60 Second Reflections

    Shaking the Dust

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    In the first reading today, we see more of Job’s great faith. While he was a miserable soul (and rightly so), he always knew that there was a purpose to his suffering, and that it would not end in vain. “I know that my Vindicator lives…Whom I myself shall see…And from my flesh I shall […]

    Be an Angel

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    Today we celebrate the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael – the Archangels. We truly celebrate all of the Holy Angels. Our readings reflect that. We have two options for the first reading. The first, from Daniel 7, contains a vision of heaven. Here we see “myriads upon myriads” attending to the Ancient One. […]

    Calling Down Fire

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    If Job were around today, he certainly would have been diagnosed with serious depression. In today’s first reading, he rues the very day that he was born. He knows that anything would be better than all the stuff he was suffering through. Yet through it all, he never curses God for his plight. In the […]

    Job

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    In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 9, the disciples are arguing amongst themselves about which of them is the greatest. Actually, this seems like pretty typical guy stuff. But Jesus takes a child to help straighten the men out. Jesus then gets a report about someone casting out demons in Jesus’ name. Trouble was, the […]

    Eternal Riches

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    In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 16, Jesus tells the Pharisees a story about a beggar named Lazarus and a rich man. Both of them die and wind up in opposite places. Some theologians say the rich man was in hell. Hell is the word used in many translations, Hades in others and netherworld in […]

    Youth

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    In the Gospel reading today from Luke 9, the disciples do not understand something that Jesus says. Even though they didn’t get it, they were afraid to ask Him about it. What was it that Jesus said that confounded them so? Read it for yourself! Have you ever heard the old saying, “Youth is wasted […]

    Everything Has Its Time

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    Today’s first reading is from Ecclesiastes 3:1-11. “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every thing under the heavens.” If you’re a baby boomer like me, you can’t read that Scripture without hearing “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds in your head. Not a bad ear worm to have! In the […]

    Vanity

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    In the first reading today, we begin the book of Ecclesiastes. The book is something of a study in the futility of life here on earth. More in a moment. In the Gospel from Luke 9, we see Herod wondering about this Jesus character. He had heard much about him and was obviously very curious. […]

    God Provides

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    If you could ask God for just two things, what would they be? Solomon does just that today in our first reading from Proverbs 30. And in the Gospel from Luke 9, Jesus sends out the Twelve, telling them to take just the bare necessities to get by. The two readings really go hand in […]

    Matthew

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    Today we celebrate the feast of St. Matthew. His Jewish name was Levi. (We find that in the Gospels of Mark and Luke.) Matthew was a tax collector. Therefore, observant Jews would have nothing to do with him. He was considered a traitor. He is one of the four Gospel writers. In the first reading […]

    No Secrets

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    The Book of Proverbs is filled with so much timeless wisdom. Our first reading today from Proverbs 3 is no exception. “Envy not the lawless man and choose none of his ways.” Be sure to read it and soak up the wisdom of the ages! In the Gospel reading from Luke 8, Jesus says, “For […]

    Serving Two Masters

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    In the Gospel reading today from Luke 16, Jesus talks about how it is impossible to serve two masters. “No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” We all have conflict in our […]

    The Mysteries of the Kingdom

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    We continue in 1 Corinthians 15 for our first reading today, where St. Paul continues his treatment on the resurrection of the body. “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.” The Gospel reading is Luke’s telling of the parable of sower. After telling the parable, but before explaining it, Jesus […]

    The Women

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    1 Corinthians 15 is St. Paul’s treatise on the resurrection of the body. We read some of this today in our first reading. “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching; empty, too, your faith.” In […]

    Much Forgiven = Much Love

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    Popeye used to say, “I yam what I yam.” I wonder if he got that from St. Paul. He could have. In our first reading today from 1 Corinthians 15, St. Paul says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am…” Who knew that Popeye quoted the Scriptures? In the Gospel reading […]

    Sorrowful Mother

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    Today the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Our first reading, though, is for Monday of the 24th week in Ordinary Time. You have probably heard it at weddings. It is 1 Corinthians 13, often called The Love Chapter. Even if you’re familiar with it, read it again! It is always fresh! The Church […]

