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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, 04 December 2023 06:38

Monday, Week I, Advent

They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD! (Is 2:1-5)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/120423.cfm
The vision of the old prophet Isaiah—swords into plowshares, spears into pruning hooks, no more war, no more training for war—is it just a pipe dream? Or is God serious? If God is serious, that would mean no more soldiering, no more weapons sales. Of course, the God who comes is dead serious, perhaps it would be better if we paid attention: “Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!”

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Sunday, 03 December 2023 05:45

Sunday, Week I, Advent

No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait for him. (Is 63:16-17, 19;64:2-7)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/120323.cfm
Advent is a time of joyful waiting. We wait in hope for the Coming of the Lord and the fulfillment of the promise: a new heaven, and a new earth, and a brand new us. We long for the Advent graces: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Come, Lord Jesus, come, do not delay!

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Sunday, 19 November 2023 06:31

Sunday, Week XXXIII, Ordinary Time

'Well done, my good and faithful servant . . . Come, share your master's joy.’ (Mt 25:14-30)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111923.cfm
Today I think about the many wonderful priests in my Diocese of Charlotte who touched my life and have now gone before us: Fr Wil Thomas, Msgr Tony Kovacic, Fr Frank Connolly, Msgr Bill Pharr, Msgr Frank Smith, Fr Tom Clements, Fr Jim Cahill, Fr Bill Evans, Fr Ed Beatty, Fr Joe Kerin, Msgr Dick Allen, Fr Tom Walsh, Fr George Kloster, Msgr Rich Bellow, and Fr Joe Waters. Well done, good and faithful servants! After today the Daily Reflection and the "Mass in Spanish with a Little Bit of English" go on vacation until the First Sunday of Advent. Happy Thanksgiving!

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When peaceful stillness compassed everything and the night in its swift course was half spent, Your all-powerful word, from heaven’s royal throne bounded, a fierce warrior, into the doomed land, bearing the sharp sword of your inexorable decree. (Wis 18: 14-16; 19:6-9)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111823.cfm
This passage from the Book of Wisdom influenced the Christmas traditions more than we realize. The famous carol and Marian hymn, Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming (in German, "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen”), as well as the Christmas tradition of Midnight Mass comes from this passage: when half-spent was the night. Today is also the dedication of two of the major basilicas of Rome, the Vatican Basilica of Saint Peter and the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, honoring the two apostles of Rome.

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All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God, and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is, and from studying the works did not discern the artisan . . . for the original source of beauty fashioned them. (Wis 13:1-9)
The heavens declare the glory of God. (Psalm 19)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111723.cfm
The beauty of creation should lead us to praise the Creator, the original source of beauty. As the responsorial psalm tells us: ”The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.” Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) followed in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi. She cared for the sick and is the patron saint of the Third Order of Saint Francis.

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Thursday, 16 November 2023 00:00

Thursday, Week XXXII, Ordinary Time

For Wisdom is the refulgence of eternal light, the spotless mirror of the power of God, the image of his goodness. (Wis 7:22b-8:1)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111623.cfm
The Hymn to Wisdom finds echoes in the Hymn to Christ in the Letter to the Colossians: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Col1:15-20). Of course, early Christians would make those connections as they searched the Scriptures to find references to Christ.

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Wednesday, 15 November 2023 00:00

Wednesday, Week XXXII, Ordinary Time

And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?" Then he said to him, "Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you." (Lk 17:11-19)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111523.cfm
The healing of the lepers reminds us of the importance of giving thanks: all ten were healed, but only one was saved—the foreigner who came back to give thanks. It reminds me of Captain Kangaroo, who was long before Mister Rogers. The Captain taught us children the Magic Words: Please and Thank you!

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