Breaking And Entering – Good News for January 15

15 01 2010

Mark 2:1-12

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.

They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way?  He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?”

Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”

He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

The Daily Path: Seems that sometimes we have to break through the barriers in our own lives so that we can present ourselves to Christ for healing.

What a great story. No scribe could put a damper on the joy of this event.





Convulsions – Good News for January 12

12 01 2010

Mark 1:21-28

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.

In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”

Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet!  Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.

All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

The Daily Path: In today’s Gospel, Mark describes the violent convulsion of an unclean spirit as Jesus commands its departure from a man present during His teaching. It reminds me how I often struggle to retain something that is not good for me before finally casting it aside with some sort of little explosion.

For example, think of the times we feel the need to be right about something. We’ll go out of our way to prove ourselves correct. Sometimes this causes damage to a relationship. On those occasions when I can accept being wrong, it often requires a little convulsion on my part before I can let go. I don’t go screaming out of the room, but there is some upheaval that occurs within before “the demon” is expelled.

Another example of these convulsions (conversions) often comes in asking forgiveness. Think of the times you’ve done something to cause hurt. How long before you ask forgiveness… assuming you d0? I know that all too often I’ll chose to dwell for an extended period in the House of Ego, blind to the truth, all the while allowing a false sense of self-righteousness to fester away at the wounds inflicted. Then, after an epic struggle within, the light of truth suddenly breaks through and I accept what must be done. In that moment of final convulsion comes great relief, and best of all… inner peace.





A Centurion’s Faith – Good News for June 27

27 06 2009

Matthew 8:5-17

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”  

He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”

The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven, but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.

The Daily Path: How is it that a Roman Centurion, someone of great stature and essentially an enemy of Jews and Christians alike, could display one of the greatest acts of faith ever chronicled? Yet for me, someone who professes to love the Lord, the ability to always hand my burden over to God with complete faith remains such a challenge. 

Room to Chat: Lord, please hold Dominika close in the days ahead as she resumes the battle with cancer. Take away this infirmity for with You all things are possible.





Not Seeing Is Believing – Good News for May 30

30 05 2009

Matthew 8:5-17

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”

The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven, but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons,
and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.

The Daily Path: I’m amazed at how often signs come into our life at the exact time we need them the most. Today’s Gospel is one of those instances.

Don’t stop believing.

Room to Chat: There’s always time to consider the blessings in your life. Sometimes we lose sight of them as we deal all the heavy stuff.





GodCorp – Good News for April 27

27 04 2009

John 6:22-29

After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea…

The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.

And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” 

So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”

The Daily Path: Believing in Jesus is the work of GodCorp.

Imagine… an institution that will never require a bailout! The one true, rock solid, blue chip corporation who’s chief executive is beyond reproach. We do the work and GodCorp will always pay a dividend. 

I can hear old Stan Doubtsall, “There you go again, asking me to take a leap of faith. Based on what?”

That’s correct Stan. Think about all the “sure thing investments” you’ve made in your life. Every single one of those was a leap of faith. Why do you doubt now? Ask yourself this, “Of all your solid investments, do you have absolute proof that have any paid in currency that will hold eternal value?” Bread will crumble. Fish will rot. Currency will falter. But God’s love and care will never fail. That’s the promise. All you have to do is believe in the Son of Man.

Stan, I know it’s hard, but everything in life is hard. You invested in a company with the goofiest name of all time, one that didn’t even have a business plan when it started (Google). Won’t you just give GodCorp an opportunity to perform?

Room to Chat: If you’re a new investor or an established one, just take a moment today and think about something good in your life.





Pick Up Your Mat – Good News for February 22

22 02 2009

Isaiah 43:18-19; 25

Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?… It is I, I, who wipe out, for my own sake, your offenses; your sins I remember no more.

Mark 2:1-12

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.

Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way?  He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?”

Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves,  so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk?’ But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” —he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”

He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

The Daily Path: Not that long ago, I was deeply troubled by some things that had occurred in my past. In my younger days I had committed some terrible sins. The memory of these acts were painful and had grown to haunt me no end. Finally, I decided to seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is another story in and of itself. 

During the course of my confession, Father said some things that struck home and have stayed with me since that day. He told me: “Jesus knows what is in your heart.” He also went on to suggest that “I had to forgive myself.”

These words came to mind as I reflect on today’s readings. In Isaiah we hear that we have to let go of the past because God forgives us and then forgets our sin. He’s moved on so it’s time for us to do the same.

In Mark’s Gospel, he writes that Jesus knew what was in the hearts of the Pharisees when the paralytic was brought before Him. Jesus knows what is in our own hearts, too.  

While I will always regret the transgressions of my past, I no longer carry them around like the heavy chains of Jacob Marley. Jesus knew I was truly sorry. Understanding that was enough to allow me to let the healing begin.

Room to Chat: Find a moment to examine your heart and let God heal your wounds.





“Amazing” Tabloids – Good News For January 16

16 01 2009

Mark 2:1-12

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way?  He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?”

Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves,  so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” – he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone.

They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

The Daily Path: There are many themes in Scripture that we often see repeated. One is the astonishment of those who witness the miracles that Jesus performs. I believe we are surrounded by miracles, but in the vast majority of cases we’re too busy to see them. Imagine if the evening television tabloids were focused on the amazing work of God in our midst, instead of the colossal failures of the human spirit. I’d much rather witness those amazing acts than the false sensation of fallen celebrity. 

“Tonight on The Insider… Britney Spears opens a shelter in New Orleans for woman caught in the vicious cycle of drug addiction and prostitution. And later, hear why rapper Kanye West donated all proceeds from a recent Los Angeles performance to establish a trust fund for three children who lost their parents in gang related violence. These amazing acts and more coming up next…”

Room to Chat: How about a quiet reflection with God this very moment? He’s sitting right next to you.