    Exaltation of the Holy Cross

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    Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. In the first reading today from Numbers 21, we see a bit of typology. God told Moses to make a bronze serpent and mount it on a pole. Whenever someone looked at it, they would be healed of their bite from a serpent. This […]

    Eucharist

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    In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 7, a centurion hears about Jesus and asks some elders to bring Jesus to his home to heal his sick servant. Before Jesus reaches the home, the centurion sends messengers out to deliver this message: “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof…but say the […]

    The Story of the Prodigal Son

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    Our Gospel reading today is from Luke 15. It includes the story of the prodigal son. You know the story…a son wants his inheritance right away. So the father gives it to him and he promptly goes off and squanders everything in short order. He returns home in shame, only to be welcomed back by his […]

    The Bread and The Cup

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    In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 6, Jesus says, “Every tree is known by its fruit.” He then talks about building our house on a firm foundation. When Christ is not our foundation, our “house” is destined to fall. In the first reading from 1 Corinthians 10, St. Paul speaks about the Real Presence of […]

    Spiritual Athletes

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    Love of sports is not a modern phenomenon. St. Paul gives us a great sports analogy in today’s first reading. In our Gospel reading, we’re back in Luke 6 for more of the Sermon on the Plain. Jesus talks about taking the wooden beam out of our own eye before attempting to remove the splinter […]

    Love Them?

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    In the first reading today from 1 Corinthians 8, St. Paul talks about knowledge and conscience. “When they eat meat sacrificed to idols, their conscience, which is weak, is defiled.” This is a great reminder to me that we must have a well-formed conscience. In the Gospel reading from Luke 6, Jesus says, “Love your […]

    Mary's Birthday

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    Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary…Mary’s birthday! Now, we don’t really know the exact day, date or year that Mary was born. We really don’t even know where she was born. In fact, we have no certainty at all about the details of Mary’s life before the […]

    What You Used to Be

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    In the Gospel reading today from Luke 6, we see that Jesus spent the night in prayer. The next day, He called His disciples and told them that He had chosen Twelve, whom He also named Apostles. In the first reading from 1 Corinthians 6, St. Paul talks about judgement, and Christians treating one another […]

    Our Work

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    Happy Labor Day! I hope you are taking a day of R&R today. There are plenty of options for readings today. The link that I will provide is actually for Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time. But if you attend Mass today, you may hear different readings for Labor Day. The Gospel reading […]

    Contingency Plans

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    In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 14, Jesus speaks about carrying your own cross and following after Him. He then goes on to compare renouncing one’s possessions with building a tower or going off to battle. Interesting stories, but what did Jesus mean by these? Let me take a stab at it. Jesus says, “Which […]

    Scum of All

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    In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 6, Jesus is called on the carpet by some Pharisees for picking grain on the sabbath. It was unlawful to “work” on the sabbath. (Of course, in our day and age this seems ridiculous. But they took very seriously the commandment to keep holy the sabbath.) Jesus reminds them […]

    Wineskins

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    In the first reading today from 1 Corinthians 4, St. Paul refers to himself (and Apollos) as “servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” As should we regard ourselves. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 9, Jesus talks about putting new wine into old wineskins. Doesn’t work so well. I don’t know […]

    They Followed Him

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    In the first reading from 1 Corinthians 3, St. Paul speaks again of foolishness and wisdom. “If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool, so as to become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God.” Amen to that! In the Gospel […]

    God's Co-Workers

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    Jesus was a very busy guy. We see this in today’s Gospel reading from Luke 4. He heals Simon’s mother-in-law, He heals all the sick in the town and casts out many demons. When He tries to get a moment alone, the people track Him down and try to prevent Him from leaving their town. […]

    The Mind of Christ

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    For the first reading today, we’re back in 1 Corinthians 2. St. Paul speaks much of the Spirit of God here. More in a moment. In the Gospel reading from Luke 4, we see the word “authority” twice. Jesus “spoke with authority” and “With authority and power he commands the unclean spirits.” Jesus was given […]

    A Demonstration

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    Our first reading today from 1 Corinthians 2 is short, but packs a lot of punch. For the Gospel reading, we’re in Luke 4. Jesus returns to Nazareth, the town where He grew up. In the synagogue, He unrolls the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and reads a prophesy. He finishes with, “Today this Scripture […]

