Beautiful Luke

Feast of St. Luke, evangelist
October 18, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/101822.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we celebrate the Feast of St. Luke, evangelist, writer of the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, and devoted missionary companion of Paul.

Ps145 Luke

Luke’s Gospel is unique in several ways. 

Six miracles appear only in Luke:

  • the miraculous catch of fish
  • the raising of the widow’s only son
  • healing a possessed, crippled woman
  • healing a man with dropsy
  • cleansing of ten lepers 
  • healing the man’s ear in Gethsemane

Eighteen parables are unique to Luke, including the beloved stories of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son.

vangogh_samaritaan_grt
Van Gogh’s Good Samaritan

While both Matthew and Luke contain the story of Christ’s birth, only Luke includes those beautiful passages which now comprise the joyful mysteries of the rosary: Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation, and Finding in the Temple.

Only Luke gives us the Magnificat and the cherished words of the Hail Mary.

Think of all that we would not be able to visualize without Luke’s blessed writings. No Gabriel. No Elizabeth, Zachary, Anna or Simeon. No tender Samaritan or merciful loving Prodigal Father to show us God’s face.

300px-Rembrandt_Harmensz_van_Rijn_-_Return_of_the_Prodigal_Son_-_Google_Art_Project
Rembrandt’s Prodigal Son

Maybe some of your favorite passages are among these Lucan treasures. You might want to choose one to accompany you throughout your day.

Poetry: A Sonnet for St. Luke – Malcolm Guite

His gospel is itself a living creature
A ground and glory round the throne of God,
Where earth and heaven breathe through human nature
And One upon the throne sees it is good.
Luke is the living pillar of our healing,
A lowly ox, the servant of the four,
We turn his page to find his face revealing
The wonder, and the welcome of the poor.
He breathes good news to all who bear a burden
Good news to all who turn and try again,
The meek rejoice and prodigals find pardon,
A lost thief reaches paradise through pain,
The voiceless find their voice in every word
And, with Our Lady, magnify Our Lord.

The music today is a country song, not really about St. Luke’s Gospel, but certainly reflecting its love and respect for those who are poor.

Music: The Gospel According to Luke ~ Skip Ewing

Alleluia: Called

Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest
August 8, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/080822.cfm

Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called you through the Gospel
to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.


by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican between 1508 to 1512

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we begin nearly two weeks of first readings from the prophet Ezekiel, and this first one is a real WOW!

As I looked, a stormwind came from the North,
a huge cloud with flashing fire enveloped in brightness,
from the midst of which (the midst of the fire)
something gleamed like electrum.
Within it were figures resembling four living creatures
that looked like this: their form was human.

Ezekiel 1:4-6

Walter Brueggemann calls Ezekiel “the prophet who had fantasies and hallucinations”. Nevertheless, Ezekiel is considered a prophet because like all prophets, Ezekiel “noticed what no one else noticed” — Ezekiel “saw death coming” to Israel.

Ezekiel did not blame the king, the government, the military or the war planners for this terrible death to come. He blamed the religious community, the clergy, the prophets: “My hands will be against the prophets who see delusive visions and give lying messages” (13:9). Ezekiel blamed the religious community because that community is responsible for truth-telling.

Truth-Telling and Peacemaking: A Reflection on Ezekiel
by Walter Brueggemann

I think it might be safe to say that most religious communities – and the people who comprise them – do not want to hear such things about themselves. Abraham Heschel, one of the greatest theologians and philosophers of the 20th century said this:

The prophets had disdain for those to whom God was comfort and security; to them God was a challenge, an incessant demand. He is compassion, but not a compromise; justice, but not inclemency. Tranquility is unknown to the soul of a prophet. The miseries of the world give him no rest. While others are callous, and even callous to their callousness and unaware of their insensitivity, the prophets remain examples of supreme impatience with evil, distracted by neither might nor applause, by neither success nor beauty. Their intense sensitivity to right and wrong is due to their intense sensitivity to God’s concern for right and wrong. They feel fiercely because they hear deeply.

from: What Are Prophets For?

By Abraham Joshua Heschel
MARCH 25, 2020

In today’s Gospel, Jesus informs his disciples that he too will endure a prophet’s suffering:

As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee,
Jesus said to them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,
and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”
And they were overwhelmed with grief.

