Advent Day 13 – Good News for December 10

10 12 2010

Matthew 11:16-19

Jesus said to the crowds, “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”

The Daily Path: Will I ever be satisfied? Will any of us be content with our material goods (gods)? Few are. And if that’s the case, it makes a fellow wonder if we will have the wisdom to recognize our Lord when He returns? Will I be wearing a Pharisee hat and blinders?

“I guess he could be.”

“He seems like he might be, but he hangs with those MUSLIMS.”

“No way! Last night he ate pizza with prison parolees.”

“Good grief. I saw him sitting on the Capitol steps with members of the Democratic Caucus.”

“He knocked over Rush Limbaugh’s microphone and destroyed the transmitter. How can someone who does that be the Lord?”

“He and his band spent the night at the home of a Serbian prostitute.”

See what I mean?





Advent Day 12 – Good News for December 9

9 12 2010

Matthew 11:11-15

Jesus said to the crowds, “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. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

The Daily Path: So many are without work this Christmas. Men and women, who up until recent years have never had to worry about paying the bills or feeding their kids, now find themselves feeling incredible anxiety. On top of it all Christmas is coming, adding worry related to the commercial side of the season. Then there are those who haven’t had a home to call their own for many years. They seek a shelter each night, hoping there will be room at the inn so they can avoid the peril of living on the streets.

Like Jimmy Stewart in the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”, I’ve been given a glimpse into what that side of life can be like. I’ve experienced what real worry is. I’ve laid awake at night wondering how I will care for my family and what the future holds. Fortunately, as with Stewart’s “George Bailey”, I had “Clarence the angel” enter my life in the form of people who genuinely cared about me. They helped me get through a bout with depression. They’ve provided opportunities to help us stay afloat when so many others have gone under.

I think of these blessings often as I move through Advent in a much better place than I was not very long ago. Like me, I hope you will reflect on the joy of blessings that have come your way in the past year. And while doing so, perhaps you’ll find a way to reach out to someone who might need a hand this Christmas season. Relieving worry can come in many forms. You’d be surprised at how the smallest things can make a difference in people’s lives. Believe me, for some it doesn’t take much to provide a peaceful night’s rest.

Be an angel this Advent. Hee! Haw!






Advent Day 8 – Good News for December 5

5 12 2010

Matthew 3:1-12

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.

John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

The Daily Path: John the Baptist is an Advent Man. He’s preparing the populace for the coming of Jesus. This is exactly what we should be doing in these days before we celebrate the birth of Christ. Do yourself a favor. Trade in a frantic holiday moment for some peaceful reflection with God.





Quiet Time – Good News for September 24

24 09 2010

Luke 9:18-22

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.'”

Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

The Daily Path: Prayer in solitude is refreshing. Try it and see.





The Faithkeeper – Good News for June 29

29 06 2010

Matthew 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The Daily Path: Who do I say that Jesus is?

Although I had the benefit of knowing the tradition of faith, handed down for over 2,000 years, I didn’t fully embrace Jesus as the Son of the living God until late in life. And even then it took some true acts of God to awaken the fire within me. Having this experience in my own life makes Simon Peter’s understanding even more remarkable. He knew our Lord and Savior before witnessing any of the events we now hold true as followers of Christ.

Room to Chat: Jesus, if it is your will, show me how I can be more like Peter, your faithkeeper, in my daily life.





By What Authority? – Good News for May 29

29 05 2010

Mark 11:27-33

Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached him and said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?”

Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”

They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”– they feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet. So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”

Then Jesus said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

The Daily Path: To whom do you give authority in your life?





Seeking Praise – Good News for March 18

18 03 2010

John 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews, “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true. But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true. You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.

But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?

Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”

The Daily Path: “How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?”

Driven. Relentless pursuit of success. Stature. Acceptance. These are a few of the things that come to mind when I read this passage from today’s Gospel. I know them because they have been a part of my being. For most of my life, going back to a very early age, I have yearned for the acceptance of others. In that pursuit I have led a very shallow life. I gladly accept praise from my brothers and sisters in an attempt to heal what Fr. Richard Rohr would call my “woundedness”, but only now do I see the false self behind this.

In recent times I have come to know the road that so many millions travel each day. Need, anxiety, and despair fill the vast majority of lives on earth, but they have never been part of my experience. In my life I have never known real worry. I have never truly held the hands that reached out to me in deepest despair. But now God has given me the chance to walk in the shoes of my brothers and sisters. And in doing so, He has begun to remove the false self that has prevented me from embracing the leper.

But why has He done this?

I can’t completely answer that. I’m still in the midst of it and have little perspective to analyze the situation – See? I’m still analyzing instead of trusting His plan! – But since I am an imperfect being, I will indulge my imperfection and offer this analysis: Perhaps God is taking me down this road to activate the radical grace within me, so that I will finally stop pursuing the acceptance of others (in all its forms) and start pursuing the only acceptance that matters… the praise of my Father in heaven.

Room to Chat: Father, you are allowing me to touch the wounds of your Son, the Christ. In doing so you have given me the ability to believe in You as never before. Continue to give me, and all who travel down this road, the courage and resolve to continue onward. Keep us in your light so that we may always see the way to You.