Menu Style


April 3, 2014

Thursday in the 4th Week of LentExodus 2 flip

Saint for the day:

St. Benedict the African (1526-1589)    

Scripture Readings for today's Liturgy:    

Exodus 32:7-14    

Psalm 106     

John 5:31-47    

“You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39) 

I love the way John puts a very human-like face on God who seems to stoop to a level where we can more easily see Him. We’ve been turning away from Godblessed in these recent days – hearing of God’s enduring mercy and his long-lasting desire to have us come back to him. Today, God seems to come at us from a different angle reminding us of how faint our allegiance to follow Him has been. From the Old Testament to the Holy Gospel we are being reminded of our tendency to backslide, or forget how blessed we’ve been during our journey.   If we look closely at this Exodus reading we should be able to see that any “spiritual journey” is going to entail some hardships and difficulties. What we have to do is see that most of these trials beset us because we have not “stayed the course.” The “Old Testament Exodus” reminds us that we can’t deny our sinfulness and our tendency to give up on God. If the Exodus tells us anything, we should be able to see how patient God is with us as we stumble and fall in our efforts to stay on the right path.

Then, just in case we’ve forgotten how vast is God’s mercy, the Responsorial Psalm summarizes it all for us – again – with the plea, “Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.”

All of a sudden I was struck with a powerful thought: here I am, sitting in the quiet, dark of our little Chapel in the early hours of the morningJesus embrace writing these “reflections.” How easy it is for me to “wax eloquently” of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness when it’s just me and God. But that’s not how life – spiritual or natural – works!   The Exodus Story shows us that God took on an entire nation to lead them to freedom in the Promised Land and this journey was not without its hardships and difficulties. I have to be aware that it is good for me to spend this quiet time with the Lord and I truly believe that I have been graced because of this practice. BUT my sanctification will most likely happen in the midst of the “rag, tag people” that I live with! The ones who leave lights on and who seldom clean up their messes in the kitchen. Sure … I can talk about “Jesus as my personal savior” but I have to believe that in the context of the journey that I’m on, right here and now. God didn’t just save Moses – his faithful leader – but a stubborn and stiff-necked people who mumbled and grumbled all the way.

Moses often took time to “be alone with God” during the journey and he often came out of the tent “glowing with the presence of God.” But he still had to deal with the same stiff-necked and stubborn people as they wandered in and out of God’s love and mercy.

I think our “bottom line” for today would have to be our coming to the reality that our personal sanctification will come to us through our living and working with the people who are on the journey with us – and who are often the people who rub us the wrong way!

* * * * * * * * *

I’d like to hear from you to know that you’re getting these reflections. Click on the following “link” This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

April 2, 2014

Wednesday in the 4th Week of LentGod calling w-clouds

Saint for the day: St. Francis of Paola (1416-1507)

Scripture Readings for today's Liturgy:

Isaiah 49:8-15

Psalm 145

John 5:17-30

“Thus says the Lord: In a time of favor I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you…” (Isaiah 49:8)

Lord is my shepherdThis quote, above, is the start of this beautiful scripture from Isaiah that is just jam-packed with God’s promises to restore the land and set prisoners free. In some ways it’s a paraphrase of Psalm 23 – “The Lord if my Shepherd.” Take some time go back over it and read it slowly. Try to hear it speaking directly to you. You might even put you own name in wherever it might fit in order to be able to hear God speaking these words to you. You can do the same with the Responsorial Psalm: “The Lord is good to Daniel … and lifts him up when he falls. The Lord is near to Daniel when he calls and He is gracious and merciful to me.”   It’s always good for us to remember that these Scratchpad Reflections are a means for us to “scratch” through the veneer and get to the heart of the matter.  Nobody’s going to check to see how “orthodox” we are and that makes us more likely to hear the Lord assuring us of His love, forgiveness and desire to draw us into his presence In today’s Holy Gospel Jesus says, “… Whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation.” (John 5:24)

It might be good for you to go back and read the Isaiah scripture again. And when you get to the end notice thatcarved on my palms they left off the verse that I think is so important: the reading ends with the words, “I will never forget you” but the next verse shows us how/why he will do this: “I have carved you on the palm of my hand.” (Isaiah 49:16) You need to stop right there and ruminate on those ten fantastic words. These are the creative hands of God and He promises that we will always be a part of His ongoing re-creation. Isn’t that something? Some time back our Morning Prayer ended with this wonderful phrase, “… and fill this day with   an active love for you and our neighbor.” Say, “Amen!”

                                                                                                   * * * * * * * * *

                                               I’d like to hear from you to know that you’re getting these reflections. Click on the following “link”   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

April 1, 2014

  Tuesday in the 4th Week of Lentwater from the temple

Click here to learn about: "April Fool's Day"

Saint for the day: St. Hugh of Grenoble (1052-1132)

Scripture Readings for today's Liturgy:

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12

Psalm 46

John 5:1-6

“At the entrance of the temple I saw water flowing out … first a trickle, then a stream, then a mighty river!” (a paraphrase of Ezekiel 47:3-5)

“There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God…” (Psalm 46:5)

“There is a pool called Bethesda … whose waters are healing when they are stirred up” (Paraphrase of John 5:1)

cripple in the poolWith these three quotes from today’s Liturgy of the Word we’re back to – or still in – a “water theme!” and the very first thought that came to me as I read through these scriptures was the reference to Jesus’ death on the cross where we hear, “… His side was pierced by a lance and there flowed out blood and water…” (John 19:34) Images of sacrifice and Life-giving sustenance.   In the reading from Ezekiel the water is at first just a trickle but eventually becomes a huge river impossible to wade across. Think about that image: life is a sink or swim reality and we can’t just stand in the safety at the edges. We have to trust that God will guide us to safety on the other side or send an angel or someone to help us make it. The man in today’s Holy Gospel needs someone to help him get in to the waters as soon as they begin to stir. The Israelites were led to their freedom when Moses parted the waters. And even our own existence begins in the water-world of our mother’s womb. What is the one thing that all of our “space probes” are trying to find? You got it! WATER!no man is an island

