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, 27 January 2021 00:00


A sower went out to sow.
(Mk 4:1-20)

The Parable of the Sower (or the Miraculous Harvest) is a real gem. From the very first words . . . “A sower went out to sow,” we are treated to the strangest story about a sower who doesn’t really care about preparing the soil. In fact, when we decide to put in a summer garden we spend lots of time just preparing the soil, weeding, removing the rocks, making sure everything is just right BEFORE we put the seed in the soil. But not the sower in the parable. And even though just a tiny portion of the seed finds its way to good soil . . . look at the miraculous harvest: thirty, sixty, a hundredfold! No wonder the gospel writer tacks on: “Whoever has ears to hear, ought to hear!” But the disciples don’t understand any of it . . . and so the gospel writer has Jesus explain it to them. But please remember, the parable is from Jesus . . . but the explanation of the parable seems to be from the gospel writer.

I recall your sincere faith
that first lived in your grandmother Lois
and in your mother Eunice
and that I am confident lives also in you.
(2 Tim 1:1-8)

Paul, a slave of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ
to Titus, my true child in our common faith:
grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.
(Tit 1:1-5)

The companions of Paul, Titus and Timothy, represent the next generation of church leaders after the time of the apostles. And of course, the reference to the faith of Timothy’s grandmother and mother always reminds me of the faith of my own grandmother and mother!

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

(Jn 15:16)

The conversion of Saint Paul is so important in the life of the early church that the Acts of the Apostles has two separate accounts of the event. Saint Paul is a bit more circumspect. In the first letter to the Corinthians when others have questioned Paul’s claim to be an apostle, Paul simply asks, “Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?” Saint Paul’s conversion is celebrated with great fanfare in Rome. On the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, the pope normally celebrates Mass at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. When my mom and I visited Rome in January, 1989, we attended the three-hour papal Mass at the Basilica, and mom met Pope John Paul II for the second time. The Mass began at 6:00 pm. At the homily, a chair was placed about six feet in front of my mom in her wheelchair, and the pope preached from that chair. He preached 30 minutes in Italian with his Polish accent. Needless to say, mom fell asleep, but when she began to snore, I had to give her an elbow!

Sunday, 24 January 2021 00:00


As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.
(Mk 1:14-20)

Jesus never fails to interrupt our daily lives! And when the Lord calls, what else can we do, but drop everything and follow him!

Saturday, 23 January 2021 00:00


Jesus came with his disciples into the house.
Again the crowd gathered,
making it impossible for them even to eat.
When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, 
for they said, “He is out of his mind.” 
(Mk 3:20-21)

When your family thinks you’ve lost it, you know you’re in trouble. But Jesus didn’t get discouraged, he didn’t give up. Now, Jesus invites us to be his sisters and brothers. Our family is huge!

Friday, 22 January 2021 00:00


R. Kindness and truth shall meet.
Show us, O LORD, your mercy,
and grant us your salvation.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Kindness and truth shall meet.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Kindness and truth shall meet.
(Psalm 85)

After all that we have been through in these troubled times, we need to hear a word of kindness and truth, a word of justice and peace, and the hope of God’s glory dwelling in our land.


Responsorial Psalm
R.    Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
    and your law is within my heart!”
R.    Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
(Psalm 40)

To do God’s will is our delight—is the lesson that the saints try to teach us. Saint Agnes is one of many young women who were martyred during the early persecutions. Their bravery in the face of torture and death is still remembered and celebrated.

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