On The Road – Good News for September 16

16 09 2010

Luke 8:1-3

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.

The Daily Path: Like Jesus’ band of followers, we are all on the road. Some recognize this, others don’t. I’ve been blessed to have fellowship on my spiritual journey. God has brought people into my life with whom I can share the road home. I truly enjoy their company on a deeper level than with most. I’m genuinely happy when I see them out and about, or have the chance to spend time in their presence. It’s comforting to know we are on the same journey.

This fellowship also provides for one another when the road becomes difficult. The resources we share may be a simple smile, a kind word, or a virtual hug, but the value often exceeds gold and provides sustenance for another day.

A credit card ad campaign asks the question “What’s in your wallet?” as if credit will provide all the resources you need. But I would ask, “Who walks alongside you in the true fellowship?”





Lighten the Load – Good News for June 13

13 06 2010

Luke 7:36- 8:3

A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

“Tell me, teacher, ” he said.

“Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?”

Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.”

He said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven because she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”

He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.

The Daily Path: This morning I woke up from a troubling dream. In the dream I had lashed out at someone. My heart was heavy from the experience and as I sit down to write today’s GNTG, I can still feel the hurt that generated the sequence of events. However, once again my practice of reading the Gospel to start my day has helped get my mind and heart back in alignment.

Yes, the circumstances of my dream may have basis in real life, but rather than continuing to harbor anger, Jesus has demonstrated that true path. Forgiveness.

Today is Sunday. Where will you lighten the load you carry in your heart?





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?





Is It Me? – Good News for March 31

31 03 2010

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.”

Room to Chat: Rabbi, help me to look beyond the darkness to always see the promise of Your light.





Tropical Garden – Good News for January 27

27 01 2010

Mark 4:1-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea. A very large crowd gathered around him  so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land. And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them:

“Hear this! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain. And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. He answered them, “The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.

Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. But they have no roots; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

The Daily Path: When lava emerges from the depths of the earth, it’s molten hot. Nothing stands in its way. With exposure to the outer atmosphere of water and air, it starts to cool, comes to rest and begins to harden. For centuries it retains its sharp, rocky characteristics. But it’s also very porous. Millions of tiny openings wait for particles to come to rest and fill its little caverns. Eventually the lava does break down and ultimately becomes rich soil where, with some water, lush tropical gardens grow. But without the water, nothing will grow.

I recall the period in my life when Scripture had no meaningful place. My soil was all pathway made of lava rock. Despite the periodic opportunities I was presented to embrace the Word and allow it to sink in, it really had no chance to take hold. In most cases, I embraced my cravings and the hard rocky exterior. In doing so I just wouldn’t permit penetration to occur.

Of course, I do remember moments over time when I flirted with the Word. Little particles fell into my pores. But, just as Jesus describes in this parable, the interest quickly faded, once again overcome by the allure of the world. My rock was not yet rich soil.

But here I am, seemingly centuries later. Now there is soil. In the relatively short period since my reconversion, the seed of the Word has taken root. In many ways it has sprouted and shot up like a weed in the spring. But is this flower just a weed born of shallow soil and week roots? Will the waters of His grace continue to nourish my roots so that I can grow stronger and withstand the heat of this life?

I don’t think God has gone to all the trouble of getting my attention just to allow me to wither away. But I don’t expect it will be easy. In my little microclimate of spirituality, there will be drought that follows spring. Stark winter to follow the vibrant colors of autumn. But in those times when my roots will be tested, there is a constant… the Word. And in the Word exists the hope that a lush tropical garden will eventually spring forth for the rest of my days.





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.