Matthew 17:22-23

As we reflect on what these readings mean for us in our lives, our Alleluia Verse offers a key phrase:

Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called you through the Gospel
To possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

…through the Gospel

Unless we know and cherish the Gospel, we Christians cannot hear our call.


Poetry: The Call of a Christian – John Greenleaf Whittier

Not always as the whirlwind's rush 
On Horeb's mount of fear, 
Not always as the burning bush 
To Midian's shepherd seer, 
Nor as the awful voice which came 
To Israel's prophet bards, 
Nor as the tongues of cloven flame, 
Nor gift of fearful words,-- 
Not always thus, with outward sign 
Of fire or voice from Heaven,
The message of a truth divine, 
The call of Godis given! 
Awaking in the human heart 
Love for the true and right,-- 
Zeal for the Christian's better part, 
Strength for the Christian's fight. 
Nor unto manhood's heart alone
The holy influence steals 
Warm with a rapture not its own, 
The heart of woman feels! 
As she who by Samaria's wall
The Saviour's errand sought,-- 
As those who with the fervent Paul 
And meek Aquila wrought: 
Or those meek ones whose martyrdom 
Rome's gathered grandeur saw 
Or those who in their Alpine home
Braved the Crusader's war, 
When the green Vaudois, trembling, heard, 
Through all its vales of death, 
The martyr's song of triumph poured 
From woman's failing breath. 
And gently, by a thousand things 
Which o'er our spirits pass, 
Like breezes o'er the harp's fine strings, 
Or vapors o'er a glass, 
Leaving their token strange and new 
Of music or of shade, 
The summons to the right and true 
And merciful is made. 
Oh, then, if gleams of truth and light
Flash o'er thy waiting mind, 
Unfolding to thy mental sight 
The wants of human-kind; 
If, brooding over human grief,
The earnest wish is known 
To soothe and gladden with relief 
An anguish not thine own; 
Though heralded with naught of fear, 
Or outward sign or show; 
Though only to the inward ear 
It whispers soft and low; 
Though dropping, as the manna fell, 
Unseen, yet from above, 
Noiseless as dew-fall, heed it well,--- 
Thy Father's call of love!

Music: God is Calling through the Whisper

Alleluia: Between The Joints and Marrow

Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
June 20, 2022

Today’s Readings

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/062022.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our verse reminds us that God knows us completely, better than we know ourselves.

Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections
and thoughts of the heart.


If we want to align ourselves with the truth that God sees and loves in us, there is a simple way. We can immerse ourselves in scriptural prayer, bathing our hearts in the Word. Within that wash of grace, our true selves are revealed and released into the gentle love and mercy of God.


As our Gospel indicates, when we deepen in that core integrity, we become more like God Who does not judge, but instead always loves. As Matthew said in a chapter preceding today’s:

Be perfect (compassionate) 
as your Heavenly Father is perfect (compassionate).

Matthew 5:48

Prose – Rev. Vima Dasan, SJ

The word “perfect” represents the Hebrew word for “whole” or “integral”. This verse is conflated from Dt 18:13 where the word “holy” is used. It is the love of one’s enemies that assures the integrity of Christian morality distinguishing it from merely ethical morality. It is by this love of one’s enemies that we come nearer to the perfection of God’s own compassion. The special aspect of perfection in this verse therefore is not moral perfection so much as perfection in kindness, sympathy and generosity.

If someone does some good to me, I do him or her some good in return. This is conventional. But Jesus’ followers are not to remain content with conventional standards of goodness. Jesus expects us to go still further. Even if one does harm to me, I must do that person good in turn. It is only after saying, “If you confine your good deeds to your own kith and kin, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” (Mt 5:47), that Jesus adds, “You therefore must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Why should the disciples of Jesus repay evil with good? Because, God himself sets us an example in this regard, by bestowing his gifts both on the just and the unjust. It is in this respect, we are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.

Vima Dasan, SJ – His Word Challenges

Music: Word of God Speak – Mercy Me

Alleluia: Just Shine

Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
June 10, 2022

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our Alleluia Verse gives us a powerful encouragement– “Shine”. That’s it – just shine because the Word of God has charged you with Light and Life.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life. ( Phil. 2:15-16)

As our verse so clearly indicates, the more we absorb the beauty of the scriptures into our hearts, the more we shine.

And it’s not just about reading the Bible. It’s about sitting down with the Word just like we would with an old and dear friend. It’s listening, not only to what is said, but the immensity that is unsaid or whispered – both by the scriptures and by our own self-examination.

