returned my sight. Help me to always see You, the one true source of abundance. Thank you!


Horn of Plenty – Good News for November 1

1 11 2009

John 3:1

See what love the Father has bestowed on us…

The Daily Path: As we enter the “holiday season” and prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord, please join in me in a daily reflection on the abundance God has provided in our lives.

My Horn of Plenty: Father, you’ve given me a baby who’s beautiful eyes hold only love and a smile that warms the coldest day.


Cheerful Giver – Good News for August 10

10 08 2009

St. Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians 9:6-10

Brothers and sisters,

Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

The Daily Path: One of the great blessings in my life has been the desire to pursue the presence of God and embrace Christ’s teachings. This wasn’t always so. For over thirty years I wandered the desert. Any attempt to find the Lord wasn’t done with a truly cheerful heart. As I recently told my fellow parishioners at St. Monica’s, I deeply regret every day in my life that I didn’t embrace God. I didn’t know what abundance I was missing out on.

Today, if you were to assess my balance sheet using the financial standards that so many hold above all else, you would see that I’m a junk bond at best. Yet, despite this current situation, I feel God has showered His abundance on me and my family. The piggy bank may lay shattered before me, but somehow, even miraculously, there is enough of what we need.

Yesterday. I had cause to sit back and shake my head in wonder over this abundance. I have a beautiful family each of whom possess amazing gifts that bring great joy to all they touch. We have our love for each other. We have our health. We live in a town that provides safety and a wonderful educational opportunities. We are members of a parish community that cares for not only its members, but all in need. We have friends and family who stand with us in the storm. We have enough to eat and a roof over our heads. And, most importantly… God has entered our lives.

Truly, it is my experience that God does shower His abundance to those who love and believe in Him. I pray that I will be ever mindful of this great lesson and always be the cheerful giver He asks of me.


The Provider – Good News for July 22

22 07 2009

Psalms 78:

They tempted God in their hearts by demanding the food they craved. Yes, they spoke against God, saying, “Can God spread a table in the desert?”

Yet he commanded the skies above and the doors of heaven he opened; He rained manna upon them for food and gave them heavenly bread.

Man ate the bread of angels, food he sent them in abundance. He stirred up the east wind in the heavens, and by his power brought on the south wind.

And he rained meat upon them like dust, and, like the sand of the sea, winged fowl, which fell in the midst of their camp round about their tents.

The Daily Path: I wonder how many times have I doubted God in my own heart? In the midst of anxiety I have overlooked the abundance he has provided… and will continue to provide.

Room to Chat: Father, forgive me for the doubt that creeps into my heart when I am blinded by despair. Even in human suffering you provide. Thank you for what I have been given.


Bundle Of Joy – Good News for March 20

20 03 2009

Today, I hope each of you will find a moment to share in the joy… 

Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?”

Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. 

The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he. And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself  is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

The Daily Path: In a few hours my wife will give birth to a baby girl. Once again we’ll be showered with God’s abundant grace as parents and as a family. Today, I hope each of you will find a moment to share in our joy. Perhaps as part of this celebration you will feel inspired to perform some small act of kindness towards another (love your neighbor). I can’t think of a better birthday gift to our baby. 

Room to Chat: Lord God, hold your child close today. Keep her safe in all ways. Help her mother and me to do the same this day and all days that she is in our charge. Fill our family with your grace. Provide the wisdom each of us will need to help guide her along the path to your Kingdom. Shower this baby with the complete joy of knowing you. May she always walk in the light of your love, never knowing fear or want. Amen.