Rest for the Weary Soul

Photo by Ivan Samkov on

Greetings on this the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Readings: Nm 21:4b-9; PS 78:1bc-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38; Phil 2:6-11; Jn 3:13-17
Notes: I cannot speak for everyone but for me, when I am worn out I make my biggest mistakes. Mistakes in muscle movement, choice of words, reactions to stimulus, and decisions on actions to take in the moment. I can fall, I can harm, I can do the very things I warn others about: engage in Advantage, Alliance and Acquisition.

This is the cross we bear, no? The decision?

Circumstances come. Decisions we control.

Thankfully the solution is of divine origin!

Today we venerate the cross but it was not always so. The cruelty of the cross (worldwide) was not lost on so many who saw their own die this way. It takes reflection to realize the Lord transformed this horrible instrument of death into an instrument of life, a place of rest for the weary soul.

Antiphons of the Liturgy today

Ant 1: To destroy the power of hell Christ died upon the cross; clothed in strength and glory, he triumphed over death.
Ant 2: The Lord hung upon the cross to wash away our sins in his own blood. How splendid is that blessed cross.
Ant 3: How radiant is that precious cross which brought our salvation. In the cross we are victorious, through the cross we shall reign, by the cross all evil is destroyed, alleluia.

O Cross of Christ, Immortal Tree

O Cross of Christ immortal tree
On Which our Savior died.
The wood is sheltered by your arms
That bore the crucified.
From biter death and barren wood
The treee of life is made;
Its branches bear unfailing fruit
And leaves that never fade.

O faithful Cross, you stand unmoved
While ages run their cours;
Foundation of the universe,
Creation’s binding force.

Give glory to the risen Christ
And to his Cross give praise,
The sign of God’s unfamthomed love,
The hope of all our days.

Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal
Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abby.

First reading
With their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!”

The LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.”
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Responsorial Psalm
Do not forget the works of the Lord!

I will open my mouth in a parable,
I will utter mysteries from of old.

(note: prophecy fulfilled. This is why I speak to them in parables, because ‘they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand (Matt 13:13).

Second reading
The second reading is Saint Paul quoting a verse from an early hymn of the church.

Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.

Alleluia Verse
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For 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.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Universal Grief and Salvation

Photo by Julian Vera Film on

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop Doctor of the Church
Readings: 1 Cor 12:12-14, 27-31a; Ps 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5; Lk 7:11-17
Notes: The title not to be mistaken for Universalism.

  • Grief is universal experience.
  • Salvation is a universal need.

Reflection (Franciscan Media)

John Chrysostom’s preaching, by word and example, exemplifies the role of the prophet to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. For his honesty and courage, he paid the price of a turbulent ministry as bishop, personal vilification, and exile.

Chapter 7, Year II.

Yesterday (except we did Holy Name of Mary): The Healing of a Centurion’s Slave.
Today: Raising of the Widow’s Son.

Luke is asserting both Jesus’ concern for Gentiles and for widows. God’s offer of love and restoration is Universal, both Jew and Greek, man and woman.

Grief and prayer. In today’s gospel portion we do not know anything more than the widow and the entire town was in grief over the death of this young man.

  • We do not know of their state of sanctification.
  • We do not know of their prayers or worship of foreign gods.
  • We do not know anything at all except they are foreigners and they are in grief.

Jesus knows.

Jesus raises up.

Like the widow of Zarephath, who was preparing for the death of her and her son given the dire food shortages, she had silent prayer known only to God. Perhaps so silent that she herself did not know she was praying. Yet, the Lord heard the groaning of the Holy Spirit for her. Speculation, yes. Silence, absolutely.

First reading
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm
We are his people: the sheep of his flock.

Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song.

Alleluia Verse
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.

Gospel Portion
When the Lord saw her,
he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.”

He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted,
and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

God is for you, always.
Jesus knows.
Know him.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

VAMC We Remember

VAMC Riviera Beach FL

As part of my Sabbatical I carved out time for my fellow veterans. Even today, a Joyful Reunion in Christ. Our liturgy is the return and reunion.

It is family that we disappoint most but family loves the most too. Reach out today and in love, love on those who you miss.

One family, wife and daughter, visit with a veteran separated by an iron rod fence. Isolation and COVID-19 can’t stop love. Smiles, stories, joy and regrets no iron fence can bar passage.

Another veteran, having rejected all pastoral care previously, refused all consolation until today. I came to him, heart before the Lord in prayer, and a wonder of wonders. Two visitors. A woman and man. I looked and said, Daughter and Son-in-law. Further, I know your eyes sparkle identically!! Dad, frail in bed, daughter by his side… Glowing with love. It is our families we disappoint the most but love us the most too.

Holy Mass with the faithful.

Cantor, Lector, Usher, Altar Server
Priest and Deacon

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

The Yoke of Kindness

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor Church
Readings: JER 28:1-17; PS 119:29, 43, 79, 80, 95, 102; MT 14:13-21
Notes: Which Yoke is for you?

