Tuesday, September 27, 2022

On A Mission

Luke 9: 51-56

Samaritan Opposition

51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.

As the time for the fulfillment of his mission was drawing near, Jesus would not be distracted or upset because the people of this Samaritan village would not welcome him or his disciples. We can understand the anger of James and John, for we might react the same way, but Jesus had a higher goal and directed their efforts elsewhere.  We might look at ourselves to see if we drift from our mission because things don't go according to our plan.  Our daily meditation time with Jesus is necessary for us to get our "game plan" from him, rather than let our frustrations or ideas get in the way. We are on a mission for Jesus, not for ourselves.

Bro. Rene


Monday, September 26, 2022

True Greatness

 Luke 9: 46-50

Who Is the Greatest?

46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

Anyone Not Against Us Is For Us

49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

Ambition can be a legitimate motivator, but it can also be a killer. The Apostles, like all of us, wanted approval and even "greatness", but Jesus quickly dispels their ambitions by presenting them with the example of a child who models simplicity, spontaneity, guilelessness, and innocence.   Rather than being "great" in the sense of the world, that is, prideful, famous, "important" or "superior", Jesus indicates clearly what path , what lifestyle, is the best to bring us closer to him.  May he help us resist our false ambitions and guide is to true "greatness", the greatness of a little child.

Bro. Rene

Dear Lord, we pray for success in our days, but keep us mindful that true success is a sincere desire to serve. To be great is to serve in those quiet opportunities when our hearts touch another’s. Bless our eyes that we may see other people’s need; bless our hearts that we may feel other people’s pain; bless our minds that your wisdom may guide our actions.

Rev. Herbert Yost, C.S.C.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Wilingness To Share

Luke 16: 19-31

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

We read news accounts of growing numbers who go to bed hungry each day, children especially. Most of us do not share this fate, but we might be like the Rich Man (called "Dives" by tradition) and simply ignore them. Does this parable speak to ME today? Is there some small thing I can do to help feed the hungry? 

 In Lawrence, MA today, there is a HIKE FOR HOPE to raise money for LAZARUS HOUSE, an organization founded almost 40 years ago by several men, including Brother Thomas Petitte, a Marist Brother, to help meet the needs pf the homeless and hungry. If I cannot join the walk can I make a contribution of time or treasure  tomorrow or later this week?  May we not be like Dives and discover too late what we should have done while we could.

Bro Rene  .

Loving God, we ask the help of your Spirit to keep us from using our poor brothers and sisters to maintain our own comfort. Compel employers among us to provide living wages to all we employ. Constrain our greed and expand our awareness that we are all one in you, whether rich or poor. Give us the grace to do all we can to assure that the needs of all who are your special favorites - the ones who we most often ignore- are met. We ask for the compassion and justice of Jesus, Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

  Rev. Steve Newton, C.S.C.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

The Cold Truth

Luke 9: 43b-45

Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time

While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, 44 “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.

No one likes to hear unpleasant news or predictions. Jesus laid his future plainly on the table but his disciples "did not get it", and because it was so scary, they did not ask for clarification.  We too, most likely, would not seek further explanation and would avoid the topic. When we don't fully understand, we often choose to shy away from "the truth" Not the best way of growing in faith and trust, and a sure sign that we need help. May we grow in courage, casting out our fears and ask for a deeper faith and expanding trust in God's plan.

Bro. Rene

Lord, many of your teachings and acts of love are hidden from us. Nevertheless, we believe that with the aid of the Holy Spirit, our eyes and hearts will be open to the truth of your person and your salvific mission. Send your Spirit upon us that we may see with the eyes of children and thereby see your kingdom as it takes hold here on earth. Enkindle in our hearts a desire for you and your kingdom, and we shall be made new. Amen.

 Rev. Gabriel J. Griggs, C.S.C.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Who Is Jesus For Me?

 Luke 9: 18-22

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah

18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”

19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”

20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”

Jesus Predicts His Death

21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

Wouldn't we like to be on board with Peter and declare without hesitation that Jesus is our Messiah?  We might be able to say it with him, but does it show in our actions, our prayer life, our service to others?  And, are we ready and willing to take up our cross along with Jesus? Again, we could answer with a resounding YES...until the cross actually comes and we find ourselves begging for its removal. As the old saying goes, "words are cheap but living them is costly."  To use another cliche, but a good one, may we put our money where our mouth is.

Bro. Rene

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Seeking Jesus

 Luke 9: 7-9

Herod's Curiosity

Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see him.

Was Herod plagued with guilt as stories of Jesus circulated?  Another "nobody:" attracting huge crowds and preaching a new way of life based on love, not fear nor hate. Would that such curiosity would reign today in our world of indifference toward "the things of God" and less and less adherence to the teachings of Jesus, not to mention diminishing Church membership.  At least Herod was seeking.  Might we take a clue from him and try to get to know who this Jesus is, and follow him with greater conviction, even zeal?

Bro. Rene 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Compelling Call

 Image result for Matthew 9:9-13. Size: 179 x 170. Source: www.talktotheword.com

 Matthew 9: 9-13

Jesus Calls Matthew

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

"The  Chosen", an excellent series TV series on the life of Jesus, depicts Matthew as a young "outcast" due to his role as tax collector, yet one who leaves his collection desk to follow Jesus with all his heart and means.  It was a slow process that had been building within Matthew until the command moved him to take this dramatic step. In this era of a dirth of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, don't we wish there were more Matthews awaiting a simple, FOLLOW ME?  Could some of the readers of this slice of Daily Bread be a Matthew just waiting for the call? Let us pray that future Matthews hear and answer the call with hearts as generous as his.

Bro Rene

“Follow me.” Lord, you spoke two simple words and they changed Matthew’s life forever. You speak those same words to each one of us “Follow me” and our response changes our lives forever. Thank you for inviting us to follow you. Like Matthew, the tax collector, help us know our own “sickness” and thus our great need for you. Help us to know our need for your mercy which you give to us freely and without reservation. We pray this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Rev. Joseph Corpora, C.S.C.