But the one important factor that we need to grasp is the fact that we are not in this alone. We don’t make it to the gates of heaven as a single being. What's the picture to the right remind us?  "No one is an island all by themselves."  And we certainly don’t make it at the expense of trampling others along the way. There are two sides to this “coin of salvation” and we have to remember that Jesus isn’t just my personal savior but the savior of the world. That’s why we are “church” and why we come together for the sacraments and why we pray, “Our Father…” In today’s Holy Gospel Jesus asks the man, “Do you want to be well?” Then there’s a curious response: the man doesn’t say, “YES” but … rather “I don’t have anyone to help me into the water when it begins to stir.” The first thought that comes to me Heavy in purplewith this response is: “When did we see you unable to get to the water and help you? Or lift you up. Or assist you?”  I think you can get the drift. Our hurts or our ills are healed when we stretch out our arms to help someone else who is in need. Lent doesn’t do anything for us if our only gesture is one of “NOT…NOT …NOT” - eating this or drinking that. Not going to movies or watching TV. We have to put a positive spin on our journey through Lent and that’s when we, ourselves, will realize that we received – some kind of healing – in the process of reaching out to someone else. “When you helped someone in need you were helping me, says the Lord.” (Matthew 25:35ff)  This is the essence of our Lenten Journey: becoming “Church” for someone other than ourselves. Amen!

                                                                                                                  * * * * * * * * *

                                                             I’d like to hear from you to know that you’re getting these reflections. Click on the following “link”   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

March 31, 2014

Monday in the 4th Week of LentOn earth as it is in heaven

Saint for the day: St. Stephen of Mar Saba (died: 794)

Scripture Readings for today's Liturgy:                         

Isaiah 65:17-21

Psalm 30

John 4:43-54

“Thus says the Lord: Lo, I am about to create a new heavens and a new earth;” Isaiah 65:17)   “Jesus said to them, ‘Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe …you may go; your son will live.’” (John 4:48)   Today’s reading from Isaiah and the Gospel from John are like two bookends of our faith. Isaiah paints a marvelous picture of the way God intended the world to be: “For I create Jerusalem to be Gates of heven wstairsa joy and its people to be a delight;”(Isaiah 65:18)   Then the Gospel begins with Jesus saying, “… a prophet has no honor in his native place.” (John 4:43) which is a reminder to all of us that the people that know us can see right through our piety and religiosity. After all, we’ve just been hearing about the S & P’s who let pomposity and show be more important than taking care of the needy or the poor.   In today’s Holy Gospel we hear that Jesus returned to Cana in Galilee where he had made the water into wine. Maybe the wedding feast was still going on when a royal official begged him to come and heal his son before the son dies. Jesus, however, isn’t interested in only being seen as a “wonder-worker” and just tells the man to go home, “your son will live.”  It’s almost as if Jesus is “flip” and doesn’t want to be bothered and we have to be careful to try and go deeper tobaby in hands 2
see what’s really happening. I don’t know how many physical healings Jesus performed or even how many deaths were reversed but I do know that even Lazarus – who was four days in the tomb when Jesus called him back to life - must have died again since he’s not still around. So, what does that tell us about healings and miracles? Just being brought back to life – as we know it in this world – isn’t the end of our struggles. Remember: Jesus, who rose from the dead didn’t just pick up where he’d left off – but ascended into Heaven. Heaven all the way to heavenMiracle seeking isn’t our goal in following Christ. It’s not an end in itself but a means to our changing something in our journey that eventually leads us into heaven. When St. Catherine of Siena says, “It’s Heaven all the way to Heaven” that’s certainly telling us that even if we’re brought back from the dead we’re not there yet!   When the man in today’s Gospel hears that his son got better “his whole household came to believe.” The challenge that we are given in today’s liturgy is to be able to say, “Lord, I believe that you are from God even as I know that we are all called out of this world to be with you forever in Paradise.” None of us lives in this world forever but this is the time for us – as we journey - to think about how and where we’ll spend eternity. Amen!

                                                                                                     * * * * * * * * *

                                                    I’d like to hear from you to know that you’re getting these reflections. Click on the following “link” This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Easy Listening

Dominican Vocation

About Dominican Vocation

Who's Online

We have 8 guests and no members online

You are here: Home brdaniel

The General Curia

The church and convent of Santa Sabina on the Aventine hill in Rome have been home to the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) since the 13th century. At that time the church and associated buildings formed part of the holdings of the Savelli family. A Savelli Pope, Honorius III, approved the Order in 1216. Read more...

Province of St. Joseph

The Dominican friars of the Province of St. Joseph were founded in 1806 by Edward Dominic Fenwick, O.P., an American who had joined the English Province of the Order as a young man during its exile in Belgium. Fenwick eventually returned to the United States with the dream of establishing the Order in his native land. Read more...


The Third Order of St Dominic

The Third Order of Saint Dominic consists of men and women, singles and couples living a Christian life with a Dominican spirituality in a secular world. Read more...


Contact us

  • Dominican Friars, Nairobi P. O. Box: 24012 - 00502, Karen, Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Dominican Friars, Kisumu  P.O. Box:  2566-40100, Kisumu .
  • Dominican Friars, St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Spring Valley - Village Market