No Yoke? Anchorlessness seems appealing to some especially in the face of such disappointment in government and religion, and, even family life. It seems to them almost right we are but animalistic beings with little moral thought to guide us.

Learn the lesson from the Alligator. Alligators naturally watch over their hatchlings. They are very protective. But with the encroachment of man, the modern practice is to abandon them once humans come into contact as a way of protecting the hatchlings and the mother herself. This is an example of brokenness.

Wood Yoke – the moderate and gentle yoke of the Lord.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matt 11:29-30).

At times it may not be what we want at the level of human impulse but it is the perfect guide in life in every way.

Iron Yoke – the world’s domination of mind, body and if you allow your soul.

We celebrate Saint Alphonsus who preached and taught moral theology giving us a model of moderation and gentleness.


Saint Alphonsus was known above all as a practical man who dealt in the concrete rather than the abstract. His life is indeed a practical model for the everyday Christian who has difficulty recognizing the dignity of Christian life amid the swirl of problems, pain, misunderstanding and failure. Alphonsus suffered all these things. He is a saint because he was able to maintain an intimate sense of the presence of the suffering Christ through it all. From:

First reading
Previously – The Wood Yoke

The LORD said to me: Make for yourself thongs and yoke bars and put them on your shoulders. To Zedekiah, king of Judah, I spoke the same words: Bend your necks to the yoke of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, so that you may live. (Jer 27:2, 12).

Disobedience (with the natural consequences)

Now – The Iron Yoke

Thus says the LORD:
By breaking a wooden yoke, you forge an iron yoke!
For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:
A yoke of iron I will place on the necks
of all these nations serving Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
and they shall serve him; even the beasts of the field I give him. (Jer 28:13b-14).

Responsorial Psalm
Lord, teach me your statutes.

Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law.

Alleluia Verse
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Gospel Portion
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over– twelve wicker baskets full.

Let us learn from the lesson of the Two Yokes.

Jesus, tired, grieving, and heavily burdened remained as the Divine person he is: gentle and kind.

His yoke is better.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Everlasting Hills

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saints Martha, Mary, and Lazarus
Readings: Jer 26:1-9; PS 69:5, 8-10, 14; Jn 11:19-27
Notes: The beginning of the Babylonian exile. Seventy Years of Exile.

Shiloh: an important sanctuary where the ark of the covenant was kept, according to the Books of Joshua, Judges, and 1 Samuel. In response to the corrupt behavior of the priests serving there, God allows the Philistines to destroy Shiloh and take the ark of the covenant. Cf. 1 Sm 1:9; 4:3–4; Ps 78:60, 68–69. From:

First reading
The loss of Shiloh would be the equal in our times to the sacking of Rome and the loss of the Basilicas and sanctuaries. A truly tragic outcome from the eyes of those living in that time and in our time.

It is an important reminder that losing the edifices of the faith is painful but our mission and our hope is for eternal life and a place in the everlasting hills.

Responsorial Psalm
Lord, in your great love, answer me.

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

Gospel Portion
What is a greater loss?

  • Shiloh or the Vatican?
  • Life or Eternal Life?
  • Damnation or Salvation?

Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry


Colonialism is a delusional basis.

The departure of the American Catholic Church from the leadership of the Church is a product of delusional reasoning. The Church seems to be running toward law as solution rather than the beatitudes.

Have we lost confidence in love? Have we fallen into reductionist reasoning that love is equal to impotence?

Conversion of love is the only valid Christian message. As I say time and again, Conversion not Coercion. Conversion of every christian heart in solidarity and common good with all human hearts.

Contrast Pope Francis.

In this time, Pope Francis is apologizing for the deplorable acts of individual Christians and the whole of the Church’s participation in the catastrophic Canadian assimilation policies against the indigenous people.

National Catholic Register link

Whatever the social issue the answer is respect, compassion, sensitivity, friendship, welcoming, participation, common orderliness, and a journey to holiness.

Modern colonialism exists, is expanding and even within our own cities.

We must bring from our own treasures quiet discourse, familial love, virtues, chastity, Sacrament and baptism. Not as instrument but as gift and gift alone. Bearing rejection gracefully and respectfully.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

The Kingdom of heaven is at hand

Greetings on this the Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: HOS 10:1-3, 7-8, 12; PS 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7; MT 10:1-7
Notes: A beautiful readings with the gospel portion today.
Speaks completely of the mission of the Good News.

To proclaim:

  • The Face of the Lord upon us.
  • Piety (reverence).
  • To be found, those who are lost.
  • Justice.
  • Drive away unclean spirits.
  • Cure every disease.
  • Heal every illness.

He sent, He sends:

  1. He sent twelve.
  2. He sent seventy-two.
  3. He sends us.

This kingdom coming is real and present. We see the opposite in many places and in many ways but be attentive to the good. And see the Lord breaking through.

First reading
An emphasis on conversion.

“Sow for yourselves justice,
reap the fruit of piety; break up for yourselves a new field, for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain down justice upon you.”

Responsorial Psalm
Seek always the face of the Lord.

Alleluia Verse
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.

Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!

Gospel Portion
Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.

Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Liberty in Christ

Greetings on this the Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: HOS 2:16, 17C-18, 21-22; PS 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9; MT 9:18-26
Notes: Happy 4th of July!

Christianity is not a fertility cult.

We do not engage in acts of appeasement of the gods.
Appeasment, specifically to bring about fertility of land, animal and human.

We are deeply rooted in our femininity. Becoming, being pregnant, giving birth and being born are honored moments in life. We specifically celebrate three special pregnancies and births:

  • Nativity of John the Baptist.
  • Nativity of Mary.
  • Nativity of Jesus.

Men have lost their awe of women, of their gift of person, gender and mother.
We need to do better in every dimension.

First reading
The first reading is a reversal of sorts.
An early, emerging feminist movement.

  • I will allure her now – is reversing the ordinary understanding allure as a betrayal.
  • The valley of Achor (valley of trouble, misery or disaster) becomes a door of hope.
  • My baal (lord, master) the fertility god, instead the Lord bring your health and fertility.

A law response in Leviticus:

You shall not offer any of your offspring for immolation to Molech, thus profaning the name of your God. I am the LORD (Lev 18:21).

A love response in Hosea:

Instead the Lord offers the deep abiding love of a Spouse:
I will espouse you to me forever:
I will espouse you in right and in justice,
in love and in mercy;
I will espouse you in fidelity,
and you shall know the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord is gracious and merciful.

Alleluia Verse
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.

Gospel Portion
In today’s gospel portion Matthew, like Mark and Luke, tells the story of two women.

  • A little girl needing restoration of life itself by the Lord through the urging of her father.
  • An old woman needing healing by her own initiative to come to the Lord.

Women, young or old, are under the Lord’s care fully and completely, for life, for health and for fertility. In every way, in all ways and at all times.

Women, hold nothing back from the LORD. Even all that troubles you or you seek special attention – do!
Men, advocate for women, as this father did in today’s portion.

Jesus listened to women and for women.
Jesus acted to restore rightness for women.

We men should act likewise.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Peace to this household

Sitio Tralala

Greetings on this the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Is 66:10-14c; Ps 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20; Gal 6:14-18; Lk 10:1-12, 17-20
Notes: Where ever you live and whatever your circumstance.

Peace to this household.

Here it is the heat of the summer.

Heat and humidity dictate a slower day and calmer pace.

Be at peace.
Know you are loved.

First reading
When you see this, your heart shall rejoice
and your bodies flourish like the grass;
the LORD’s power shall be known to his servants.

Responsorial Psalm
Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!

Second reading
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,
brothers and sisters. Amen.

Alleluia Verse
Let the peace of Christ control your hearts;
let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.

Gospel Portion
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Echo Chamber

My friend, Fr Frank O’Loughlin, walks the walk!

Greetings on this the Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Am 8:4-6, 9-12; PS 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131; Mt 9:9-13
Notes: We are trapped in the echo chamber. Some even, and most pitifully, within the Church who say holy things without sanctity of spirit. But a new emphasis is given us if we are able to accept it. BLM is recognizing the margins. Seeing the indigenous is recognizing the margins. Helping the poor is recognizing the margins. Not because they are less, but because the are thought of as less.

See this article: (February, 2016).

Today the Pope celebrated Mass in the southern state of Chiapas with those who have suffered the greatest in Latin America, the indigenous. At a beautiful Mass where various Mayan dialects were spoken and sung, the Pope brought a message of hope and mercy. A vastly agrarian and poor state where the dignity of the indigenous has not always been respected, the Pope recognized that too often they have been excluded from society. “Your peoples have not been understood and have been excluded from society. Some have considered your values, your culture, and your traditions inferior. Others, dizzy by power, money and the laws of the market, have expelled you from your lands or have contaminated them. How sad. How good would it be for us to do an examination of conscience and learn how to say ‘I am sorry.’”


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 (Jn 5:39-40).

And again.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing (1 Cor 13:1-3).

Yes, days are coming, says the Lord GOD, when I will send famine upon the land:
Not a famine of bread, or thirst for water, but for hearing the word of the LORD.

Echo Chamber – an environment in which a person encounters only beliefs or opinions that coincide with their own, so that their existing views are reinforced and alternative ideas are not considered.

First reading
Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land!

Yes, days are coming, says the Lord GOD, when I will send famine upon the land:
Not a famine of bread, or thirst for water, but for hearing the word of the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matt 4:4).

Alleluia Verse
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.

Gospel Portion
As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”

Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry