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Daily Reflections

We have a greeting-statement when meeting someone, “So what’s new?” I wonder often what we don’t want to know, what’s old. Why do we crave the new, the different, the possible. When reading these Daily Reflections you might find yourself hoping for some new insight, idea, way of praying or figuring out God. We might call that progress or growth, achievement. Well the remainder of this Reflection is “what’s old” and it is what Jesus offers to James, John and their dear mother.

Feast of Saint James, Apostle

It seems that even our miserable grumbling in our worst moments are heard as prayers by our compassionate God.  There surely are better forms to formally address our God, but the elements of prayer often are in our deepest, darkest thoughts. “We are starving, miserable, and lost in the desert, Lord, we were better off as slaves.” There was not a note of supplication, or faith, in God, but God heard this as a prayer; he fed them manna and meat.  God, in his mercy, will help us when we need it.

Wednesday of Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Heavenly Father,
My faith is not always at the level which might be desired.
Hoping for your grace, I ask for perseverance in times of doubt and frustration.
My openness is not always at the level which might be desired.
I ask for your assistance in accepting and welcoming those who I perceive as different.
My gratitude is not always at the level which might be desired.
I repentantly express my gratitude for the many times that I have been able to find ways out of difficult situations

Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

The Gospel today tells of Mary’s recognition of Jesus through her tear-filled eyes as she hears her name announced by the Risen Lord and sees his living gaze of great love. This is precisely what St. Ignatius is asking a retreatant to prayer for in the fourth week because when we experience such great love it changes us. It changes the conditions of our intellectual perception of our humanity, our sinfulness and our righteousness; it changes the context and degree of affective receptivity; and most importantly it changes the coordination of our Will to the Father’s deepest desires.

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene

Jesus sees the situation in an entirely different way. He sees in Mary’s response a more deeply appropriate one in this setting: she has chosen the better part. There’s something more her than meets the eye and it’s expressed as love. Mary has the determination to express that love by moving away from the Law’s prescribed rules and spaces in the home.

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time



As moderns, we take pride in my choices, my work, my property, my serenity.  The accent falls on the self.  At an extreme, the individual places herself outside institutions as their authentic source.  But the triumphant individual washes up on a lonely shore.  The ring on my finger, the neighborhood school, the congregation, clean water, and decent health care make manifest how we belong to others from the start. 

Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Sadly, I realized that at times I am, too often simply performing the ritual of standing, getting in line and thinking of whether I should mow the grass after Mass or of other tasks that await me as I go to receive Christ. Recent comments Pope Francis made on the Feast of Corpus Christi emphasized the need to avoid this. Pope Frances reminded us that in the Eucharist “It is Jesus, Jesus alive, but we must not get used to it: it must be every time as if it were our First Communion.”.  He also called on us to receive it “with gratitude,” and “not in a passive, habitual way.”

Friday of the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time


The Gospel passage speaks quite clearly to me. If I am willing to lay my burdens on Christ’s shoulders I can have rest. It doesn’t say our troubles will go away but we will become lightened of our burdens.

Thursday of the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time




The gospel is simple, yet powerful. It carries through the theme of how we each are chosen by God. You do not have to be the wise and learned – some things are revealed to the childlike.  To me, that means that I can be chosen by God as a leader in my own life, even as I continue to work on understanding and learning what that role should be and how I should live that life. My relationship with God evolves and changes as I evolve and change.

Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time



Weekly Guide

Throughout each day, we can repeat and refine these desires and prayers in our hearts. Each thing we do, each person we relate to, each request that is made of us will help us say this or that expression of gratitude or request for grace.

Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time






Or we might ask, “Lord, let me do your will today, and experience the closeness you offer me as I do so.” Perhaps, we can pray, “Thank you, Lord, for the gift of my children. Help me to trust that not everything I say or do will seem to work, but that you will take care of them and allow my efforts to be fruitful.”

Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time





Every morning this week, we can begin our day with a brief conversation with our Lord that expresses a desire that comes from within us and is shaped by the scriptures this week. We might say, “O Lord, help me trust your presence in what you call me to do today, letting me remember how tiny seeds grow.” I may pray: “Dear Lord, thank you for this day. Let me trust your care for me. Let me not be afraid or grumble, but fill me with the nourishment of your presence today.”

Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time



That relationship can stay alive, and grow in its intimacy, to the degree we can let the daily events, responsibilities and relationships of our lives become a part of our relationship with our Lord. All it takes is a little focus and some practice.

Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time








These weekly guides offer us an opportunity to practice being “contemplatives in action.” For us busy people, it is possible to pray - “to lift our minds and hearts to God” - in the midst of our everyday, active lives. Prayer is really about our relationship with the Lord, a relationship that is always a gift of the Holy Spirit.

Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time





We will discover that this is very consoling and enjoyable. We will experience ourselves growing in gratitude as God is generously giving us what we ask for, and we are indeed finding intimacy with Jesus each day. And when we get ready for bed each night, we can develop a habit of simply giving thanks – telling Jesus we are so grateful that we were not alone this day and how much we are grateful for his presence, mercy and for the mission he’s sharing with us.

Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

One day this week, one of these prayers will be just right. Another day, a much more personal request will come to us. What is important is that we grow in the habit of connecting with Jesus throughout the day, in these brief moments in the background of our lives. We have these moments, and we can easily get better at finding them. Then we can quickly grow in recognizing how the desires in our hearts can get formed and deepened through letting the Word into our hearts. We can practice beginning each day with a moment of prayer, asking for a desire and then repeating and refining that desire throughout the day.

Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

“Lord, help me to be more childlike today. Help me simply come to you when I’m burdened or just tired, rather than all the other places I tend to go for relief. Let me be yoked to you as I carry out the promises of my life today. Free me from my impatience and tendency to judge others. Teach me how showing others the mercy you have showed me is more important that my hard driving sacrifice.”

Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

We could make this prayer, have this conversation with Jesus, while walking from one place to another, while shopping, over a lunch break, while doing laundry, sitting at an airport or driving to a meeting. Sometimes it is easiest to make this request precisely when I catch myself failing in some way, being particularly selfish or demanding in some way. When the Word can confront us, this is the doorway to naming a new desire. This week, we can find concrete times in our week, in real encounters and responsibilities of our very busy lives to say these or similar words:

Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time





























































































Pope Francis

There is always a particular place for children Pope Francis’ thoughts. They are the primary victims of war, who “cannot see the light of the future!” Strongly condemning the use of chemical weapons, and arms traffickers “who continue to pursue their own interests, Pope Francis said that violence only leads to more violence.

Children: the hope for peace



Pope Francis concluded his reflection with a prayer to the Virgin Mary, asking that she “give us the grace to love and serve God and our brothers and sisters with the hands of Martha and the heart of Mary, so that by always listening to Christ we may be artisans of peace and hope.”

Wisdom can combine contemplation and action





Pope Francis then turned his reflection to Martha, who upon doing her best to make everything perfect for her special guest, becomes irritated at her sister who is doing nothing to help her. Upon realizing this, Jesus says to her "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things".

Service without anxiety






 “What if the Lord were to call me today?” Pope Francis asked. What would I say and do? This thought, he said, helps us make progress. Not only will we meet the Lord in order to give an account of ourselves. It will also be a joyous, happy moment, one filled with mercy.

How do I want to present myself?








He is the strength. But many times, those who trust in the Lord are not seen, do not have success, they are hidden… but they are steady. He doesn’t place his hope in speaking, in vanity, in pride, in the ephemeral powers of life, [but] in the Lord, the rock. The concreteness of the Christian life makes us go forward and build on the rock that is God, that is Jesus; on the solid ground of the divinity. Not on appearances or vanities, pride, recommendations… No. [On] the truth.

Sand and rock

The Holy Father said the Apostle John explains “how God manifests His love in us.” “Let us love one another, because love is of God,” John writes. Pope Francis called this the mystery of love: “God loved us first. He took the first step.” God loved us, he said, even though we “don’t know how to love” and “need God’s caresses in order to love.”

God loved us first


Then, the Pope said, the Apostles also “anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” The anointing, he explained, “is the caress of God,” so all apostles must learn “this wisdom of God’s caresses”. He pointing out that all Christians can bring healing, not only priests and bishops: “each of us has the power to heal his brother or sister.”

We can all bring healing with a good word and patience






“Life,” the Pope explained, “has value only in giving it, in giving it in love, in truth, in giving it to others, in daily life, in the family.” If someone preserves life for himself, guards it like the king in his corruption or the woman with her hatred, or the daughter with her vanity, a little like an adolescent, unknowingly, life dies and withers, becoming useless.

Giving life, opening hearts


“Mercy towards a human life in a state of need is the true face of love” Pope Francis said, explaining that it is by loving the other that one  becomes a true disciple of Jesus and that the face of the Father is revealed. “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” he quoted from Luke the evangelist, highlighting the fact that God’s Commandment to love one’s neighbour for Christians is a single and coherent rule of life.

Mercy is the true face of love
































































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