Advent Day 4 – Good News for December 1

1 12 2010

Matthew 15:39-37

At that time: Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?”

Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.” He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.

The Daily Path: I used to think of miracles as the rarest of big events – like feeding a multitude with just a few fish and loves. Now I have come to see that miracles are also small actions that render an equally big impact in someone’s life. Restoration of sight isn’t only related to vision through one’s eyes. Feeding the hungry isn’t just about filling the stomach. Money isn’t the only means to lift someone off the ground. Advent is the time to consider how we, too, can create miracles in the life of another. Far reaching miracles that will touch us as well. Let your heart be moved.





Twelve Baskets – Good News for June 6

6 06 2010

Luke 9:11-17

Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God, and he healed those who needed to be cured. As the day was drawing to a close, the Twelve approached him and said, “Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”

He said to them, “Give them some food yourselves.”

They replied, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.” Now the men there numbered about five thousand.

Then he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty.” They did so and made them all sit down.

Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets.

The Daily Path: Have you ever taken a moment to step back from a perceived shortfall in your life to see the actual abundance that exists?

Today is Sunday. Where will you find baskets of abundance that exist in your life?





Common Miracles – Good News for April 16

16 04 2010

John 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.”

One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”

Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.

When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

The Daily Path: “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”

I’ve heard stories of the days of The Great Depression in the U.S…. yes, that would be the FIRST one that began in 1929 and lasted for most of a decade. During those times relatively few people had abundant reserves of anything. Yet, it was common for those who had a little something to share it with those who had nothing. A meal intended for four was stretched to provide sustenance for seven. More water and another precious potato was thrown into a pot of soup so the family next door could eat.

Once again, we are experiencing widespread economic crisis. I don’t think I need to remind anyone of what is going on. All you have to do is follow the news. However, today’s Gospel from John is very timely for all of us…

Common miracles occur every day. The realm of miracles is not that of Jesus alone to perform. Each of us are miracle workers in our own way. Miracles come in all shapes and sizes. Was one neighbor providing a helping of soup to another neighbor a colossal act? Of course not. It was a small sacrifice, but no less a miracle to the out-of-work father who couldn’t provide a meal to his children that evening.

Friends, I see miracles as the act of sharing our abundance. We all have some form of abundance, no matter how difficult our situation may be. There is always something that can be shared with others in need. And it’s not always about money. You’d be amazed at how a few words of encouragement shared at just the right moment can have a lasting and profound impact on someone who may be feeling desperate. Perhaps you have a skill or even just some time to share that can make a huge difference in one life or many. I’ll bet if you took a quick mental inventory of what you have to share, you’d be amazed at the abundance in your possession.

In this Gospel, we see how the fear harbored by Philip – over expense – was overcome by the hope of Andrew who saw where abundance existed. A few fish and a couple of loaves ultimately satisfied five thousand.

What’s in your basket of miracles?





Courage In The Storm – Good News for January 6

6 01 2010

Mark 6:45-52

After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray.

When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out.

They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”

He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.

The Daily Path: So often it feels as though I’m right there in the same boat with the Apostles. Raging storm all around. Despair building in my heart. I can see Jesus walking towards me but the terror continues. Fear overcomes what I know in my heart to be true. It’s in those moments that I forget His words:

“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”

What more do any of us really need to weather the storm? For in Him ALL things are possible.





Multiplication Table – Good News for January 5

5 01 2010

John 4:7-10

Let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.

In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we might have life through him.

In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

Mark 6:34-44

When Jesus 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. By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already very late. Dismiss them so that they can go to the surrounding farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

He said to them in reply, “Give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food and give it to them to eat?”

He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?  Go and see.” And when they had found out they said, “Five loaves and two fish.” So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass.

The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties. Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; he also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments and what was left of the fish.

Those who ate of the loaves were five thousand men.

The Daily Path: If there is one commodity that we as humans have infinite ability to multiply and meet demand, it has to be LOVE. Some may feel that we are also very good at multiplying hatred, but there is no demand for hate. Everyone has a primary need for love.

In the first reading, John defines love. I like to call John “Dr. Love” because he’s always prescribing the primary commandment for what ails us. He tells us that God is love and if we generate love we are of the Father.

In the second reading Mark recounts the miracle of the loaves and fish, as Jesus meets both the spiritual demand of 5,000 people through His teaching, and the physical demand for nourishment through food. Both are acts of love.

Holding these teachings side by side we get an incredible snapshot that is worthy of constant reflection: If each of us has been given the ability to generate love in all we do, then we have also have the ability to multiply love in everyone we touch. Love is the original viral network. One act of love (God) has the ability to infinitely multiply itself as it moves among many.

Imagine the impact just one person could have if their core mission in life was to generate a tiny act of love towards every single person they come in contact with. Imagine that person as YOU dispensing YOUR endless supply of loaves and fish (love = God).

What are you waiting for?





A Following – Good News for August 3

3 08 2009

Matthew 14:13-21

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.

When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”

He said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.” Then he said, “Bring them here to me,” and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over – twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.

The Daily Path: Over five thousand followed Jesus on foot to a deserted place. They carried no food for their physical sustenance… only the desire for spiritual nourishment from the Teacher. Yet, Jesus provided both. The same is true today for those who follow and believe in Him.

Room to Chat: Lord, remember Bob who is wandering the desert… searching. Help him find the way back to a seat at your banquet. Hold his family close and protect then from worry and need.

our_lady2





Do The Math – Good News for February 14

14 02 2009

Mark 8:1-10

In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, Jesus summoned the disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.”

His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?” Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They replied, “Seven.”

He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them,and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the crowd. They also had a few fish.
He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also.

They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets. There were about four thousand people. He dismissed the crowd and got into the boat with his disciples  and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

The Daily Path – Seven loaves and a few fish to feed four thousand. The math doesn’t add up. But Jesus wasn’t teaching his followers any mathematic principles of this world.

In these challenging times so many of us feel as though we are down to our last few loaves with many days of hunger still ahead. But as the disciples and many thousands discovered that day, Jesus takes care of those who follow Him. This was a lesson for the ages.

No matter how bad your current situation, trust that God will satisfy your needs. The  “math” won’t add up. Don’t even bother trying. But do believe with all your heart that God will care for you. He will hear your prayer. He will feed you. He will bring abundance and joy into your life. He has done it for me and will also deliver for you. 

Room to Chat: Right now, before you do another thing, ask God to take care of you and your family.