60 Second Reflections

    Family Ties

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    In the first reading today from Ezra 6, we see an interesting relationship between “government” and “religion.” The kings of that time, Darius, Cyrus and Artaxerxes all allowed and encouraged the exiled Israelites to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Darius even ordered that they be compensated for their trouble! Can you imagine? In the Gospel […]

    No Secrets

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    There are some who question why some churches are big and ornate. It is because we believe that a church is the House of the Lord. In today’s first reading from Ezra 1, King Cyrus of Persia orders all who are part of God’s people to go up to Jerusalem and begin building the house […]

    The First Will be Last

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    In the first reading today from Isaiah 55, the Lord says, “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts. Keep this in mind as you read about the reactions of some of the people in today’s Gospel. In the Gospel […]

    Soil Check

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    St. Paul finishes up his first letter to Timothy in today’s first reading. In a sense, he tells Timothy to hang in there, keep the faith, persevere. Do it all for Christ Jesus. The Gospel reading today is the parable of the sower and the seed from Luke 8. When I read about the different […]

    The Root of All Evils

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    St. Paul gives some very sound advice to Timothy in today’s first reading from 1 Timothy 6. More on that in a moment. Our Gospel reading today is short, but important. Luke tells us that Jesus was accompanied by the Twelve, and a number of women. Why would he mention this? Because Luke wanted all […]

    Our Lady of Sorrows

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    Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. In the first reading for Thursday in the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time from 1 Timothy 4, St. Paul exhorts Timothy to “set an example…attend to the reading…be diligent…persevere.” The Church gives parishes an option of two different readings for the Gospel. The first is from […]

    The Cross of Christ

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    Today is the Feast of the Exultation 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 […]

    A Mother’s Miracle

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    In the first reading today from 1 Timothy 3, we read about St. Paul’s requirements for the office of bishop and deacon. These passages always remind me to pray for our clergy. I often speak about how difficult it would be to be a bishop in today’s world. They have to have so many skills. […]

    Faith and Healing

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    In the first reading today from 1 Timothy 2, St. Paul writes, “There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all.” Many non-Catholics will use this verse to refute the priesthood and sacraments. Two quick things about that: First, we are all mediators. Every time […]

    9/11

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    Today is the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America. I’d like to go outside of my usual format today and, instead of reflecting on the Scripture passages from the Mass, reflect briefly on the last 10 years and the effect of that terrible day. I was on the air when the planes […]

    Saying “Lord, Lord”

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    I love the beginning of today’s first reading from 1 Timothy 1. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost.” A bold proclamation by St. Paul. You know, if I weren’t such a strong Catholic, I might just challenge St. Paul that he is wrong. I would like […]

    The Past is Gone

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    For our first reading today, we begin 1 Timothy. St. Paul talks about his past. More on that in a moment. We’re back in the Sermon on the Plain for our Gospel reading. Today we hear Jesus talking about removing the wooden beam from our own eye before we go pointing out the splinter in […]

    The Birthday of Mary

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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 […]

    Put Away the Bad

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    The Gospel reading today is the beginning of the Sermon on the Plain from Luke 6. We know them as the beatitudes. There are slight differences in Luke’s version and Matthew’s version from the Sermon on the Mount. Most notable is that Jesus addresses these sayings directly to His hearers. “Blessed are you who are […]

    Healing Power

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    We get more great Christology in our first reading today from Colossians 2. “For in him dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily, and you share in the fullness in him.” St. Paul also talks here about how baptism replaces circumcision. This is a reason why Catholics baptize their infant children. As circumcision (which […]

    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 […]

    A Debt of Love

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    The second reading today from Romans 13 begins with this: “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Seems there’s a lot of talk about debt these days. National debt and personal debt. Debt is generally not a good thing. It means that we […]

    The Authority of Christ

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    We get a wonderful word about persevering in the faith in our first reading today from Colossians 1. St. Paul says that we will be presented “holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, provided that you persevere in the faith…” The New Testament is rife with allusions to perseverance. Yes, my friend…heaven ain’t for quitters. […]

