A House of Prayer – A Life of Courage

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Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr
Readings: Tb 1:3; 2:1a-8; Ps 112:1b-2, 3b-4, 5-6; Mk 12:1-12
Notes: We take a delightful reading sequence through the book of Tobit. I find great solace in that book, a story of love in action from end to end.

The first treasure of the book we have today and matches wonderfully with the Saint of the Day, Boniface, Bishop and Martyr.
A man whos home is a House of Prayer leads a life of spiritual courage.

God forbid we err so badly as to reject the corner stone!

How did they reject the stone?

  • By not listening to the Prophets and ultimately by killing them.
  • By ignoring the commandments.
  • By leading with greed and self-interest, lacking care for the people.
  • By rejecting God, himself.


Be a House of Prayer.

  • Read sacred scripture.
  • Follow the commandments.
  • Listen to your Pope.
  • And your spiritual courage exceeds your wildest dreams.

Tobit was about to dine in celebration of Pentecost (The Feast of Weeks).
A murdered person lying in the street, he immediately recovered the body and then ate his dinner in mourning. The next day he buried the poor man, to the mockery of the people who know his action could bring certain death for him.

Franciscan Media:


Boniface bears out the Christian rule: To follow Christ is to follow the way of the cross. For Boniface, it was not only physical suffering or death, but the painful, thankless, bewildering task of Church reform. Missionary glory is often thought of in terms of bringing new persons to Christ. It seems—but is not—less glorious to heal the household of the faith.

First Reading
On our festival of Pentecost, the feast of Weeks, a fine dinner was prepared for me, and I reclined to eat.

“Father, one of our people has been murdered! His body lies in the market place where he was just strangled!” I sprang to my feet, leaving the dinner untouched; and I carried the dead man from the street and put him in one of the rooms, so that I might bury him after sunset. Returning to my own quarters, I washed myself and ate my food in sorrow.

And I wept.
Then at sunset I went out, dug a grave, and buried him.

The neighbors mocked me, saying to one another: “He is still not afraid! Once before he was hunted down for execution because of this very thing; yet now that he has scarcely escaped, here he is again burying the dead!”

Blessed the man who fears the Lord.

Blessed the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands. His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the upright generation shall be blessed.

Gospel Acclamation
Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead; you have loved us and freed us from our sins by your Blood.

Have you not read this Scripture passage:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?”

They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd,
for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them.
So they left him and went away.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Camino Photo Sequence

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Here is the search link for the Camino so you can cycle through the Camino postings.

If you want to scan through the Camino photos, use this link. Hit Older posts button until no more…


Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Divine Prerogative

Greetings on this the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Readings: Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9; Dn 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56; 2 Cor 13:11-13; Jn 3:16-18
Notes: Added rating indicator to the top of the posts. It’s a feature I’d like to try out to see if it communicates reception.

Divine Prerogative means that G-d is under no obligation to show mercy or to not show mercy. He is merciful on whomever he wishes to be merciful.

  1. Some would limit the mercy of G-d. Have mercy on me but not him, or the opposite, on him not on me.
  2. Some would trivialize the mercy of G-d. What good is mercy in my agonies?
  3. Some would universalize the mercy of G-d. No matter what, I get mercy.

G-d is always merciful: “The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.”

Taken in reverse order as follows:

  1. Slow to anger means his mercy is continuous but if we persist in rejecting mercy, it can be ineffective. We have the autonomy.
  2. Rich in kindness means He is present even in our agonies. Remember, Jesus could not sense the love but knew the love (My God, My God…).
  3. His mercy is an expression of his fidelity to us as his created beings. The Father sent His Son and His Spirit to us directly and intimately.

His mercy has three interesting component relative to our actions:

[The Lord] continuing his love for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless, but bringing punishment for their parents’ wickedness on children and children’s children to the third and fourth generation!

  1. He leverages our right relations (goodness) and makes it perfect – to a thousand generations!
  2. He limits the effects of our mistakes t have an impact less than they have potency to be limited to 3rd and 4th generations.
  3. He invites us into the Divine Life to be mercy and to allow us to offer redemptive suffering.

Trinity Sunday following Pentecost Sunday and preceding the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ makes the powerful statement about the fidelity of G-d.

  • G-d who created us sends … himself in the second and third person to be with us… to pilgrimage with us until the end of time.
  • Answering Moses in the fullest: If I find favor with you, O Lord, do come along in our company.


  • Father – Makes us to be his children, and offers his kingdom of good will and peace.
  • Son – Makes us brother and friend and has won our redemption.
  • Spirit – Gifts us divine Life, divine love, holy wisdom and strength in our weakness.


Father, you sent your Word to bring us truth and your Spirit to make us holy. Through them we come to know the mystery of your life. Help us to worship you, one God in three Persons, by proclaiming and living faith in you. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, and lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday reflection from three years ago which certainly applies today:

Glory and praise for ever!