It is taking what our heart hears and letting it change or deepen our lives. It is letting go of so much that doesn’t matter in order to hold on the the Word that does matter.

It is becoming a sanctuary where others see that Word shining and are strengthened.

May we shine with a Holy Light that draws others to God’s Brilliant Love.

Poetry: I found this little poem on the internet, author unknown. I think it works for today’s meditation.

You don’t have to tell how you live each day;
You don’t have to tell if you work or play;
A tried and true barometer stands in its place—
You don’t have to tell, it will shine in your face. …
If you live close to God and God’s infinite grace—
You won’t have to tell, it will shine in your face.

Music: Walk in the Beautiful Light

I think this video is amazing. The hymn is being sung by a German speaking choir!

(Lyrics below — I especially like those “dewdrops of mercy”)

Walk in the light, beautiful light,
come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright.
Oh shine all around us by day and by night,
Jesus is, Jesus is the light of the world;

Oh we shall walk in the light, beautiful light,
come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright.
Oh shine all around us by day and by night,
Jesus is, Jesus is the light of the world;

No need to worry, no need to fret,
all of my needs, the man named Jesus has met.
His love protects me from hurt and from harm,
Jesus is, Jesus is the light of the world.

If the gospel be hid, it’s hid from the lost,
my Jesus is waiting to look past your faults.
Arise and shine, your light has come,
Jesus is, I know that He is the only light of this world.

Jesus is the light,
light of the world.

Jesus is the light,
light of the world.

Jesus is the light,
light of the world.

He’s ever shining in my soul.

Alleluia: Be Light!

June 7, 2022
Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we come back to the shore of Ordinary Time. Fresh off the glorious voyage with Jesus through Lent, Holy Week, Eastertide and Pentecost, we arrive grace-filled for the ordinary days of our lives.

( During this next Liturgical Season, I would like to focus us on our Alleluia Verse each day.  This short snippet of scripture serves like a doorman opening the way into our Gospel for the day. It helps us to focus on a truth that might be most meaningful in the sacred Word awaiting us. It alerts us that Jesus wants to speak to us, and it gives us a hint of what He might want to say.

Of course, we do not read the Alleluia Verse in isolation, but rather in the context of the lessons of our first reading and the reinforcements of our daily psalm. But it still might help us to take the small gem of the Alleluia Verse and hold it up to a longer, more reflective light.

For those who wish to meditate further on the readings or Psalm, I will try each day to give you links to earlier reflections on these readings, as you see with the buttons above.)


Today’s verse is an invitation to the light and energy of the Holy Spirit.
It is a call to be like suns and stars in the world’s shadows.
It is a reminder that we are satellites circling God’s Brillance …
that the brightness we reflect is a sprinkling of Divinity…
that no shadow can withstand our “Alleluia ”.

So if we are brave, let’s look in the mirror each morning,
maybe after a cold splash and a sip of coffee
and let’s tell ourselves the amazing truth:
“You are called to be Light in the darkness.”

That darkness takes the form of the obvious evils of our times:
war, violence, hatred, rampant militarism
and all other forms of contempt for another’s life.

But it comes in subtler patterns as well
that may be harder to discern in ourselves.

To name just a few – the infamous “ins” such as:

  • Intemperance
  • Ingratitude
  • Insincerity
  • Injustice
  • inaction
  • and I think, worst of all, Indifference

May we invite and welcome the
“Alleluia Light”
into our every darkness.
Amen.


Poetry: Bearing the Light – Denise Levertov

Rain-diamonds, this winter morning, 
embellish the tangle of unpruned pear-tree twigs; 
each solitaire, placed, it appears, with considered judgement, 
bears the light beneath the rifted clouds - 
the indivisible shared out in endless abundance.

Music: Be a Light – Thomas Rhett

Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter Mass in the Morning

June 4, 2022

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, on this day before Pentecost, we close the book on both Acts and John’s Gospel, companions we have been praying with since mid-April.


When I read a really great book, I hate it to end. The characters and their story linger in my mind. The places where I’ve pictured them seem real – as if I’ve visited there myself. And the core of their stories becomes part of me, a reference point for my own experience.

Hopefully, the same thing happens when we read and pray with scripture. 

bible

apostles

As we leave Acts today, we should feel like we know the early disciples better, especially Peter, Paul, Barnabas, Stephen, Lydia and others whose story might have touched us. We should better understand the ups and downs of the early Church, the passion for mission, and the evolution of faith – and how these speak to our own times.


Finishing John, we have a slightly different picture of Jesus from that of the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. We see a Jesus full of Light, his human existence described through the lens of his Divinity. Johannine scholar Raymond E. Brown describes the difference like this:

That Jesus is the center of John’s message is confirmed by even a hasty reading of the Gospel itself. The emphasis on the Kingdom of God, so prominent in the Synoptic Gospels, has yielded in John to an emphasis on Jesus as the embodiment of life, truth, and light. No more is the parabolic language introduced by “The kingdom of God is like,..”; rather we hear the majestic “I am ” Whereas it is the Kingdom that the Synoptic Gospels describe in terms of vineyard, wheat, shepherd and sheep, in John it is Jesus who is the vine, the bread, the shepherd, and the sheepgate.


shepherd
eucharist

Today, in our prayer, we might want to glance back through these books, reminding ourselves of the words, phrases and stories that touched our own experience most deeply. 

John_I

Sketching such phrases – perhaps in a daily prayer journal –  is a good way to let our minds turn them over and over again in prayer, discovering new depths with each turn.


Poetry: As we wait for the dawning of Pentecost, let us pray with William Blake’s powerful poem:

Unless the eye catch fire,
The God will not be seen.
Unless the ear catch fire
The God will not be heard.
Unless the tongue catch fire
The God will not be named.
Unless the heart catch fire,
The God will not be loved.
Unless the mind catch fire,
The God will not be known.

William Blake (1757-1827) from Pentecost


Music:  Cavalleria Rusticana: Easter Hymn – Pietro Mascagni, featuring Australian soprano Kiandra Howarth

I thought we’d close these two wonderful books, and the Easter Season, with a bang.
(Lyrics below)

Lyrics:
LATIN AND ENGLISH:
CHORUS (within the church)
Regina coeli, laetare—Alleluia!
Quia, quem meruisti portare—Alleluia!
Resurrexit sicut dixit—Alleluia!

CHORUS (in the square)
We rejoice that our Saviour is living!
He all-glorious arose from the dead;
Joys of heaven the Lord to us giving,
All the sorrows of darkness are fled!
(The chorus goes out slowly)


ITALIAN:
CORO INTERNO (dalla Chiesa.)
Regina coeli, laetare—Alleluja!
Quia, quem meruisti portare—Alleluja!
Resurrexit sicut dixit—Alleluja!

CORO ESTERNO (sulla piazza.)
Inneggiamo, il Signor non è morto.
Ei fulgente ha dischiuso l’avel,
inneggiamo al Signore risorto
oggi asceso alla gloria del Ciel!
(il Coro esce lentamente)

Lent: Listening with the Heart

March 6, 2022
First Sunday of Lent

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy,  our reading from Romans tells us:

The word is near you,
in your mouth and in your heart.

How is the Word of God near us, with us? 

Certainly, our sincere study and prayer with scripture is one way. Sitting quietly with scriptural passages, letting them speak to us, and inviting them to inform our lives is a life-giving discipline.

Sometimes, we might choose just one word or phrase from a beloved reading, turning it over and over, gently in our prayer. How has this precious word informed our lives, inspired us, called us, comforted us? How is it speaking to us in this moment?


As we move more deeply into the “words” of scripture, we move closer to the Word – the Incarnate God. John writes: 

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made;
without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:1

Today in our prayer, we might recommit ourselves to a deepening love of scripture, of the Word given to us there.

In his book, “The Bible Makes Sense”, Walter Bruggemann says this:

The Bible is not an “object” for us to study but a partner with whom we may dialogue. It is usual in our modern world to regard any “thing” as an object that will yield its secrets to us if we are diligent and discerning. And certainly this is true of a book that is finished, printed, bound, and that we can buy, sell, shelve, and carry in a briefcase or place on a coffee table…[But] reading the Bible requires that we abandon the subject-object way of perceiving things… [If we do,] the text will continue to contain surprises for us, and conversely we discover that not only do we interpret the text but we in turn are interpreted by the text… We may analyze, but we must also listen and expect to be addressed.


Poetry: God – by Khalil Gibran

In the ancient days, when the first quiver of speech came to my lips, I ascended the holy mountain and spoke unto God, saying, 'Master, I am thy slave. Thy hidden will is my law and I shall obey thee for ever more.' 