    The Old and The New

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    Do you know how and why you were created? St. Paul gives us the answer to that in today’s first reading from Colossians 1. In speaking of Christ Jesus, St. Paul writes, “All things were created through him and for him.” So, you were created through Christ Jesus and FOR Christ Jesus. Let’s remember to […]

    Jesus’ Strength and Our Weakness

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    More from the opening of St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians today for our first reading. St. Paul gives the Colossians some good news. “He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Isn’t it comforting to […]

    Sharing Jesus

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    Today we begin a trip through St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians. As in many of his letters, St. Paul begins with an affirmation. He tells them of his prayers for them, and applauds them for their love and faithfulness. I can only hope that, if St. Paul were writing a letter to us today, […]

    What is There About His Word?

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    In last week’s Gospel readings from Matthew 24 and 25, we heard Jesus again and again exhorting his disciples to stay awake and be prepared for the return of the Master. In today’s first reading from 1 Thessalonians 5, we hear nearly the exact same language from St. Paul. “But you are not in darkness, […]

    The Martyrdom of John the Baptist

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    Today the Church celebrates the Martyrdom of John the Baptist. The Gospel reading is from Mark 6, the account of why and how John the Baptist was beheaded. It is a sad and grisly story, but one that we can learn much from. I encourage you to read it. Herod is something of a tragic […]

    Transformation and Discernment

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    Today’s second reading is just two short verses from Romans 12. But what power is packed into those two verses! Paul tells us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. He then says that we should be transformed by the renewal of our mind, so that we can discern God’s will for […]

    Using Our Talents

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    In the Gospel from Matthew 25, Jesus tells the story of a man going on a trip and giving his servants some talents (money). When the master returns, he wants an accounting of what each one did with his talents. I think it is interesting that these coins were called talents. Because we have the […]

    Called to Holiness

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    In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 25, Jesus tells a parable about ten virgins who are awaiting a wedding feast. Five of them were foolish, five of them were wise. The foolish ones did not bring enough oil for their lamps and when the bridegroom was delayed, they ran out of oil and did […]

    Awake and Prepared

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    In the first reading today from 1 Thessalonians 3, St. Paul includes a beautiful prayer for his readers. “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and […]

    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 […]

    Club Hypocrite

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    St. Paul was all about making sure he pleased God. He did not want to be beholden to anyone but God. And he makes that clear in today’s first reading from 1 Thessalonians. “…that is how we speak, not as trying to please men, but rather God.” Why was this? To make sure that he […]

    Not in Word Alone

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    In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 23, Jesus pronounces “woes” on the scribes and Pharisees. Seems they were leading people astray. He refers to them as “blind guides.” Jesus had many strong words for the religious leaders of the time. They had a great responsibility, and they were falling woefully short. This always reminds […]

    The Keys to the Kingdom

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    Today is one of those days when I wish this could be a 60 minute reflection, instead of 60 seconds. The readings are soooo rich! In the Gospel, we see the famous exchange between Jesus and Peter from Matthew 16. “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church…I will give you […]

    Being Humbled

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    Today in the first reading, we see the rest of the story of Ruth. After accompanying Naomi, she met Boaz, a prominent man of Bethlehem. They married and had children, one of whom was Obed, the grandfather of King David. Ruth is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, even though […]

    The Example of Ruth

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    The Book of Ruth is one of the shorter books in the Bible. In today’s first reading, we meet Ruth. Ruth was King David’s great-grandmother. But the story of how that came to be is fascinating, and we see the beginning of it today. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 22, Jesus is asked which […]

    A Change of Clothes

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    Today’s first reading from Judges 11 may be hard for us to understand, and even harder for us to accept. Jephthah makes a vow to the Lord. If the Lord gave him victory in battle, Jephthah promises to give as a burnt offering to the Lord whoever came out of the door to his house […]

    The Time is Now!

