No More Caesars

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on

Greetings on this the Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Gn 9:1-13; Ps 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 and 22-23; Mk 8:27-33
Notes: The region of Caesarea Philippi was considered a place of religious observances by Greek and Roman alike. It was so named by Herod Philip (son of Herod the Great). Caesar Philip is its meaning.

Jesus, meek and mild, goes there and sets his example in contrast to the kingdoms and religions of the world.

  • Not the deities of the Greek pantheon.
  • Not the powerful of the Roman Caesars.
  • Not the civil royalty of the Jews (non-davidic).

Jesus, Messiah, meek and mild.

He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly.

God is not at war with us.
He has set his bow in the clouds.
He has come to save us.

A geography of Caesarea Philippi can be found here:

First reading
I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

Responsorial Psalm
From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.

Alleluia Verse
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of everlasting life (Jn 6:63c, 68c).

Gospel Portion
Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.

“But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry


Misaemich brings clarity amid the whirlwind of life.

MisaeMich 🙂

A tourist visited a Sufi. He was astonished to see that the Sufi’s home was a simple room. The only furniture was a mat and a kerosene lamp.

Tourist: “Sufi where is your furniture?”
Sufi: “Where is yours?”
Tourist: “Mine? But I’m only a tourist here.”
Sufi: “So am I!”

~ Rumi

View original post

Precious and Dear in the eyes of the Lord.

Greetings on this the Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Gn 8:6-13, 20-22; Ps 116:12-13, 14-15, 18-19; Mk 8:22-26
Notes: I am tired today, long day yesterday. My notes are dense and intercalated but I don’t want to flatten them out as it would take pages to do. Please read the notes as such and let the Lord speak.

Theme words: dialogical, aid, hand out to help, mercy, love, progressive elaboration, grievious.

Progressive Elaboration is a consistent mode of expression in sacred Scripture. The divine will progresses across the biblical stories and is added by summary statements along the way. The climatic expression of love is the Cross. These stories also reveal the dialogical nature of the divine aid.

From the readings this week
The LORD God then called to the man and asked him: Where are you?
Then the LORD said to Cain: Why are you angry? Why are you dejected?
Then the LORD asked Cain, Where is your brother Abel?
The question series from yesterday’s gospel portion

The Noah story is its own progressive elaboration of the mercy of God. How very dear we are to the Lord even in our messed-up ways and behaviors. The gospel portion today is the progressive elaboration of Jesus’ ministry and personal divine revelation.

Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, “Do you see anything?”
Looking up he replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.”

From the readings this week
death of God’s faithful is grievous to God
the sigh

If the Earth becomes inhabitable for humanity it won’t be from cosmic forces or planetary events beyond our control. It will be our responsibility. Death of God’s faithful is grievous to God.

God is always reaching out to us
[Noah] Putting out his hand, he caught the dove and drew it back to him inside the ark.
[Jesus] He took the blind man by the hand.

Hold God’s hand!

First reading
As long as the earth lasts, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, Summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

When the LORD smelled the sweet odor [Noah’s burnt offering of thanks], he said to himself: “Never again will I doom the earth because of man since the desires of man’s heart are evil from the start; nor will I ever again strike down all living beings, as I have done.

Responsorial Psalm
To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.

My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people. Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones.

Precious or Dear in the eyes of the Lord.

Dear in the eyes of the LORD: the meaning is that the death of God’s faithful is grievous to God, not that God is pleased with the death, cf. Ps 72:14. In Wis 3:5–6, God accepts the death of the righteous as a sacrificial burnt offering (NABRE, commentary PS 116:15).

Alleluia Verse
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to his call.

Gospel Portion
Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked, “Do you see anything?” Looking up the man replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” Then he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Calling All Saints!

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop
Readings: Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10; Ps 29:1a and 2, 3ac-4, 3b and 9c-10; Mk 8:14-21
Notes: Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop did the best they could with who they are.

The LORD creates people with a certain type of spark. That spark, different in each of us but common to all of us, is the igniting influence of faith and mercy.

Jesus constantly pushes us forward.

Jesus encourages us to go deeper and deeper into the ethos, pathos and logos of the LORD.

Consider our gospel portion today.
Jesus is asking the disciples to grow by way of reason, intellect and faith. All of them. All of you.

  • Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
  • Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
  • Are your hearts hardened?
  • Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
  • And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?”
  • “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?”
  • He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

In the structure of this gospel, it is important to remember that only after Jesus confronts the lethargic thinking of the apostles do we come to this: Peter’s Confession About Jesus.

Now Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Messiah.” Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.


Holiness means reacting to human life with God’s love: human life as it is, crisscrossed with the political and the cultural, the beautiful and the ugly, the selfish and the saintly. For Cyril and Methodius much of their daily cross had to do with the language of the liturgy. They are not saints because they got the liturgy into Slavonic, but because they did so with the courage and humility of Christ.


First reading
When the LORD saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, … his heart was grieved.
But Noah found favor with the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord will bless his people with peace.

Alleluia Verse
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father will love him and we will come to him.

Gospel Portion
Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Sigh! from the depth of your spirit!

Greetings on this the Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Gn 4:1-15, 25; Ps 50:1 and 8, 16bc-17, 20-21; Mk 8:11-13
Notes: He sighed from the depth of his spirit.

Any parent can tell you – I know this feeling.

OK, maybe your kids are perfect, so this doesn’t apply.

But for the rest of us…

He sighed from the depth of his spirit.

What is it they are looking for, a sign?
Not a sign but a test:

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.

How many parents TAKE THE BAIT?

You know what I mean.

  • Let the children goad you into a response?
  • Let them own the narrative?
  • Let them present a never-ending series and cascading set of demands that frankly not even God can fulfill.

Just sigh.
Sigh from the depths of your soul.

And know.
Know you are working God’s will in their life.

Perfectly imperfect in love.

Readings today:

First reading
Adam again had relations with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she called Seth. “God has granted me more offspring in place of Abel,” she said, “because Cain slew him.”

Encounter this in this way for today:

Cain, Abel, Seth… are one person.

Keep going!!
your burnt offerings are before me always.

The Lord knows what help you need and what things are helpful.

Keep going!
Keep praying!

Responsorial Psalm
Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.

Alleluia Verse
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.

Gospel Portion
The Demand for a Sign.
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.

He sighed from the depth of his spirit.

Jesus did many signs.
The Gospel of John is orgainized around the Seven Signs (The Book of Signs) and The Hour (The Book of Glory). See:

So we must take Jesus’ response to have a deeper meaning.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

A Father’s Advice to His Son

A wonderful piece from a fellow traveler and blogger.


As a young boy my mother made me learn a sentence. The magic aspect of that one line was that it did not end with a full stop rather it took a flight of fancy and inspiration even before it ended. And She must have said this sentence a thousand times by the time i was twelve as few other sentences had started arriving at her memory doorstep, but by then I had found the keys to the roots for reaching to the tree top.

“If you want to be a happy adult Nara, she used to say, read the 3R’s. And those 3Rs were; Ruskin Bond, Roald Dahl and Rudyard Kipling.

As I look back today, I couldn’t have asked for any other direction as a child from anyone. She set me up early in my life filling it with curiosity, travels and compassion towards all beings and nature.

View original post 702 more words

101 Joyful Affirmations for 2023 — Godspacelight

by Jenneth Graser I recently enjoyed the blessing of attending the Godspace Following the Star Retreat led by Christine Sine and Lilly Lewin. It was facilitated with such hospitality and inclusion, a gentle creative approach to what can be a somewhat daunting feeling at the beginning of a new year, with all of the expectations… 101 […]

101 Joyful Affirmations for 2023 — Godspacelight

But I say to you

Greetings on this the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Sir 15:15-20; Ps 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34; 1 Cor 2:6-10; Mt 5:17-37
Notes: Seven times Jesus corrects the then current teaching with ‘but I say to you’.

It is urgent the American Catholic Church stop projecting and start listening to Jesus.

Everything he taught is centered on the Beatitudes.

It is a terrible reminder but one that must be given.
This stark warning from Jesus:

in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God (Jn 16:2b).

He is not speaking of the pagan but the religious.

Just like yesterday’s gospel portion – listen to him.

First reading
If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live.
Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him.

Responsorial Psalm
Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Second reading
What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him, this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.

For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.

Alleluia Verse
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.

Gospel Portion
But I say to you.
But I say to you.
But I say to you.
But I say to you.
But I say to you.
But I say to you.
But I say to you.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry