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.


Lunatics – Good News for August 8

8 08 2009

Matthew 17:14-20

A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said, “Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.”

Jesus said in reply, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring the boy here to me.”

Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?”

He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

The Daly Path: I’m a lunatic. too. I constantly fall into the fire and nearly drown on a daily basis. It’s no wonder that my parents spent decades asking Jesus to cure me.

He has cured me in the sense that I have opened my heart and mind to Him. Once again I am on the path home to the Father. Unfortunately, my dualistic thinking still takes me toward the flame. Perhaps in time, I can learn to have just 1/1000th of the seed of faith that Jesus offers and be done with these hard wired survival perspectives that protract my lunacy.

Room to Chat: Bob, I know some of your pain (lunacy). I pray the Shepherd finds you soon.


Shepherd’s Call – Good News for July 19

19 07 2009

St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 2:13-14

Brothers and sisters,

In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace… 

Mark 6:30-34

The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.  He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” 

People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

The Daily Path: I was far off for many years. There was no shepherd in my life. Then, one day not all that long ago, I was suddenly called back. In my return to God, I found peace and a sense of direction. Christ brought me back to the main flock.

Since then I have learned that although we love God and believe (as best as our flawed human selves are capable of) we can still get lost at times. Recent events in my own life have caused great fear and anxiety. In these days I felt lost and disconnected. In some ways I forgot where the spring of life really exists and the peace that flows from it. But the Good Shepherd is never far from his sheep. Though we may feel lost and tremble in fear… Christ will come to find us.

Over the past two days, I have felt more at peace than at any time in the past two months. I believe that once again… the Shepherd has come to find me.

Room to Chat: Father, thank you for taking pity on me and bringing some peace back to my life. Please keep all of us who are fearful close to You. Continue to calm our fears. 


Where’s That Kid Now? – Good News for March 19

19 03 2009

I know the Shepherd went dashing off after me…

Luke 2:41-51

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.

The Daily Path: Most parents have experienced that anxiety filled moment when you suddenly realize that your child is missing. It only takes a second. You turn around and Poof! Your little charge has wandered off into a crowd. (I don’t know how M & J could have gone a whole day without noticing Jesus was missing but I’ll cut them some slack.) Those minutes of panic are some of the worst, especially in this day and age of child predators. You run around checking every nook and cranny calling out there name. You can’t help but think the worst.

When you finally locate your child (seconds seem like hours) it’s as if a huge weight were lifted and you feel the greatest sense of relief rush through your body. Chances are you gather them up in a big hug… then give them a lecture just as Mary and Joseph gave to Jesus. “Where the… Why have you…”

I wonder if God feels the same way when we wander off? “Where’s that kid now?” I know the Shepherd went dashing off after me. When he finally found me he gave me a giant hug… without the lecture.

Room to Chat: Maybe one of our reflections today will include a little prayer that God comes to find someone we know who is lost. Maybe it’s even us. I think I get a little lost on a daily basis.