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    There are plenty of shifty characters in the Scriptures. We see one of them today in the person of Abimelech, in our first reading from Judges 9. He killed all of his brothers, save one, so that he would be made king. The one brother who manages to escape, Jotham, goes to the top of […]

    All Things are Possible

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    In the first reading today, we meet Gideon. Be honest now…you thought he was just a guy who dropped Bibles off in hotel rooms, right? Actually, Gideon is one of the mightiest warrior/champions in all of Scripture. Today Gideon meets up with the angel of the Lord. He asks for a sign, and recieves one. […]

    Mary’s Assumption

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    Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.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 believe that Mary […]

    God is Calling

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    Though I typically like to do an overview of the Scriptures, today I want to concentrate on one sentence in our second reading. This passage from Romans 11 has always had a great deal of meaning to me. St. Paul writes, “For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.” I love that word […]

    As For Me and My House…

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    We have a very short Gospel reading today. But as always, it is packed. Jesus says, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” This is why Catholic baptize their infants. We “let them come to Christ” from their earliest days. In […]

    The Sacrament of Marriage

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    In today’s first reading from Joshua 24, Joshua addresses the people, speaking for the Lord God. He reminds them of all the things that Lord had done for them and for their ancestors; mighty deeds that they could not take credit for. God was reminding them that it was He who had given them everything […]

    Willing To Forgive

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    Remember the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea? In today’s first reading from Joshua 3, we see a very similar story. Joshua was Moses’ successor, chosen by God to lead the people into the promised land across the Jordan river. The Jordan was a big, wide, powerful river. But God makes […]

    Serving

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    Today we celebrate the feast of St. Lawrence. St. Lawrence was a deacon and a martyr. Our prayers go out today and every day to all the faithful deacons of the Church, through the intercession of St. Lawrence. Thank you, deacons, for your service to God’s people! The first reading today is from 2 Corinthians […]

    The Humility of Children

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    In the first reading today from Deuteronomy 31, Moses delivers his farewell address. He has seen an awful lot in his 120 years. Now it is time for the children of Israel to go into the promised land. But Moses will not be going with them. So he tells them, “It is the Lord who […]

    For Your Own Good

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    Our Gospel reading today recounts what I think may be Jesus’ coolest miracle. (I know, I know…I shouldn’t “grade” the miracles of our Lord. But this one is very cool!) The collectors of the temple tax want to get what’s coming to them from Jesus. So Jesus tells Peter to go out and catch a […]

    The Whisper of God

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    Today’s Gospel is from Matthew 14. It is one that we just recently talked about, when Peter jumps out of the boat and walks on the water…for a moment. This is one of those interesting times when the daily and Sunday Gospel readings are often the same. So let’s talk about today’s first reading from […]

    Feast of the Transfiguration

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    Today we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. In the first reading, we see the origin of the title “Son of Man” from Daniel 7. It is a kind of prefiguration of the Transfiguration. In the second reading, St. Peter recounts the event as an eyewitness. And the Gospel is from Matthew 17, the story […]

    Soulful Business Decisions

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    “This is why you must now know…that the Lord is God…and that there is no other.” These words Moses speaks to the children of Israel in today’s first reading from Deuteronomy 4. He goes on, “You must keep his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you today, that you and your children after you […]

    A Quick Turnabout

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    In the first reading today from Numbers 20, Moses and Aaron get some bad news. Because they were unfaithful to God, they would not lead the people into the Promised Land. This must have been a tough blow for the two men who had led the children of Israel for so many years. But as […]

    The Price of Disobedience

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    In our Gospel reading today from Matthew 15, we see an amazing example of perseverance in prayer, and the unselfishness of a mother. A Canaanite woman asks Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus says, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” This “disqualified” the woman and her daughter. But […]

    Seeking Fame

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    In the first reading today from Numbers 12, we see God punishing two people for being prideful. More in a moment. In our Gospel reading from Matthew 15, Jesus tells the crowds, “It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.” A […]

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