60 Second Reflections

    Help My Unbelief

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    Today’s first reading is from the Book of Sirach. This is one of the books that you will find in a Catholic Bible, but not a Protestant one. I think it is one of the most beautiful books in all of Scripture. At the beginning of the book of Sirach, we read about Wisdom. There […]

    Perfectly Merciful

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    In the first reading today from Leviticus 19, the Lord says, “Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them: Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.” In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 5, Jesus says to his disciples, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Wow. That’s […]

    The Transfiguration

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    Our first reading for today is from Hebrews 11. Here we receive the definition of faith. We talked about this last month when we were reading from the book of Hebrews. “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” Our Gospel reading today is from Mark 9, the […]

    Tower of Babel

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    In our Gospel reading today from Mark 8, Jesus asks the question, “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” So many today are striving for riches, potentially at the cost of their souls. Sure doesn’t sound like a fair trade-off to me. If you do a cost/benefit […]

    Thinking Like God

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    In the first reading today from Genesis 9, God establishes a covenant with Noah and his family. Remember, they were the only humans on the planet at this point. He will never again destroy all living things with a flood. And as a sign of the covenant, God set his bow in the clouds. Every […]

    Incremental Healing

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    Did you know that Noah was over 600 years old at the time of the Great Flood? We see this in today’s first reading from Genesis 8. After the flood, God promises Noah, “Never again will I doom the earth because of man since the desires of man’s heart are evil from the start; nor will […]

    A Grieving God

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    In today’s first reading, we see God delivering some bad news to Noah. “I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created…for I am sorry that I made them.” Ouch! More on this in a moment. In the Gospel from Mark 8, Jesus warns his disciples to “Guard against the leaven […]

    Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

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    We have a very short Gospel reading today from Mark 8. The Pharisees are looking for a sign from Jesus. But Jesus tells them that “no sign will be given this generation.” What they failed to realize is that the sign was standing right in front of them. A good lesson for us to remember: […]

    Your Righteousness

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    Back in the Sermon on the Mount for our Gospel reading today. Jesus says, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Now, we don’t have a very high view of the Pharisees and the scribes. Jesus had some issues with them, too. I know […]

    The Devil Made Me Do It!

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    In today’s Gospel reading from Mark 8, we read about a miracle. Jesus feeds four thousand people with seven loaves and a few fish. And after everyone had eaten their fill, they picked up the fragments left over and got seven baskets full. Now that’s love! In the first reading today from Genesis 3, God […]

    The Fall

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    In the Gospel reading today from Mark 7, Jesus heals a deaf man with a speech impediment. “And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.” Let us pray today that God will open our ears to hear the truth, and that that hearing will result in us […]

    God’s Marriage Mistake?

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    Does God ever say no? Of course he does. But we must know that a “no” today may not mean a “no” for all time. We must persevere in prayer, especially when we’re not sure or we don’t think that God has answered our prayer. We see a shining example of this in today’s Gospel […]

    What Comes Out

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    In the creation story from Genesis 1, we don’t get details about how God made man. But in today’s first reading from Genesis 2, we see that “the Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.” […]

    In God’s Image

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    In the first reading today from Genesis 1, we see the rest of the story of creation. In the Gospel reading from Mark 7, Jesus talks about tradition. He says, “You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.” These traditions that Jesus condemns are not the same […]

    God of Creation

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    Today for our first reading, we begin at the beginning. Genesis 1. “In the beginning…” We’ll be in the book of Genesis for the next couple of weeks. Today we read about days 1-4 in the creation story. More in a moment. In the Gospel reading from Mark 6, we see Jesus once again healing. […]

    Salt of the Earth

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    For the Gospel reading today, we’re back in the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5, Jesus says to His disciples, “You are the salt of the earth.” I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before, right? “Oh, he’s a real salt of the earth type.” It means that they’re just regular folk. Someone who doesn’t […]

    The Lord is my Shepherd

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    Sheep and shepherds pop up throughout the readings today. In the first reading from Hebrews13 the author prays, “May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the Blood of the eternal covenant, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will.” […]