    Repaid

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    In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 14, Jesus goes to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. While there, He tells a parable in which He exhorts the people not to gravitate towards the places of honor at table. He finishes with the phrase, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, […]

    Investing Your Talents

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    Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Augustine. In the first reading today from 1 Corinthians 1, St. Paul says that “God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong…” Being weak and foolish myself, I’m kinda liking this reading! […]

    Fools for Christ

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    Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Monica. St. Monica was the mother of St. Augustine. She prayed for years and years that her wayward boy would find his way to Christ. And eventually her prayers were answered. (In a big way!) Today is a great day for those who have children who have […]

    The Danger of Complacency

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    In the first reading today, we begin St. Paul’s first Letter to the Corinthians. St. Paul reassures his readers that “(God) will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” […]

    Get to Work!

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    In the first reading today from 2 Thessalonians 3, St. Paul talks about the importance of work. More on that in a moment. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 23, Jesus continues to pronounce woes on the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus pulled no punches with these characters. “On the outside you appear righteous, but inside […]

    St. Bartholomew

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    Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Bartholomew. Bartholomew is listed among the Twelve. He was brought to Jesus by the Apostle Philip. Tradition tells us that he preached the Gospel in India, where he was rewarded with the crown of martyrdom. The first reading today is from Revelation 21, where we get a […]

    You Hypocrite!

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    St. Paul was big on prayer and thanksgiving. We see this today in our first reading from 2 Thessalonians 1. “We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters, as is fitting…” and “We always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling…” Prayer and thanksgiving. Two things […]

    Enter Through the Narrow Gate

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    In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 13, someone asks Jesus, “Will only a few be saved?” Jesus responds, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” “Enter through the narrow gate.” Enter where? I think it’s obvious that Jesus is talking about heaven. […]

    Humble

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    In the first reading today, Ezekiel is led by an angel to the temple, where he sees the glory of God. He hears the voice of God say to him, “This is where my throne shall be…here I will dwell among the children of Israel forever.” In today’s Gospel reading, we hear Jesus say, “Call […]

    Dry Bones

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    The toe bone connected to the foot bone. The foot bone connected to the ankle bone. Ever heard of dem bry bones? (It’s an old spiritual tune.) That song was written about today’s first reading! More in a moment. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus is asked which commandment in the law is the greatest. Be […]

    Ready for a Change?

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    God is the changer of hearts. We see this clearly today in our beautiful first reading from Ezekiel 36. “I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts.” Let us ask God to change our hearts today. In […]

    You're Hired!

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    Today’s first reading is one that should be required daily reading for priests and bishops. Through Ezekiel, God talks about some not-so-good shepherds. He is not pleased; and when He is not pleased, things don’t end well for those with whom He is not pleased. Pray for our bishops and priests, that they may be […]

    Investing in Eternity

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    In today’s first reading from Ezekiel 28 we read about the prince of Tyre. This guy thought he was all that (and a bag of chips, we can assume.) He fancied himself a god. So the Lord God challenges him. He would meet a very nasty end. This is a pertinent story for those times […]

    Leaving Things Behind

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    In the first reading from Ezekiel 24, God takes Ezekiel’s wife from him; she dies. But even before this happens, God tells Ezekiel not to weep and mourn when God takes away the delight of his eyes. Unfortunately, the character in today’s Gospel reading didn’t get that memo. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 19, […]

    The Assumption of Mary

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    Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Don’t forget, it is a Holy Day of Obligation. This is one of those days that is greatly misunderstood by many. So let’s talk about it, and hopefully clear up some misconceptions that some people may have. First of all, Catholics […]

    Return and Live!

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    Jesus had a heart for children. Take a look at today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 19. He says, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” This is just one of the reasons why Catholics have always baptized their children. In today’s […]

    Holy Matrimony

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    I suppose it’s just the way I look at things, but I see some similarities between ancient Jerusalem and the United States. Take a look at today’s first reading from Ezekiel 16. “But you were captivated by your own beauty, you used your renown to make yourself a harlot, and you lavished your harlotry on every […]

    Choosing to Forgive

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    Today in Ezekiel, the prophet is told to do some things in full view of the people as an example. He acts as one going into exile, showing the people what was about to happen to them. In the Gospel from Matthew 18, Peter asks Jesus how often he has to forgive a brother who […]

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