Second Reading
Note: I include the entirety of it as it is a prayer of blessing for you!

Brothers and sisters, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

Gospel Acclamation
Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; to God who is, who was, and who is to come.

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

The Divine Prerogative is to Love. That is what he decided to be, to do and to promise.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Of Heavenly Origin

Monastery, Spain. Iglesia de San Salvador de Vilar de Donas.

Greetings on this the Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs
Readings: Sir 51:12 cd-20; PS 19:8, 9, 10, 11; Mk 11:27-33
Notes: What moves us? Tomorrow is Trinity Sunday!

What drives us (or motivates us) to do one thing or another?

John the Baptist, who died for his confrontation with King Herod, was driven or motivated by the Divine.. Our saints today, Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs, were motivated by the Divine.

It is worth noting that each of these examples came about by the misappropriation of intimate relation for all the wrong reasons by those in power.

Three Examples of wrong reason

  • John the Baptist: Herod wanted his brother’s wife (and she wanted him) as a source to consolidate their power .
  • Charles Lwanga: Bagandan ruler, Mwanga, used homosexual abuse to solidify his absolute control over his kingdom.
  • Droit du seigneur (‘right of the lord’), also known as ius primae noctis (‘right of the first night’), was a supposed legal right in medieval Europe, allowing feudal lords to have sexual relations with subordinate women, in particular, on the wedding nights of the women.

Right Reason

Motivated by Divine Love to bring salvation, peace and right relation. This is the compelling force. This is the work of the Holy Trinity, particular to each person, manifested in an individual way.

We too are called to make our actions from the Divine Origin.

Here is the chilling part: Honesty is required.

We must dialog honestly with the Lord.

When those who opposed him did the raw calculation of how to answer, not out of a reflection on truth and evidence, but on the political calculus they fell into a trap made by their own minds.

  1. If we answer ‘Heavenly’ origin – this.
  2. If we answer ‘Human’ origin – that.
  3. Therefore, we shall give no account of our mind and thoughts, we shall simply lie, “We do not know”. We do not know (we offer no reflection):
    • Which for them is equal to saying, we don’t want to know. We don’t actually really care how or why John the Baptist speaks.

They closed their minds and hearts to hear the divine.
Jesus replied by describing what they have decided to do.

You can not hear the divine voice.
You refuse to hear the divine voice.

Then Jesus said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
When you are uncomfortable with your thoughts or actions, do not close your mind to the divine. When you are judgmental of others and their actions, do not close your mind to the divine.

Instead have the honest dialog with the Lord.

  • What are the origins of my thoughts?
  • Who am I listening to: man or God?

Then, being open to the Lord, he is able to enlighten you and bring you salvation, peace and right relation.



Like Charles Lwanga, we are all teachers and witnesses to Christian living by the examples of our own lives. We are all called upon to spread the word of God, whether by word or deed. By remaining courageous and unshakable in our faith during times of great moral and physical temptation, we live as Christ lived.

First Reading
When I was young and innocent, I sought wisdom openly in my prayer I prayed for her before the temple, and I will seek her until the end, and she flourished as a grape soon ripe.

The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

Gospel Acclamation
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The Authority of Jesus Questioned.

“Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?” – they feared the crowd, So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”

Then Jesus said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Each in his own time

Greetings on this the Friday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Sir 44:1, 9-13; PS 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b; Mk 11:11-26
Notes: Sometimes people know the good you do. Sometimes people do not know the good you do.

Our first reading assures us that all those who live rightly are remembered by the Lord.

The fig tree is symbolic of a false or insufficient ‘green’. A false good.

  1. The false or insufficient green fig tree.
  2. The cleansing of the Temple is intercalated between the two fig tree story fragments.
  3. The withered fig tree as it really is.

See study on Mark:

Each of us must decide between apparent green and real fruitfulness.
Have faith! Pray the Lord changes us from the false to the true.

First Reading
Through God’s covenant with them their family endures, their posterity, for their sake. And for all time their progeny will endure, their glory will never be blotted out.

The Lord takes delight in his people.

For the LORD loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory.

Gospel Acclamation
I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.

Jesus said to them in reply, “Have faith in God. Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Deficit Theology

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Justin, Martyr
Readings: Sir 42:15-25; PS 33:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9; Mk 10:46-52
Notes: Theology has come to a standstill. The Church was never the leading edge of thinking nor should it be, I suppose.

Rerum Novarum, or Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor, is an encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII on 15 May 1891. It was a reflective piece on the already well advanced secular and philosophical thoughts on the nature of work, machine and the relation between labor and capital. Masterful. But reactive.

We need a refreshment in our theology.
Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of the faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love!

We have a new Dawn and a new Darkness.