    Always the Same

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    Hebrews 13: 1-8, today’s first reading, offers us a primer on living the Christian life. Read it again and again, and strive to live out the message. More in a sec. The Gospel reading from Mark 6 is the story of the beheading of John the Baptist. It is a sordid tale of a promise […]

    The Reality of Mass

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    In the first reading today from Hebrews 12, we see an amazing glimpse of what the Mass is. In the Gospel reading from Mark 6, Jesus sends out the Twelve two by two and gives them authority over unclean spirits. This is especially important to Catholics, as we see Jesus giving His authority to the […]

    Consecrating Our Children

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    Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The Jewish people “presented” their children to the Lord in the temple shortly after their birth. In the first reading from Malachi 3, the Lord says, “And suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek.” And in the second reading […]

    Faith Healings

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    In today’s first reading from Hebrews 12, the Sacred Author tells us “we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.” A wonderful reminder that we are never alone. The angels and saints are constantly interceding for us. Take comfort in that, my friend! In the Gospel reading today from Mark 5, we see […]

    Battling Our Demons

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    In the first reading today from Hebrews 11, we hear about some wonderful, faith-filled characters from the Old Testament. Yet while they were “approved because of their faith, (they) did not receive what had been promised. God had foreseen something better for us.” Oh, God has something much better for us! In the Gospel today […]

    Blessed Are You

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    In the second reading today from 1 Corinthians 1, St. Paul says, “Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.” In other words, be poor in spirit. Our Gospel reading today is the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5. We know them as the Beatitudes. Have you ever read the Beatitudes in […]

    Do You Not Care?

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    Faith (or a lack thereof) is the golden thread that runs through the readings today. In the first reading from Hebrews 11, we see the definition of faith, followed by a teaching on Abraham, the father of the faith. How appropriate. Then in the Gospel reading from Mark 4, a storm comes on the sea […]

    You Need Endurance

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    Christianity ain’t for quitters. And becoming a saint (isn’t that our goal?) isn’t easy. We get a glimpse of this in our first reading today. In the Gospel reading from Mark 4, we hear two parables from Jesus describing the Kingdom of God. “You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what […]

    How To Rouse One Another

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    I love today’s reading from Hebrews 10. The Sacred Author gives us some great advice. More on that in a moment. We get some scary words from Jesus today in our Gospel reading from Mark 4. “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.” Yowza! You mean that we will be […]

    Burning Brightly

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    Today the Church celebrates the feast of Saints Timothy and Titus. It is a special day for my parish, as I attend St. Timothy Parish. Because it is a shared feast day, we have an option of two first readings, one from 2 Timothy and one from Titus. I’d like to concentrate today on the […]

    Converting Our Hearts

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    Today is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. We see the story of Saul’s (Paul’s birth name) conversion in two places in Acts of the Apostles. In chapter 9, the account is told in third person. Luke, the author of Acts, recounts the story. However, in chapter 22 of Acts, St. Paul tells […]

    Division = Failure

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    In the first reading today from Hebrews 9, we read more about Christ’s once for all sacrifice, and about the judgement at Jesus’ second coming. In the Gospel reading from Mark 3, Jesus is accused of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons. Jesus’ response talks about how a house divided […]

    Goin’ Fishing

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    Part of the first reading today from Isaiah is one that we see during Christmas. And in the second reading from 1 Corinthians 1, St. Paul makes a plea for unity among the believers. In the Gospel reading today fromMatthew 4, we read about the call of the first disciples. Simon and Andrew were brothers, […]

    Right to Life

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    Today is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America. A sad day, indeed. At Catholic churches across the United States, today is observed as a day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the […]

    A New Covenant

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    In our first reading today from Hebrews 8, we hear about covenant. How Jesus is the “mediator of a better covenant, enacted on better promises.” More thoughts on covenant in a moment. Our Gospel reading today, from Mark 3, has Jesus naming the Twelve, “whom He also named Apostles.” These were the first bishops of […]

    Once for All

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    In the first reading today from Hebrews 7 & 8, the sacred author talks about the once for all sacrifice of Christ. “He has no need, as did the high priests, to offer sacrifice day after day, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did that once for all […]

