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.

Monday, 18 December 2023 00:00

Monday, December 18, O ADONAI

The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us." (Mt 1:1-25)
“Do not be afraid.” In the encounter with God we need to hear these words, because like Moses, we are standing on Holy Ground. O Mighty Lord, and leader of the house of Israël, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and on Sinai gave him the law, come to redeem us with outstretched arm.


Sunday, 17 December 2023 00:00

Sunday, Week III, Advent, Gaudete Sunday

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. (1 Thes 5:16-24)
Today the Liturgy calls us to rejoice . . . for the Lord is near: the One whose coming we await fills the hungry with good things, and sends the rich away empty. This week we went shopping for gifts for the poor children. Now we are ready. O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge!


As they were coming down from the mountain, the disciples asked Jesus, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" He said in reply, "Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. (Mt 17:9a, 10-13)
Each gospel writer handles the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist in a different way. Today’s gospel points out that the sufferings of John the Baptist foreshadow the sufferings of Jesus. As we enter into the final week of Advent, Colombia tonight begins the Christmas Novena, la Novena de Aguinaldos, which culminates on Christmas Eve.


Friday, 15 December 2023 00:00

Friday, Week II, Advent

Jesus said to the crowds: "To what shall I compare this generation? For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, 'He is possessed by a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, 'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is vindicated by her works." (Mt 11:16-19)
A friend of tax collectors and sinners . . . indeed. The One whose coming we await invites us to sit at His table and fills us with rich food and choice wine and the gift of Himself, and then invites us to satisfy the deepest hungers of the human heart so that everyone can find a place at His table.


The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain, their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the LORD, will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open up rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the broad valleys; I will turn the desert into a marshland, and the dry ground into springs of water. (Is 41:13-20)
If God will not forsake the afflicted and the needy . . . will we? Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591), and his mentor Saint Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582) suffered greatly at the hands of the church. Yet at the same time, both of them spent their lives renewing the church through their commitment to prayer and contemplation. Today’s picture is a drawing of the crucifixion by John of the Cross.


Wednesday, 13 December 2023 00:00

Saint Lucy, December 13

Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint. (Is 40:25-31)
Run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint. The prophecies of Isaiah are filled with words of hope and the promise of the God who comes to save us. Saint Lucy (283-304) is one of the virgin martyrs of the early church. Her story is one of great courage. She is the patron of all who suffer from diseases of the eye. Before the calendar reform (1582) Saint Lucy’s Day was the winter solstice.


Tuesday, 12 December 2023 00:00

Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (Rev 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab)
Our Lady of Guadalupe is a sign of hope to us who await the coming of our God. As we approach the 500th anniversary of the apparitions to Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin in December, 1531, we sing the great hymn of praise: “Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed!”


Page 9 of 181