If we demanded God not set the Sun, we would never have the Moon.

Do not curse the darkness until you know what it is, essentially.

A worthy Jewish midrash and teaching about the first night is helpful to understand the deficit in our theology. Titled: Two ways of dealing with the darkness in our lives Here:

Worthy of consideration (read between the lines, so carefully written):

We need theological advisors. The Apostle Philip encounters the Ethiopian eunuch reading the Prophet Isaiah. The eunuch admits he had no idea what he was reading because he had “no one to guide” him. Like Jesus on the Road to Emmaus, “Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus.” (Acts 8:26-40) Persuaded by Philip’s explanations, the Ethiopian asks for baptism.

Franciscan Media:


As patron of philosophers, Justin may inspire us to use our natural powers—especially our power to know and understand—in the service of Christ, and to build up the Christian life within us. Since we are prone to error, especially in reference to the deep questions concerning life and existence, we should also be willing to correct and check our natural thinking in light of religious truth. Thus we will be able to say with the learned saints of the Church: I believe in order to understand, and I understand in order to believe.

First Reading
The universe lives and abides forever; to meet each need, each creature is preserved. All of them differ, one from another, yet none of them has he made in vain, For each in turn, as it comes, is good; can one ever see enough of their splendor?

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.

Gospel Acclamation
I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.

“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
Jesus told him, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Summer is Set

Kids are unloadedUnpacked is our gearOur spot on the beachIdentified there Umbrella is upBlanket spread flatLotion appliedAdjusted the hat Soda is openedSandwiches madeCooler is readyAll set in the shade Chair is reclinedThe beach fills our sensesWe draw a deep breathVacation commences Feet in the sandSalt in the airThe glorious feelingOf summertime here Music is playingWaves […]

Summer is Set

Angelus Unity

Greetings on this the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Readings: Zep 3:14-18a; Isaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6; Lk 1:39-56

During Camino I entered a town where about the noon hour.

At noon the Church bells began to toll a Hail Mary.

I diverted as did another person, a woman who I thought spoke only Spanish, and we made our way to the Church doors.
They were locked.
The Church was closed.
The music was automated.

I turned to her and said, ‘?Oración del ángelus?

The Angelus (Noon prayer of the Church)
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
R/ And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

[In Spanish] Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord:

R/ Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
[In Spanish] Hail Mary…

And the Word was made Flesh:

R/ And dwelt among us.
[In Spanish] Hail Mary…

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,

R/ that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.


At the end, in English, I said, ‘We are the first to pray the Angelus here in a long time’.
She replied, ‘Yes, we are’.

Shared smiles.
Back to the Camino.

Franciscan Media:


One of the invocations in Mary’s litany is “Ark of the Covenant.” Like the Ark of the Covenant of old, Mary brings God’s presence into the lives of other people. As David danced before the Ark, John the Baptist leaps for joy. As the Ark helped to unite the 12 tribes of Israel by being placed in David’s capital, so Mary has the power to unite all Christians in her son. At times, devotion to Mary may have occasioned some divisiveness, but we can hope that authentic devotion will lead all to Christ and therefore, to one another.

First Reading

The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, He will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.

Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

Gospel Acclamation
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry


Greetings on this the Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Sir 35:1-12; Ps 50:5-6, 7-8, 14 and 23; Mk 10:28-31
Notes: Empty-handed, empty hearted.

It is that simple.

Spirituality and religion are not disconnected realities.

Spirituality is expressed in the religious intelligible and implementable instruction of the sacred life.

Spirituality without religion is a ‘shot in the dark’.
The Church offers a true and certain pathway that is doable, intelligible, attainable, manageable, just and right.

Regards the wisdom of Sirach: As a wise and experienced observer of life he addressed himself to his contemporaries with the motive of helping them to maintain religious faith and integrity through study of the books sacred to the Jewish tradition.

Sirach introduction reference:

In regards to the Gospel, the Apostles are called to give all that all might receive, including themselves. With eyes open they can see the gifts returned to them by the Lord: brothers, sisters, lands, and eternal life. Not as possessions! As gift in friendship!!

Persecution, yes! Because this life is full of those who would set upon to acquire, enter alliance, and seek advantage.

Do not go through your life empty-handed before the Lord.

Year A
Eighth Week

First Reading
Appear not before the LORD empty-handed.

  • Keep the commandments is an oblation.
  • Charity like a fine flour gift.
  • Alms like a sacrifice of praise.
  • Justice as a sweet odor.
  • Generosity is homage to the Lord.
  • Cheerful contribution in a spirit of Joy.

Do not do these things:

  • Don’t try to bribe God!
  • Do not extort God!

He is a God of Justice and knows no favorites.

To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Gospel Acclamation
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.

Peter began to say to Jesus, ‘We have given up everything and followed you.”

Yes, and…

[Jesus replied] for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry