Welcome

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, 13 January 2021 00:00

WEDNESDAY, WEEK I, ORDINARY TIME

On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.
(Mk 1:29-39)

It is very interesting that Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, after she was healed, she “waited on them.” The Greek term is the formal term for ministry from which we get the word diakonos (deacon--servant). She didn’t go about saying, “Look at me, I’ve been healed!” She served them—she was a “deacon” to them. I think of my good friend, Deacon Joan Marshall (1929-2004), from All Souls Episcopal Cathedral in Asheville, NC. Deacon Joan reached out to those no one else would welcome. She was an inspiration to me and to many others. I remember her with joy.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021 00:00

TUESDAY, WEEK I, ORDINARY TIME

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,
 but as it truly is, the word of God. 
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
(1 Thes 2:13)

Yesterday, Pope Francis issued a Motu Propio (Spiritus Domini) that officially opened the ministries of Lector and Acolyte to women. This may seem a bit strange since most of us are accustomed to seeing women reading and serving at Mass. As Father Anthony Ruff, OSB, noted on his liturgy blog PrayTell (https://www.praytellblog.com/), “This is big.”

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2021-01/pope-francis-opens-ministries-lector-acolyte-women.html

Monday, 11 January 2021 00:00

MONDAY, WEEK I, ORDINARY TIME

Brothers and sisters:
In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways 
to our ancestors through the prophets; 
in these last days, he spoke to us through the Son.
(Heb 1:1-6)
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
(Mk 1:14-20)

Christian revelation remarkably declares that God has spoken to us human beings . . . by becoming one with us in the Son. And so our encounter with God through the Scriptures invites us to hear that Word as being addressed to us. So when Jesus calls his disciples, “Come follow me,” they drop everything and follow him.

Sunday, 10 January 2021 00:00

THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD, January 10

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee 
and was baptized in the Jordan by John.
On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open 
and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, 
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
(Mk 1:7-11)

The Baptism of the Lord marks the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus in the synoptic gospels: Mark, Matthew and Luke. In the current liturgical calendar, the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus marks the end of the Christmas Season. The revelation of Jesus as the Beloved Son connects with our own baptism in which we become the dear children of God. The photo today is from the Church of the Holy Spirit in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

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Saturday, 09 January 2021 00:00

SATURDAY AFTER EPIPHANY, January 9

Responsorial Psalm

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

R.    The Lord takes delight in his people.
Sing to the LORD a new song
    of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
    let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.R.    

Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
    let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
    and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R.    The Lord takes delight in his people.
(Psalm 149)

The Christmas Season comes to end tomorrow with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. But in some countries the Manger Scene stays up until the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. The Responsorial Psalm speaks of God delighting in us and equally our praising God in the festive dance. Sounds like a wonderful fiesta!

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Friday, 08 January 2021 00:00

FRIDAY AFTER EPIPHANY, January 8

It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was;
and when he saw Jesus,
he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said,
“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” 
Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said,
“I do will it.  Be made clean.” 
And the leprosy left him immediately. 
(Lk 5:12-16)

Touching lepers got Jesus into trouble with everyone—not just with the Law of Moses and the religious authorities, but also with his own disciples. And now, two thousand years later, things haven’t changed one bit. Thanks to my mom, I celebrate a birthday today!

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Thursday, 07 January 2021 00:00

THURSDAY AFTER EPIPHANY, January 7

Beloved, we love God because
God first loved us. 
If anyone says, “I love God,”
but hates his brother, he is a liar;
for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen 
cannot love God whom he has not seen. 
This is the commandment we have from him:
Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
(1 Jn 4:19-5:4)

They tell a story about old Saint John. Every liturgy he would get up and say to the people, “Little children, let us love one another!” and then he would sit down. After several weeks of this, the new deacon pulled old John aside and said, “Every week you tell us the same thing. When are you going to teach us something new?” Old John answered, “When you’ve done what I’ve asked you, I can teach you something new. 'Little children, let us love one another!'” After the troubling events yesterday on the Mall and in the Capitol of the United States, perhaps we need old Saint John's message more than ever: "Let us love one another!"

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