Advent Day 15 – Good News for December 12

12 12 2010

Matthew 11:2-11

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:

Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.

Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

The Daily Path: I credit Our Lady of Guadalupe for the miracle that led me back to her son. Mary is the ultimate intervenor on our behalf. What son can refuse his mother? If you are in doubt, troubled, or in pain, seek her out. She may ask something of you, but I know from my own experience that the Lady keeps her word.

Early on the morning of December 9, 1531, (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception), near Mexico City, a peasant Juan Diego saw a vision of a young girl of fifteen or sixteen, surrounded by light, on the slopes of the Hill of Tepeyac. Speaking in the local language, Nahuatl, the Lady asked for a church to be built at that site in her honor, and from her words Juan Diego recognized her as the Virgin Mary. Diego told his story to the Spanish bishop, Fray Juan de Zumarraga, who instructed him to return and ask the Lady for a miraculous sign to prove her claim. The Virgin told Juan Diego to gather some flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill. It was winter and no flowers bloomed, but on the hilltop Diego found flowers of every sort, and the Virgin herself arranged them in his peasant cloak. When Juan Diego opened the cloak before Zumárraga on December 12, the flowers fell to the floor, and in their place was the Virgin of Guadalupe, miraculously imprinted on the fabric.

The words spoken by Our Lady to Juan Diego on this day in 1531: Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?


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ME Second – Good News for July 17

17 07 2010

Matthew 12:14-21

The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.

When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many people followed him, and he cured them all, but he warned them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight;
I shall place my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope.

The Daily Path: Run out of town with the threat of death hot on his heels, Jesus stops and heals all those in need. Think about that! Mercy first. ME second.





Father Son One – Good News for May 1

1 05 2010

John 14:7-14

Jesus said to his disciples, “If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to Jesus, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.

Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”

The Daily Path: My high school soccer coach was a former European pro who played for Real Madrid in Spain. He left the game to become a Catholic priest. During practice, Fr. Pablo would get frustrated with us when we couldn’t execute some facet of the game that he spent many hours trying to teach us. I can still see his olive skin turning beet red underneath his scruffy beard, and hear his voice as he would emphatically ask in a heavy accent: “Robles! How I have to say to you?!”

I suspect that Jesus wanted to do the same thing with his disciples. Maybe he did and our faithful scribe John merely failed to add the exclamation points. Just as my coach tried to get me to have faith in what he was teaching, so, too, did Jesus try to get his team on board the concept that He and the Father are one. Simple, eh?

What do you mean, No??!!

“Stan! How I have to say to you?”






From A Distance – Good News for March 6

6 03 2010

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them Jesus addressed this parable.

“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.

When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.

Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’

So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began.

Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’

He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’“

The Daily Path: While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.

Like the youngest son, I, too, was a long way off when the Father saw me walking back towards home. He came running to me with open arms and glad heart. Since my return from the pork farm, I have been showered with His grace. God’s celebration feast has been a daily occurrence in my life.

Trust me friends. At this moment you may feel like a very long way from home, but our Father is really right there at your side. Just take a tiny step and He’ll see you. I know this to be true.





Observatory – Good News for October 30

30 10 2009

Luke 14:1-6

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?”

But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him.

Then he said to them  “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” But they were unable to answer his question.

The Daily Path: “On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully.”

As Catholics, how often are we observed? As Christians, how often do we observe?

Room to Chat: Lord, make me an instrument of peace. To be understood as well as to understand.

our_lady2





Bond of Love – Good News for October 28

29 10 2009

St. Paul’s letter to the Romans 8:31-39

Brothers and sisters,

If God is for us, who can be against us? He did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Who will condemn? It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.

What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written:

For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.

No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Daily Path: Experienced His love in your life? The line for those of us who are “convinced” forms behind St. Paul.

our_lady2





Just Let It Go – Good News for September 23

23 09 2009

Luke 9:1-6

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”

Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

The Daily Path: You have likely heard the recommendation to “Just let it go.” In other words, don’t let something continue to bother you. Move beyond it. I think this is part of the lesson that Jesus offers in today’s reading.

It’s my experience that we allow many things to get under our skin. We’re so concerned with being “wronged”, or in many cases “being right”, that we have great difficulty getting past it. We let the wound fester, in some cases for many years, allowing the poison to seep into other parts of our life.

Of the personal challenges I face, shaking the dust of perceived slights from my feet and discarding the need to be right, are right up there at the top of the list. But let me tell you something…. When I do manage to let these things go, it’s very liberating. Often times I can actually feel the weight being lifted! Isn’t it better to go down the path with a spring in our step rather than shuffling along carrying the burdens of things that really don’t matter in the scheme of life?

Shake the dust, my friends. Just let it go!

our_lady2