Hungry for God? Looking for inspiration? Be sure to read these Daily Reflections.
Much like a devotional, these short meditations and Catholic reflections are based on each day's scripture readings or the Saint of the day.
Scripture reflections help us in our prayer life. They help us to listen to God's Word and to better understand the readings.
Taking a moment in peace and quiet, dedicating the moment to God, reflecting on the readings of the day - all can bring us to a more intimate relationship with God.
So take some time to just BE with the Lord.
Enjoy these daily reflections!
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September 14, 2014
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. - John 3:16
A little boy came into the parish office one day. His mother was talking to the pastor and he was in the waiting room, looking a bit uncomfortable and nervous.
So first I did what any self-respecting parish secretary would do. I offered chocolate.
That brought a smile.
And then I asked him what he liked to do. And he started telling me about his favorite toys and games.
Then suddenly he looked up and saw the crucifix on the wall. And he asked, very seriously, "Why did Jesus have to die like that?"
"To show us how much he loves us," I told him.
"It hurt him a lot, didn't it?"
"Yes, it hurt very much.
"He didn’t have to die like that, did he?"
"No, he could have walked away."
"But he loves us, right?"
"Yes. Very much. All the time. No matter what."
He was pretty satisfied with that, and feeling better, we went on to talk about other things that little boys like to talk about. Games and tv shows and favorite toys, etc.
But for those few minutes, we were not little boy and old parish secretary lady. We were just two people, wondering why Jesus loves us that much, and very grateful that he does.
Dear Lord, thank you for loving us, no matter what we do or who we are. And thank you for bringing different people into our lives who help us to see and know your love in many ways. Amen.
Monday, Sept. 15
Our Lady of Sorrows
1 Corinthians 11:17-26, 33; John 19:25-27 or Luke 2:33-35
What sorrow do I most need Mary’s help with?
Lord, there are many sorrows in my life. Some are easier than others to accept. Help me to understand those that I am in most need of help with accepting. Grant me the grace to accept all sorrows in loving partnership with you.
Tuesday, Sept. 16
St. Cornelius and St. Cyprian
1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31a; Luke 7:11-17
Am I as compassionate as I should be when someone around me suffers a loss?
Lord, there are times that I am too self-centered to really feel compassion for another. Grant me the wisdom to understand when my neighbor most needs my compassion and the generosity to grant it.
Wednesday, Sept. 17
St. Robert Bellarmine
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13; Luke 7:31-35
As followers of Jesus we must be known more by our actions than our words. Do my daily actions reflect my love of Jesus to others?
Lord, I do love you, but sometimes my actions defy that love. Help me to better reflect your wishes in my daily life. Let my actions speak louder than my words.
Thursday, Sept. 18
1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 7:36-50
How do I display the love I have received because I have been forgiven much?
Lord, you are constantly forgiving me for my transgressions. Help me to pass that forgiveness on to my brother in loving kindness. Never allow me to take your forgiveness for granted.
Friday, Sept. 19
1 Corinthians 15:12-20; Luke 8:1-3
Contrary to the custom of his time, Jesus allowed women to follow him. Do I encourage all to be disciples of Jesus or do my prejudices show in my spreading the word?
Lord, you welcomed all to follow you. Sometimes I allow my individual prejudices to get in the way of spreading your word. Grant me the courage to place my feelings aside and to spread your word to all peoples.
Saturday, Sept. 20
St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, St. Paul Chong Ha-sang and Companions
1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49; Luke 8:4-15
Jesus sowed his word in our hearts in hopes that it will grow. Does my behavior help to make that word take root in my heart?
Lord, I have been blessed to receive your word. Help me to feed that word in my heart so that it may grow. As it grows help me to spread your word to others.
September 21, 2014
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous? (Matthew 20:15)
Some people have a hard time with this parable. On the surface, it seems so unfair that the landowner pays the workers who show up at the last minute the same as the ones who have been there all day.
But God does not think the way that we think.
“As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)
This parable is not about fairness. This parable is about God's abundant love and and generosity.
And let’s not miss the good news in this story - we are ALL recipients of this love and generosity. All of us.
Where we make our mistake is thinking that we deserve heaven. We think we earn our way into heaven by being good.
Salvation is not earned. Salvation is not deserved. Salvation is a gift.
Sometimes I have heard people ask, what good is it for us to be faithful our whole lives if we can just make a deathbed confession and be saved?
I think of the parable of the Prodigal Son. The older brother asks his father the same kind of question. And I remember this beautiful statement made by the father -
Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
Those who come to the vineyard earlier have had a life filled with God’s love and graces. They are always with Him. St. Catherine of Siena said it well when she said that "all the way to heaven is heaven."
I myself am a prodigal daughter returned. I only wish I had come home to the Father earlier.
Dear Lord, help me to pray for those who have not yet come to work at your vineyard. Help me to welcome all who come, early or late. Thank you, Lord, for all the graces you have given me, undeserved as they are. Amen.
Monday, Sept. 22
Proverbs 3:27-34; Luke 8:16-18
Jesus warns us that trying to hide our good or bad deeds will never work. What bad deeds do I most wish to hide?
Lord, there are things that I would rather not have known about me. Things I have done and things that I have not done. Grant me the strength to allow all that I do, bad and good, to be open for all to see.
Tuesday, Sept. 23
St. Pius of Pietrelcina
Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13; Luke 8:19-21
Jesus reminds us that to be a part of his family we need to hear and act on his word. Do I hear and act on the word of God?
Lord, I hear your word all the time, but there are times that I do not act accordingly. Help me to not only hear and understand your word but to also act on it, so that your word is living through me.
Wednesday, Sept. 24
Proverbs 30:5-9; Luke 9:1-6
Jesus tells us that all we need are the essentials when we set out to spread his Good News. What do I carry with me that weighs me down when I proclaim the word of God?
Lord, I have so many attachments to this world. Help me to surrender these attachments when they get in the way of spreading your Good News. Grant me the courage to set aside all that comes between me and your Word.
Thursday, Sept. 25
Ecclesiastes 1:2-11; Luke 9:7-9
Herod was puzzled by some of the things that he heard being said about Jesus. What puzzles me most about Jesus?
Lord, there are many things about you that I question. Help me to see those questions that are most important for my future and grant me the understanding to accept them and move on my journey.
Friday, Sept. 26
St. Cosmos and St. Damian
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11; Luke 9:18-22
Jesus wants us to know and understand just who he is. How would I answer his question?
Lord, you are many things to me. You are all that I ever need or want. Help me to fully understand just who you are to me and how you affect my daily living.
Saturday, Sept. 27
St. Vincent de Paul
Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8; Luke 9:43b-45
The disciples were afraid to ask Jesus about what he had said to them. When am I afraid to ask Jesus for clarification of his words?
Lord, I read your word but don’t always understand how it applies to my life. Help me to better understand your word and to better apply it to my daily life.
September 28, 2014
Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
He said in reply, “I will not,” but afterwards he changed his mind and went. (Matthew 21:29)
Thank goodness our God give second chances. And more.
For years I said, “I will not.”
Well, I never actually said, “I will not.” More like – I am not ready or I am not sure or I think I will hang around the vineyard gate.
I liked God. I was pretty close to him when I was a child. But as I got older, other things took precedence. I prayed to him once in awhile, when I needed something. But there was little worship. No daily prayer. No scripture.
Then I changed my mind.
I will always remember that day, sitting at Mass, with my husband and 2 little boys, suddenly knowing that it was time to commit. I wanted to become Catholic.
To me at the time, it seemed to come out of the blue. But looking back, I can see that there was a lot that happened that led up to that day.
I often feel sad about those days when I did not know God. When I did not worship God. When I did not make Him the Lord of my life.
But then I think about people like St. Augustine. Look at his late conversion and what became of him! “Late have I loved you, O Beauty, ever ancient, ever new."
Look at Paul. Saint Paul.
Maybe some of us have to be later than others. And was I really late?
I have known God in some way all of my life. I have no doubt that he has always been with me. Even when I was avoiding him.
But it seems to me that my whole life has been headed in the same direction – towards God. I know I have made some detours, but God makes straight with crooked lines.
So here I am.
Was I late? Or was I on time?
Does it matter as long as I am with Him now?
God is still calling me into the vineyard. He is calling all of us - with ministries and sacrifices and the little everyday conversions that happen in our lives of faith.
I still avoid those things that scare me a little. I still often say No.
But I hang around that vineyard gate and then I change my mind again.
Praise our God of Second Chances.
Dear Lord, thank you for never giving up on me, for calling me again and again. Thank you for loving me. Amen.
Monday, Sept. 29
Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 or Revelation 12:7-12ab; John 1:47-51
Angels are sent to do God’s will as his messengers. Do I feel sent in the same way?
Lord, I know you have sent me into this world to spread your good news. Help me to have the courage to step up and fulfill your wishes for me. Never allow me to shy away from spreading your good news.
Tuesday, Sept. 30
Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23; Luke 9:51-56
How do I respond to the suffering in my life?
Lord, I know you will never send me more than I can handle. However sometimes I find this hard to believe. Help me to better accept whatever suffering you send me in my life. Help me to understand that my suffering is nothing beside what you suffered for me.
Monday through Saturday Daily Reflections by Deacon Rich Spiro
Sunday Reflections by Colleen Spiro
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