Prostrate Before God

Greetings on this the Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Readings: Gn 17:3-9; Ps 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9; Jn 8:51-59
Notes: Is it that hard to prostrate before God?

Prostrate means lay oneself flat on the ground face downward, especially in reverence or submission.
Reverence means deep respect.

First Reading
Abram prostrated himself.

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him: “My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations.

The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Gospel Acclamation
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Set Free

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on

Greetings on this the Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Notes: My friend has been set free.

We trust in the Divine Love.

The Son of Man was with her unto the end. I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.
Lazarus, Come Out!

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faced with a most difficult choice: idol worship or death.
King Nebuchadnezzar wanted what he wanted. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace.

And yet G-d is not mocked.

Whether our trials are from health, wealth or powerful people – Jesus is at our side.

I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.

First Reading
Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.

Glory and praise for ever!

Gospel Acclamation
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.

So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Why Death?

Greetings on this the Fifth Sunday of Lent
Readings: Ez 37:12-14; PS 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; Rom 8:8-11; Jn 11:1-45
Notes: I worry about the American Church. In this season of exposing hypocracy and self-righteousness, many exhibit an unabashed preference for these things. Shocking.

Jesus has the power.
Jesus has the motive.
We, like Eve in the garden, want it now.
Jesus knows it is better to call us out of misery into new life and eternal life free of sin.

The seventh sign of Jesus in the Gospel of John.
It is the definitive reason the leadership sought to end his life.
As a matter of fact, they were more set on killing Lazarus than Jesus.
Lazarus was the living proof of the power of the Son of Man in a very public way in the sight of many people!

[The] large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too (JN 12:9-10a).

Our deepest need is found in the Book of Genesis.
Expulsion from Eden – An act of mercy.

Then the LORD God said: See! The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil! Now, what if he also reaches out his hand to take fruit from the tree of life, and eats of it and lives forever? (Gen 3:22).

What if?
We would fall deeper and deeper into desperation and misery even among the beautiful Garden of Eden – forever lost!

The Better Way
The LORD God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he had been taken. He expelled the man, stationing the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword east of the garden of Eden, to guard the way to the tree of life (Gen 3:23-24).

First Reading
O my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land; thus you shall know that I am the LORD. I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Second Reading
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you.

Verse Before the Gospel
I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will never die.

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Jesus has the power.
Jesus has the motive.
We, like Eve in the garden – The Garden of Earth, want it now.
Jesus knows it is better to call us out of misery into new life and eternal life free of sin.

We are to have a good life in this life and again in the next.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Handmaid of the Lord

Greetings on this the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
Readings: Is 7:10-14; 8:10;Ps 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11; Heb 10:4-10;Lk 1:26-38
Notes: IborrowedalaptopsoIcouldwriteyoutoday.As you can see thkeyoardisnotrespondingwelltomy typing.

Handmaid– to serve.
Mature – to be fully formed in a particular regard. To act accordingly.

Personal note: Integration into the Franciscan community is a slow process. Everyone is nice and welcoming. But there are distinct advantages, approved to head out on a five week Camino de Santiago de Francis. Nearly 500 miles by foot. April start.

Let us go (MK 1:38).

Today we celebrate the Annunciation of the Lord which is a promise kept from of old.
For thus says the Lord GOD: Look! I myself will search for my sheep and examine them (EZ 34:11).
This is a celebration of Incarnation (happens at conception) and the promise of the Infancy of Jesus (happens at birth, 9 months to the day).
We celebrate the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.

Franciscan Media:

Pope Francis encourages us to consecrate ourselves to the Blessed Mother today.


First Reading
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us!”

Responsorial Pslam
Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Second Reading
By this “will,” we have been consecrated through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Verse Before the Gospel
The Word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us;
and we saw his glory.


  1. Immaculate.
  2. Annunciate.
  3. Conception.
  4. Birth.

What differentiates Mary?

  • Her Immaculate Conception.
  • Her Motherhood – Theotokos. WIKI- The Council of Ephesus in AD 431 decreed that Mary is the Theotokos because Her Son Jesus is both God and man: one divine person from two natures (divine and human) intimately and hypostatically united.
  • Her YES to the Lord.

Why is that?

  • Mary was conceived with a perfect receptivity to love and a perfect capacity effectuated, reciprocal love.
  • Mary was conceived with the full maturity of love – even in the womb.
  • She is the complete essential human expression of love. This is why there is no Original Sin stain, nor concupiscence, nor Actual Sin. She was in perfect love of the Beloved.
  • Her love did not need to mature, although it did grow through experience, but its capacity was complete at the beginning.