But God made no answer, and like a mighty tempest passed away. 

And after a thousand years I ascended the holy mountain and again spoke unto God, saying, 'Creator, I am thy creation. Out of clay hast thou fashioned me and to thee I owe mine all.' 

And God made no answer, but like a thousand swift wings passed away. 

And after a thousand years I climbed the holy mountain and spoke unto God again, saying, 'Father, I am thy son. In pity and love thou hast given me birth, and through love and worship I shall inherit thy kingdom.' 

And God made no answer, and like the mist that veils the distant hills he passed away. 

And after a thousand years I climbed the sacred mountain and again spoke unto God, saying, 'My God, my aim and my fulfilment; I am thy yesterday and thou art my tomorrow. I am thy root in the earth and thou art my flower in the sky, and together we grow before the face of the sun.' 

Then God leaned over me, and in my ears whispered words of sweetness, and even as the sea that enfoldeth a brook that runneth down to her, he enfolded me. 

And when I descended to the valleys and the plains, God was there also.

Music: Word of God Speak – Mercy Me

The Last Hour…

December 31, 2021
Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, on this New Year’s Eve, our spirits are occupied with the passage of time – the endings and beginnings that compose a life.

In the public domain, this night is often characterized as one of wild celebrations, almost as if we need to prove our endurance within time.

But in the privacy of our hearts, there are the moments of quiet nostalgia, bittersweet memory, and inexpressible gratitude for all that has been in this past year and the years preceding.


On this Sacred Eve, as people of faith, we will hold time’s hourglass up to the Light of eternity, knowing that – in God – there is no time.

In God, there is only love – the only human capacity which endures beyond time. In heaven, we will not need faith because we will see. We will not need hope, because all will be fulfilled.

But we will always need love.

In the end, there are three things that last –
faith, hope, and love.
And the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13


Photo by Digital Buggu on Pexels.com

So before the tolls welcome midnight, let us raise up to God our Eucharist of 2021:

  • those whose lives have been completed; those who have just begun
  • the efforts we made which succeeded; those which failed
  • the dreams secured; the dreams abandoned
  • the opportunities for grace that we seized; those lost which we hope to reclaim
  • the prayers answered as we had desired; the prayers answered in ways we hadn’t expected
  • all that we have loved; all that we hope to love more worthily

As John says in our first reading,
“Children, it is the last hour …” 
May we let it go
with gratitude, wisdom and joy.

But as John also says in our Gospel:

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God …
…. and from his fullness we have all received,
grace flowing upon grace …

May we welcome the grace
of eternal life and hope
given to us
in another New Year.

New Year’s Chimes by Francis Thompson, the English poet and Catholic mystic whose most famous poem is “The Hound of Heaven”. The poem is so worth your time if you can spare it. I take it in small doses to squeeze out the amazing imagery in every stanza.


What is the song the stars sing?
(And a million songs are as song of one)
This is the song the stars sing:
(Sweeter song’s none).

One to set, and many to sing.
(And a million songs are as song of one)
One to stand, and many to cling,
The many things and the one Thing,
The one that runs not, the many that run.

The ever new weaveth the ever old,
(And a million songs are as song of one)
Ever telling the never told;
The silver saith, and the said is gold,
And done ever the never done.

The Chase that’s chased is the Lord o’ the chase,
(And a million songs are as song of one)
And the Pursued cries on in the race;
And the hounds in leash are the hounds that run.

Hidden stars by the shown stars’ sheen;
(And a million suns are but as one)
Colours unseen by the colours seen,
And sounds unheard heard sounds between.
And a night is in the light of the sun.

An ambuscade of light in night,
(And a million secrets are but as one)
And a night is dark in the sun’s light,
And a world in the world man looks upon.

The world above in the world below,
(And a million worlds are but as one)
And the One in all; as the sun’s strength so
Strives in all strength, glows in all glow
Of the earth that wits not, and man thereon.

Braced in its own fourfold embrace
(and a million worlds are but as one)
And round it all God’s arms of grace,
The world, so as the Vision says,
Doth with its great lightning tramples on.

And the thunder bruiteth into thunder,
(And a million sounds are as sound of one)
From stellate peak to peak is tossed a voice of wonder
And the height stoops down to the depths thereunder,
And sun leans forth to his brother sun.

And the more ample years unfold
(With a million songs as song of one)
A little new of the ever old,
A little told of the never told,
Added act of the never done.

Loud the descant, and low the theme,
(A million songs are as song of one)
And the dream of the world is dream in dream,
But the one Is is, or nought could seem;
And the song runs round to the song begun.

This is the song the stars sing,
(Tunèd all in time)
Tintinnabulous, tuned to ring
A multitudinous-single thing
(Rung all in rhyme).

Blessed 2022, dear friends.


Music: Two songs — for “old times sake”?

Amazing Grace ~ Salt Lake City Vocal Artists

Auld Lang Syne – sung by Helmut Lotti

A Scriptural Banquet

December 5, 2021
Second Sunday of Advent

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Baruch, Paul, Luke (channeling Isaiah), and Psalm 126. The passages given us are rich, lyrical, joyful and profound.


The Lord has done great things for us;
we are filled with joy.

Psalm 126:3


For this whole coming week, we are invited to a scriptural banquet – the table set with  preciously familiar Advent phrases to, once again, enrich and challenge our hearts.

Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery;
    put on the splendor of glory from God forever…

Baruch 5:1

I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it 
until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

A voice of one crying out in the desert:
    “Prepare the way of the Lord,
        make straight his paths.
    Every valley shall be filled
        and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
    The winding roads shall be made straight,
        and the rough ways made smooth,
    and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Luke 3: 4-6

As with any banquet, we can approach this richness by taking a little bit of every offering, or we might prefer to fill up on one inspiration that particularly speaks to us at this moment in our lives.

  • Is there a misery we long to have lifted from our shoulders?
  • Is there a confidence and strength we seek from God?
  • Is there a sacred voice we need to hear, 
  • a crooked way needing straightening, 
  • an emptiness to be filled, 
  • an insurmountable challenge to be faced, 
  • a roughness to be smoothed?

Whatever our situation, by placing our needs faithfully before the promise of Advent, we will find the healing, hope, and grace we need.

Let these magnificent words seep into your heart to ready it for the promised salvation. For it is Advent – and

God is leading Israel in joy
    by the light of Divine Glory,
    with mercy and justice for company.

Baruch 5:9

Prose: from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.


Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability –
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God can say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

Music: Starlight through Barren Branches – Joel Clarkson

The Healing Word

October 18, 2021
Feast of St. Luke

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we celebrate the Feast of St. Luke, evangelist, writer of the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, and devoted missionary companion of Paul.

Luke’s Gospel is unique in several ways. 

Six miracles appear only in Luke:

  • the miraculous catch of fish
  • the raising of the widow’s only son
  • healing a possessed, crippled woman
  • healing a man with dropsy
  • cleansing of ten lepers 
  • healing the man’s ear in Gethsemane
Good Samaritan – Vincent Van Gogh

Eighteen parables are unique to Luke, including the beloved stories of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son.

Prodigal Son – Rembrandt

While both Matthew and Luke contain the story of Christ’s birth, only Luke includes those beautiful passages which now comprise the joyful mysteries of the rosary: Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation, and Finding in the Temple.

Only Luke gives us the Magnificat and the cherished words of the Hail Mary.

The Visitation – Domenico Ghirlandaio

Think of all that we would not be able to visualize without Luke’s blessed writings. No Gabriel. No Elizabeth, Zachary, Anna or Simeon. No tender Samaritan or merciful loving Prodigal Father to show us God’s face.

Maybe some of your favorite passages are among these Lucan treasures. You might want to choose one to accompany you throughout your day.


Poetry: Luke by Malcolm Guite

His gospel is itself a living creature
A ground and glory round the throne of God,
Where earth and heaven breathe through human nature
And One upon the throne sees it is good.

Luke is the living pillar of our healing,
A lowly ox, the servant of the four,
We turn his page to find his face revealing
The wonder, and the welcome of the poor.

He breathes good news to all who bear a burden
Good news to all who turn and try again,
The meek rejoice and prodigals find pardon,
A lost thief reaches paradise through pain,

The voiceless find their voice in every word
And, with Our Lady, magnify Our Lord.

Music: The Gospel According to Luke ~ Skip Ewing – a different but interesting take on Luke’s Gospel. The music today is a country song, not really about St. Luke’s Gospel, but certainly reflecting its love and respect for those who are poor.