    Melchizedek

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    The author of Hebrews was big on Melchizedek, and his “relationship” to Jesus. More on that in a moment. In the Gospel reading from Mark 3, Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the sabbath. Once again the Pharisees, itching for a reason to come against him, well…come against him. The question has […]

    The Eager Christian

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    Great stuff today from Hebrews 6. The reading starts out “God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.” In other words, God sees your good deeds; He sees the good things you are doing […]

    The Call to Priesthood

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    Today in Hebrews 5, we see a theme that we touched on last week; that Jesus learned obedience from what he suffered. The author of Hebrews was big on this concept. In the Gospel reading from Mark 2, Jesus says, “No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh […]

    Called to be Holy

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    In the second reading today, we read the introduction of St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. He writes “to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy, with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. Called to be holy. As […]

    Sharper Than a Sword

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    In our first reading from Hebrews 4, the author of Hebrews tells us about the word of God. More on that in a moment. The Gospel reading from Mark 2 is about the call of Levi, also known as Matthew. Levi was a tax collector. In those days, tax collectors were considered traitors. They were […]

    Entering His Rest

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    In the first reading today from Hebrews 4, we read about entering into God’s rest. More on that in a moment. In the Gospel reading from Mark 2, we see the story of the friends who bring their paralytic friend to Jesus to be healed. Not being able to get in through the door, they […]

    While It is Still Today

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    I know that I say this way too often, but today’s first reading contains one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. It is a verse of great encouragement and one that I try to base my life and my ministry on. What is it. I’ll tell you in a sec. The Gospel reading […]

    Just Like Us

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    Back in Hebrews 2 today, we see more about the suffering of Jesus and how that plays to our advantage. More in a moment. In the Gospel reading from Mark 1, we see Jesus healing. He heals Simon’s mother-in-law, then many others who were sick or possessed by demons. He heals them all, then moves […]

    Subject To Him

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    Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on earth by the Father. In the Gospel reading today from Mark 1, the people recognized this about Jesus. After He had cast an unclean spirit out of a man, the people said, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits […]

    Come After Me

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    Welcome back to Ordinary Time! I hope that we will not take the name of this liturgical season literally. What I mean by that is that I hope that we consider every day that we have EXTRAORDINARY!! God loves you so much, and wants to fill your life with blessings. What’s ordinary about that?! In […]

    Baptism of the Lord

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    Today marks the end of the Christmas season, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Today we read in Mark 1 about Jesus coming to John the Baptist to be baptized in the Jordan river. John the Baptist says of him, “I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy […]

    Mortal Sin

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    In Catholic theology, we talk of venial sin and mortal sin. Many will say, “Sin is sin! There is no such thing as mortal sin and venial sin.” Oh, really? Tell that to St. John. He would beg to differ. In the first reading today from 1 John 5, St. John speaks very clearly about […]

    Silent Retreat

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    Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? If so, then you have victory over the world! And that victory over the world culminates in eternal life! Don’t take my word for it. Read today’s first reading from 1 John 5. Now, that’s something to get excited about! In the Gospel reading from […]

    Pants on Fire!

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    I love the times when we read from 1 John. I always get so much out of it when I read it. Today is no exception. In fact, today, like every day, St. John is speaking directly to me! He even has the nerve to call me a liar! More on that in a sec. […]

    Fearless Lovers

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    Fear is a funny thing. Not funny ha-ha, but funny odd. It does funny things, has a funny effect on people. Fear can be a great motivator; some say the greatest motivator. Fear can also paralyze. And fear is a thread that runs through our readings today. In the first reading from 1 John 4, […]

    Putting Love into Action

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    In the first reading today from 1 John 4, St. John writes yet again about love. “Everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God…In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” In our Gospel passage from Mark 6, […]

    The One Who is in You

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    For many (myself included) today is “back to reality day.” Lots of folks have been off since Christmas Eve. If that includes you, welcome back! Hopefully we can hit the ground running in this new year. What’s a great way to do that? Listen to what Jesus says in our Gospel reading today from Matthew […]

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