The young girl YES was in the full maturity of love – receptivity to divine love and RECIPRICOL in her love for Father and Son.

For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many (MK10:45).
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her (LK1:38).

Adam and Eve learned how to love. So do we.
Adam gave elemental love: This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of man this one has been taken (Gen 2:23). Eve did not reciprocate.
They both needed to learn much about love.

Cain did not understand love.
Then the LORD said to Cain: Why are you angry? Why are you dejected? If you act rightly, you will be accepted;* but if not, sin lies in wait at the door: its urge is for you, yet you can rule over it (Gen 4:6-7).

Eve learned love through loss.
Adam again had intercourse with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she called Seth. “God has granted me another offspring in place of Abel,” she said, “because Cain killed him (Gen 4:25).

The RUAH breath of God is within us so we know how to love but the gap is our growth.
We call it freewill but it is in reality the imperative to grow in love.

The word LOVE.
First Appearance of the word LOVE.
After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you. (Genesis 22:1–2).

Simon, do you love me?
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,* “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” (Jn 21:35).

WIKI– The word “love” appears 57 times in the Gospel of John, more often than in the other three gospels combined. Additionally, it appears 46 times in the First Epistle of John.

What to make of this.
Mary is our model of love from the interior, from our very essence.
For Mary, in a singular grace, from conception fully mature.
For everyone else, our work on Earth.

Grow in love.
Ask Mary for assistance in what she excels in – receptive love, reciprocal love.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Siloam – Sent


Greetings on this the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Readings: 1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a; Ps 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6; Eph 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41

Notes: using phone and one finger. First homily notes at new parish so I figure better write some notes.

I made this comment to a friar this morning March 12th, a week ago:

“I am a secular deacon but now assigned to a Franciscan community. I want to mold my homilies with the spirit and charism of Franciscan spirituality. I leave on pilgrimage in a few weeks, what shall I take on my journey?”

Reply: A San Damiano Cross.

So perhaps, God willing, these will be my first changed nuanced or last secular homily notes. What it is, with certainty, is a commitment to mold my life to Jesus in a new way. Saint Iago, pray for us. Saint Francis, pray for us.

Themes for 4th Sunday.

1. Sent. Samuel was sent to pick from among the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem to become King. Now listen up, he did this once before (1Sam 10:1ff) with Saul and things ended badly. See 1Sam 15:1, 26, 35. Whatever his trepidations he went and anointed David. We know he lamented Saul’s fall. Jesus sends the blind man to The Pool of Siloam. Just reminding you he was blind. But he went and now he sees.

2. The Innocent are not exempt from the troubles of life. In the case of the man born blind and (as in the Gospel of Luke 13:4) the innocent who died in the collapse of the Tower of Siloam. Jesus said, neither he nor his parents sinned. The tower, a recent tragedy, 18 people died. They were like everyone else. The innocent, the ordinary and the wicked all are subject to trouble in this world.

3. The Third and Sixth Sign of Jesus in Gospel of John. See my page image here. The injured sinner at the Pool of Bethsaida engaged in likely pagan god worship (Priests of Asclepius stir the pools). The man who was born blind at the Pool of Siloam, a mikvah place (Jewish ritual bathing). Both healed by Jesus. Sinner and sinless are under divine care. Those stuck in paganism called forth. Those faithful heard too.

4. Laetare Sunday. Rejoice. Isa 66:10-10. Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her; Rejoice with her in her joy, all you who mourn over her – So that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; That you may drink with delight at her abundant breasts!

5. Challenges of Unbelief.

  • A. Sinners are punished. Confusing consequence with cause.
  • B. Disbelief people can change.
  • C. Mercy on Sabbath – an affront to self-righteous.
  • D. Mercy on Sabbath – a sin!
  • E. Intimidating parents.
  • F. We are not his disciples! Disown.
  • G. Ad Hominem. Attacks.

6. Listening.

  • If Jesus sends you, go!
  • God listens! He always listens! Always!!
  • God acts to the good!
  • Men doubt (our common problem).
  • Witnessed prove.

Take the psalmist’s words to heart. We all encounter difficulty in life. Sometimes a direct consequence and sometimes things just happen. But in every case with faith in God we can say with confidence: Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. We are only limited by how much we trust the Lord. How we treat the people and the world around us, the same thing.

Story of the two buckets. There was a boy who went to the well each day to draw water for the family. He had two buckets, one perfect and one leaky. The leaky bucket was sad one day. He relayed his feelings to the perfect bucket who replied: While it is true I carry the water without spilling, you carry water too. Now look at the path to the well. Filled with grass and flowers! Day in, day out, You have been watering the earth and it brings forth goodness.

You will know them by their fruits.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry