Your Star – Good News for January 2

2 01 2011

Matthew 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.

Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.”

After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

The Daily Path: We know very little about the Magi who followed the star in search of the Savior. We can’t say for sure what lands they came from, only that they were called to follow that star, honor the child and heed divine warning. I’d like to think that they were driven onward by one thing, finding Christ. Perhaps it’s over simplifying matters but by now you should know that I like simple.

I didn’t have a star guiding me from up in the sky showing me the way back to my faith, but I did have signs from heaven (God). I believe that we all do. I continue to look and listen for God’s presence in my life. The Star of Bethlehem is everywhere for us to follow, if we look and are determined to find God in our life.

Look up. Look down. Look around. Find your star.





Unfailing Stream – Good News for June 30

30 06 2010

Amos 5:14-15, 21-24

Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly will the Lord, the God of hosts, be with you as you claim! Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; Then it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph.

I hate, I spurn your feasts, says the Lord, I take no pleasure in your solemnities; Your cereal offerings I will not accept, nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings. Away with your noisy songs! I will not listen to the melodies of your harps. But if you would offer me burnt offerings, then let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream.

The Daily Path:… let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream.” I’d like to be the unfailing stream of goodness that Amos speaks of in this passage from the Old Testament. Not easy. Yesterday, I felt more like a puddle of mud and frustration. No one likes to dwell next to that!

Until now, I didn’t know anything of Amos or who he was. According to online resources, Amos was the first of the biblical prophets who lived about 750 years before the birth of Christ. For those of you tracking the prophet roster, Amos predated Isaiah. He preached in Judah – in the area of Northern Israel – during a time when the people of Israel had reached a low-point in their devotion to God. They had become greedy and stopped following the accepted values once adhered to.  The wealthy were becoming rich at the expense of others.

Away with the noisy songs and harps! To become a flowing stream of goodness and surging water of justice, I’ll have to dam up “ME” and swim in the “WE”.





Last Day of May – Good News for May 31

31 05 2010

Luke 1:39-56

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

The Daily Path: In the 16th century, Catholics in Italy began to hold devotions to Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus, during the month of May. I learned of this as a first grader attending St. Joseph’s Elementary School. Each day in May we would bring flowers from our gardens for placement around a statue of Mary. This seemed very appropriate as who among us would not wish to honor our mother? Especially young children not that far removed from their own mother’s womb.

Some of the flowers would be ornate arrangements and carefully wrapped in tissue paper, while others looked to be picked on the way to school and hastily packaged in crinkled aluminum foil. The amazing thing was that regardless of the presentation or state of these little offerings, great pride was evident on the faces of all my classmates. This was a very big deal for us. The intent was so pure. From the toughest kid to the wimpiest. Rich or poor. It didn’t matter. We all wanted to honor Mary.

I wonder how many of us still recall those days? And how many still hold the desire to honor the Blessed Mother of the Christ?





Our Mother – Good News for December 12

12 12 2008

Luke 1:39-47

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” 

The Daily Path: Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I encourage you to read the story of Our Lady’s appearance in 1531 to a native by the name of Juan Diego near Mexico City. She is the patroness of North America and protector of the poor and needy.

Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus, has played an important role in my life since my parents offered me up to Her as an infant. I often visit the Chapel at St. Mary’s College for contemplation and prayer. My favorite place to do so is in front of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. On numerous occasions, in the quiet peace of the chapel, I’ve asked Our Lady to carry my prayers to Her Son on my behalf. I know that some of these prayers have been answered. 

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. You are blessed among women. And blessed is your Son, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, please pray for this sinner and all sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.