These reflections are a result of more than 40 years of ministry as a Roman Catholic priest. Most of these years I spent in the Diocese of Charlotte which covers Western North Carolina. Now I am retired, and live in Medellín, Colombia where I continue to serve as a priest in the Archdiocese of Medellín.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023 00:00

Wednesday, Week IV, Lent

But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me." Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. (Is 49:8-15)
The Lord is gracious and merciful. (Ps 145)
Jesus said: The Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for what he does, the Son will do also. (Jn 5:17-30)
Today’s readings are filled with tenderness and hope—a message that the world desperately needs. But how will people hear this message if we are silent or if we choose to judge and condemn?

Monday, 20 March 2023 00:00

Tuesday, Week IV, Lent

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be well?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me." Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk." Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked. (Jn 5:1-16)
In the gospels it’s always good church people who complain about Jesus. The healing of the paralytic is a case in point. The people didn’t doubt that Jesus healed . . . but that he did it on the sabbath was too much for them. As the gospel says, they “began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.” Today’s photo is of the fountain of Bethesda, not in Jerusalem, but rather in New York!

Monday, 20 March 2023 00:00

Saint Joseph, March 20

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ. (Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a)
Saint Joseph’s feast day is normally observed on March 19. But because yesterday was a Sunday of Lent, a privileged liturgical season, Saint Joseph’s Day is transferred to today. Sometimes Saint Joseph gets overlooked, but the role he plays in the Holy Family is extremely important. Because he seems to be absent from the later part of the gospels, it was assumed that he had died. And so, Saint Joseph becomes the patron saint of a holy death, because he died in the arms of Jesus and Mary.


Sunday, 19 March 2023 00:00

Sunday IV, Lent (Laetare Sunday)

Therefore, it says: "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." (Eph 5:8-14)
The Fourth Sunday of Lent with its rose-colored vestments signals that the celebration of the Paschal Mystery is near. The selection from today’s readings (possibly an early baptismal hymn) calls to mind our being chosen and enlightened by Christ.


“But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Lk 18:9-14)
The Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee is the source of the Jesus Prayer: ¨Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.¨ After the Resurrection, the Virgin Mary remained in prayer with the disciples and ever since has always been a symbol of a heart in tune with God.


One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, "Which is the first of all the commandments?" Jesus replied, "The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this:You shall love your neighbor as yourself.There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mk 12:28-34)
It’s said that Irish diplomacy is “the art of telling someone to go to hell and having them look forward to the trip." Saint Patrick, on the otherhand, used faith, hope and love to convert the Irish so that they would never have to make that particular journey.


Thursday, 16 March 2023 00:00

Thursday, Week III, Lent

But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. (Lk 11:14-23)
Jesus’ ministry to those on the margins of society got him into plenty of trouble. Whenever the church reaches out to those that others prefer to exclude, it suffers the same fate. The question for us is where do we want to be—with the pure and the smug? Or with Jesus?

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