Daily Christ – Good News for April 8

8 04 2009

Matthew 26:14-25

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.'”The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” He said in reply, “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”

Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”

The Daily Path: I also want to share today’s First Reading from Isaiah (50:4-9)…

The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; And I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let him confront me. See, the Lord GOD is my help; who will prove me wrong?

Since I began Good News To-Go!, it has been my daily experience that God does indeed open my ear that I may hear. He’s done this morning after morning after morning after morning. Starting my day with Christ has made a remarkable difference in me. As stated previously, I’ve never before felt the sense of peace that I do now. As I told someone the other evening, I used to wake up every night filled with anxiety and in many cases anger. This poisoned my day and caused me to act in ways that were contrary to what is good (God) for me and my family. This simple shift in my daily routine has allowed Our Lord to help change all that.

I still get anxious because I’m human and life is hard, but now I have the ability to turn that worry over to God. There are still moments when I feel the rush to anger, but it no longer has a grip on me because somehow in the moment God opens my ears to what is happening. Beginning the day with God and keeping Christ close throughout has also instilled unwavering resolve to continue my spiritual journey home. It also provides courage to expose my vulnerability to others without fear of disgrace.

Having my “daily Christ” is good news, indeed! 

Room to Chat: As we pray for Michael over the remaining days until Easter, let’s also remember his family. Being a parent requires tremendous strength, courage and love even in the best of times. Lord, please continue to stand with Michael’s parents and family. Bolster their resolve to support Michael and grant them peace, unity and wisdom as they continue along their own journey. (See Room to Chat: Come Out – Good News for March 29)





Searching For Mr. Jesus – Good News for April 4

4 04 2009

They looked for Jesus…

John 11:45-56

Many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.” 

But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to kill him.

So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews, but he left for the region near the desert, to a town called Ephraim, and there he remained with his disciples.

Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves. They looked for Jesus and said to one another as they were in the temple area, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?”

The Daily Path: I think there are many people looking for Jesus. They just haven’t come to recognize Him yet. I’ve come to realize that Jesus is at every feast if we open our eyes to see Him.

This morning the parishioners of St. Monica’s gathered to bring the feast to the homeless of Oakland, CA. Jesus was in the kitchen wrapping sandwiches with the adults and packing cookies with the kids. Amazing!

Room to Chat: Lord, guard Michael, as a shepherd guards his flock.

(Today’s prayer for Michael adapted from Jeremiah 31:10. See Come Out – Good News for March 29)





Throwing Rocks At Jesus – Good News for April 2

2 04 2009

So they picked up stones to throw at him…

John 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.”  So the Jews said to him, “Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?” 

Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” 

So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

The Daily Path: While I have never intended to pick up a stone and throw it at Jesus, there have been times when I’ve thrown stones at others. Anger. Verbal attacks. Gossip. Hurtful acts. Until now, I’ve never looked at these “stonings” as being directed at God. But of course, they are. For He is the Father who lives within the targets of my assault. 

This is the first time I’ve read this passage from John, and I’m glad that I did.

Room to Chat: As you experience some joy in your day, please ask God to extend some of that grace all the way to Michael. (See Room to Chat: Come Out – Good News for March 29)





Chrysler Jesus – Good News for April 1

1 04 2009

John 8:31-42

Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free. I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you. I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence; then do what you have heard from the Father.”

They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.”  Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this. You are doing the works of your father!” So they said to him, “We were not born of fornication. We have one Father, God.” 

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”

The Daily Path: ABC News reports that a man who claimed to be Jesus was seen in San Francisco’s Tenderloin feeding the homeless from the back of a Chrysler station wagon.

Room to Chat: Lord, Michael is your son and our brother. Though he walks alone in the valley of shadow, let him know only your love. (See Room to Chat: Come Out – Good News for March 29)





The Pleasing-God-O-Meter – Good News for March 31

31 03 2009

I wish I had a Pleasing-God-O-Meter…

John 8:21-30

Jesus said to the Pharisees, “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”

He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.” 

They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father. So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.” Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

The Daily Path: Let’s break it down. Live in a way that is pleasing to God and we will not be alone, instead He will be with us. Seems that Jesus teaching is pretty simple. If only I had a Pleasing-God-O-Meter that sounded an alarm in my head when I’m about top act in a manner that is NOT pleasing to God.

What’s that you say? I do? My ubiquitous Catholic guilt?

Very funny. I want bells and whistles. On second thought, I might end up like Quasimodo from all that ringing. “The bells! The bells!”

Room to Chat: O LORD, hear our prayer for Michael, and let our cry come to you. Hide not your face from Michael in his days of distress. Incline your ear to him; in the day and night when he calls, answer him speedily. (Today’s novena prayer interpreted from Psalms 102:2)





Come Out! – Good News for March 29

29 03 2009

The dead man came out…

John 11:1-45

The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” When Jesus heard this he said, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.”

And when he had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

The Daily Path: If you have read some of the past 174 blogs I’ve posted here you may have a sense that Jesus called out to me, just as he once did to another dead man. I was not physically dead, although God gave me quite a scare a few years back. However, I was spiritually dead. I was in my tomb for a lot longer than four days. It was more like 30 years, and I’m sure that the stench of my decay was troubling to many. Fortunately, my tombstone was eventually rolled back and a loud voice that couldn’t be missed called: “Kin, come out!” 

Room to Chat: I would like to ask the readers of Good News To-Go! to keep a young man by the name of Michael in your thoughts and conversations with God, between now and Easter. Michael leads a troubled life that finds him in and out of group homes and court ordered incarceration. His adopted parents, some of the kindest people you could ever meet, are filled with anxiety each night, never knowing what the night will bring for their son. Please join me over the next 13 days in asking Jesus to call to Michael as he once did to Lazarus.