Touch Him – Good News for September 7

7 09 2010

Luke 6:12-19

Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:

Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

The Daily Path: This morning I woke up feeling a great heaviness after a night of troubled dreams. Then I read the words of Luke’s gospel: Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

Room to Chat: Jesus, count me among the great crowd of disciples who come to you for healing.





Empty Net? – Good News for September 2

2 09 2010

Luke 5:1-11

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”

When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon.

Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

The Daily Path: It’s hard to fathom how Simon and company could just walk away from what was possibly their most lucrative catch ever as fisherman. But in that moment they were touched by God. Suddenly these men were freed of “human think”, enabling them to follow Christ while leaving their livelihood and jackpot catch behind.

So often in the Gospel we hear Jesus say, “Do not be afraid.” Yet most of the time we cling to what we know, afraid to take that leap of faith… even when we know what we cling to is fleeting at best. The net before us may appear full but is it really?







Proclaiming the News – Good News for September 1

1 09 2010

Luke 4:38-44

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them.

At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.

At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

The Daily Path: I’m grateful to everyone who has been praying for my return to health. Your petitions have been heard as the pneumonia is now in check. The hard part is following my doctor’s orders to take it slow so the antibiotics can finish the job.

The medications prescribed have led me to sleep a lot. During my slumber I have had some very interesting dreams. If I had to sum them up, there is a recurring theme. We do not make this journey alone. Step back and examine what is happening in your life. You can’t help but see how the Shepherd is at work.





Foreign Relations – Good News for August 9

9 08 2010

Matthew 17:22-27

As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were overwhelmed with grief.

When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said, “Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes,” he said.

When he came into the house, before he had time to speak, Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?”

When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt. But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.”

The Daily Path: I would like to think that I have dual citizenship as a child of God and as an American. One status is greater than the other. Even though I live in what so many consider to be the greatest nation on earth, I am first a follower of Christ. In essence I am really a foreigner here. So as not to offend I pay taxes. I am committed to meet my earthly citizen obligations until the time when I am called home.

This is an act of faith. As Peter was instructed by Jesus, I fish to find the means to meet my obligations and sustain my citizenship – but it’s my first passport that I’ve come to honor most. Yet holding entry status among those who pursue the kingdom of God is not easy. Like all of us, I am conflicted on a daily basis. Give unto God in what I am doing or give unto Caesar?

When I stand before the border guard between this life and the eternal, only one passport will gain me access. Will my faith have been strong enough to open the gate?





Reconnecting – Good News for April 7

7 04 2010

Luke 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?”

They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”

They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his Body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.”

And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures.

As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.

Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”

So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the Eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

The Daily Path: This week we are reading about how Jesus is reconnecting with his friends and disciples following His Resurrection. The selected passages are exciting and full of joy. Who doesn’t like a happy ending?

As I reflect on these readings, it seems that each day we are presented with opportunities to reconnect with Christ in some way. It may be a big renewal, like after thirty years of separation, or perhaps a small one, say after three hours during which time He has not been centered in our heart. I have found it easy to get lonely when I don’t feel connected to God. This feeling of disconnection can also translate into fear. Yes, friends, I am needy, but I take comfort in knowing that we are all a needy bunch. I believe God likes it that way.

A good friend recently reminded me that during the times of crisis in our lives we have to place our worry with God… EVERY minute if need be. He’s correct. And while it’s good to run to the Father when we are hurting, I think we’d hurt less if we stay connected to Him all the time.

One of the other amazing things I have learned is that I often find Jesus walking towards me. Like the disciples in today’s Gospel from Luke, in some instances I don’t immediately recognize Him. Perhaps I’m too lost in momentary grief or too busy living in this world to see Him. But He is there. And He is always ready to reconnect with me, no matter if it’s thirty years or thirty seconds since we last embraced.





Called Up – Good News for January 23

23 01 2010

Mark 3:13-19

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.

He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

The Daily Path: Jesus has been back up on the mountain again, summoning individuals he wants on his team. This time it was Grant Desme who got the call. Grant is one of the Oakland A’s top baseball prospects in the Minor Leagues who just announced he’s leaving baseball to join the Catholic priesthood. This announcement comes after Desme was named the 2009 Most Valuable Player in the Arizona Fall League, a showcase for the games most promising talent.

Isn’t it amazing how God works? As I know from my own life, He seems to call us when we least expect it, and during those moments we are able to hear the phone ring.

Here’s some of what Grant had to say about the call:

“My injuries, I would say, would be the biggest blessing God’s ever given me. For my entire life, baseball’s been my life. I define myself as a baseball player, and when it was taken away from me, it was an eye-opener. I really started doing some soul searching of who I was and who I wanted to be, and this is where that’s led me.”

“Whenever I was able to talk to someone about God, or help someone, that made coming to the ballpark more enjoyable. I looked forward to that.”

“During my last game in the fall league, I hit a home run and proceeded to strike out twice, which was kind of ironic since that defined my career a bit. I knew there was a good chance it would be my last game, but there was no sad feeling. I figured whatever God wants is going to happen, and I’m going to pursue that.”

“I want to give my life completely to God out of love because of everything He’s done for me. Something like this is even very little compared to what He’s done for me.”

Truly, God has called Grant to the Big Leagues! I for one am rooting for him to hit the biggest home runs of his life while shepherding Christ’s flock. Somehow I know he will.

Room to Chat: Father, thank you for calling Grant to join your team. Let his actions become a signal for other young men and women to drop their nets and follow you.





Work Ethic – Good News for January 13

13 01 2010

Mark 1:29-38

On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.”

So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

The Daily Path: Be nice to your mother-in-law!