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, 18 March 2020 06:52



R.    Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R.    Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
He spreads snow like wool;
frost he strews like ashes.
R.    Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them.
R.    Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Some folks mistake the earthly Jerusalem with the heavenly Jerusalem, our mother. But the Bible is very clear . . . what we await is the heavenly Jerusalem, as the Letter to the Hebrews points out: "You have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering" (Heb 12:22).  And the vision of Book of Revelation: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev 21:1-2)




Tuesday, 17 March 2020 15:30


“For your name’s sake, O Lord, do not deliver us up forever, or make void your covenant. Do not take away your mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham, your beloved, Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one, To whom you promised to multiply their offspring like the stars of heaven, or the sand on the shore of the sea.
(Dan 3:25,35-36)

The image of the three youths in the fiery furnace captures the imagination. But even more, the prayer that one of them offers in the midst of the flames: “for the sake of Abraham, Isaac & Israel (Jacob). As my grandmother used to say, “Sometimes God just needs reminding!”

Tuesday, 17 March 2020 15:13


Saint Patrick was from Roman Britain. When he was 16 he was captured and taken as a slave to Ireland. He eventually escaped and returned to his home. After he was ordained, he went back to Ireland and spent the rest of his life ministering there. He was the first bishop of Ireland.

Christ, be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. (from The Breastplate of Saint Patrick)


Remember your mercies, O Lord. (Psalm 25)

Sunday, 15 March 2020 21:19


Now the Arameans had captured in a raid on the land of Israel a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman’s wife. “If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria,” she said to her mistress, “he would cure him of his leprosy.” Naaman went and told his lord just what the slave girl from the land of Israel had said. “Go,” said the king of Aram. “I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents, six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments. To the king of Israel he brought the letter, which read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” (2 Kgs 5:2-6)

In the wonderful film, THE HELP, Aibilene, the black servant, has a message of salvation for the little white girl in her care: “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.” In the Bible, the servants are important. As Jesus reminds us, “I am among you as the one who serves.” (Lk 22:27)

Sunday, 15 March 2020 00:03


“Many more began to believe in him because of his word, and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.” (Jn 4:41-42)

As Blance DuBois opines in A Streetcar Named Desire:”I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." Well, in the gospels, we depend on the kindness of strangers: the Samaritan Woman, the Man Born Blind, the Beloved Disciple. The woman in the gospel story is anonymous. After 37 verses we know a LOT about this woman, we know that she is the FIRST evangelist, the first to announce the gospel to her whole village and they come to believe in Jesus, but we don’t even know her name! We all depend on the kindness of strangers, the wonderful anonymous heroes of the gospel.

Saturday, 14 March 2020 00:00

SATURDAY, WEEK II of LENT--14 March 2020

‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’ (Lk 15:17-19)

The Parable of the Prodigal Son—we’ve heard it so often. But look what the youngest son was actually saying: "I don't deserve to be called your son.  Treat me like one of your hired workers." The son hadn’t learned anything from his experience. He wanted to earn his way back . . . but of course the father wouldn’t hear of it. Guess we need to remember that we can’t earn our way back either. Grace is freely given.  We never stop being children of God no matter what we've done.  As the father in the parable says, “because this child of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found, so let the party begin!”

Thursday, 12 March 2020 11:39


Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. (Gen 37:3)

The “coat of many colors,” no matter how you translate it, set Joseph apart from his brothers as the favorite son. And of course, it set up an ugly sibling rivalry that would end in Joseph being sold as a slave in Egypt, thereby accomplishing God’s mysterious plan of salvation.