Perfect Storm – Good News for January 2

2 02 2011

Mark 6:45-51

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.

The Daily Path: How often do we find ourselves in the storm of life, rowing madly to stay afloat. But all the rowing in the world won’t save me if I’m not in control to begin with. Having faith that God is in control and will provide all I really need is what’s important to remember.

Recently a good friend of mine received news that he was being sent on a rotational assignment. He loved his work and the people he worked with. The news left him stunned and devastated. In many cases these rotations turn out to be a permanent shift intended to provide greater exposure to the participant. The position my friend was in made him happy and enabled him to use all of his amazing talents. His leadership brought the best out in his team that in turn brought great profit to the company. As I thought about the situation I felt his pain. It didn’t seem fair or very rationale.

Then I recalled that God gives us what we need. It started me thinking about what my friend could do while on the “rotational” assignment. The group he will be working with finds itself in a very stressful situation as they face a major challenge. From what I’ve heard, it’s not a very joyful work environment at the moment. That’s when it struck me that my friend could once again use his skills and leadership talents to help calm the storm and bring some joy to that space. It may be the perfect storm situation that God is asking him to calm.

Please pray for my friend and ask the Holy Spirit to activate some radical grace within him. As Richard Rohr would say, it’s change like this that puts us on the road to being blessed.





Love Brotherhood – Good News for January 29

29 01 2011

St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 13:1-8

Even if I can speak in all the tongues of earth—and those of the angels, too—but do not have love, I am just a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophesy such that I can comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge, or if I have faith great enough to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give away everything I own to feed those poorer than I, then hand over my body to be burned, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind.  Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, and it is not snobbish; it is never rude or self-seeking; it is not prone to anger, nor does it brood over injuries.  Love doesn’t rejoice in what is wrong, but rejoices in the truth.  There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.

Love never ends.

The Daily Path: Much of the world’s unrest is being fostered by political ambitions hiding behind religion. Clearly the devil has found his unwitting disciples at home and abroad. As I read St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, I couldn’t help but wonder what might occur if we saw a global uprising sparked by the Love Brotherhood?

A simple question to all: Does the road to heaven require a gun and a bomb or love, compassion and understanding?





Doctors of Church – Good News for January 28

28 01 2011

Mark 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds, “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”

He said, “To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”

With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

The Daily Path: Today the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas who was a priest and “doctor of the Church.” That leads me to a couple of thoughts. First, “What is church?” and second, “What is a doctor of the church?”

At risk of being branded “heretic” and excommunication at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition, here’s my interpretation:

I believe that church is each of us, the faith community. True church is all who hold God inside. It’s not a building. It’s not an organization. If anything divides on this earth it’s those two things. Church is coming together with God. If that is true then a doctor of church is one who aids in our spiritual health. One who helps us stay the course to and with God. A doctor of church is also one who plants the seed of God in others.

I believe each of us in our own way has the opportunity, perhaps even the obligation, to be doctors of church. Are you up for house calls?





On The Attack? – Good News for January 17

17 01 2011

Mark 2:18-22

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”

Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”

The Daily Path: “Who among us is without sin?”

Before I pick up these stones to throw, maybe I should ask myself if the intended target is doing the best they know how.





Pleasing – Good News for January 9

9 01 2011

Matthew 3:13-17

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.

After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

The Daily Path: Now that I am back working in the corporate world again, I am reminded how we strive so hard to meet our work goals and keep our boss happy. We put in lots of hours to do a good job. (Some put in twice as many hours in two jobs just to make ends meet or keep their families safe.) Like children who seek their parents approval, we workers also like to get positive feedback for a job well done.

What about with God?

The first half of life is all about achievement. Gathering. Securing our place. In that work we are so often busiest with eyes focused squarely on the prize of acquiring that all important stature on earth. In our charge up the hill of success, where is God? Are we as driven when it comes to our Father in heaven? Do we strive above all else to hear His voice? “This is my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased.”






Travel Log – Good News for January 3

3 01 2011

Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled:

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people. His fame spread to all of Syria, and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan followed him.

The Daily Path: This morning I’m packing my bags for a little trip. Actually, a big trip… around the Internet in search of the places mentioned in this morning’s gospel. I’ve never been to the Decapolis, have you? It would be nice to put some of the places where Jesus traveled in context. This might be a good year to become The Jesus Trekker! Bon Voyage





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.