Welcome !

Greetings to all who love to wander along the paths of the Holy Scriptures! The purpose of this blog is to share some of the insights of ordinary Catholics who have begun to delve into the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully you will find these reflections inspiring and insightful. We are faithful to the Church, but we are not theologians; we intend and trust that our individual reflections will remain within the inspired traditions of the Church. (If you note otherwise please let me know!) Discussion and comments are welcome, but always in charity and respect! Come and join us as we ponder the Sacred Scriptures, which will lead us on the path into His heart, which "God alone has traced" Job 28:23.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Be a Witness

A reflection for the Third Sunday of Easter, April 19
By Judy Morss

Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Psalm 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9

1 John 2:1-5A

Luke 24:35-48

The gospel this week finds the apostles back in the upper room. They were probably fearful and wondering what would happen next. Two of the disciples had reported back to the apostles that Jesus had made himself known to them in the "breaking of the bread."  Jesus appeared to the group gathered together.  It is not unexpected that they were startled and probably very frightened.  They thought they were seeing a ghost.

Jesus spoke to them asking why they were frightened.  Did they recognize Jesus? His wounds from
crucifixion were visible.  As he showed them his hands and feet, they probably began to realize that their Savior was indeed in their midst.  Jesus reminded them that he has already spoken to them about what would happen to him. He reminded them that everything would be fulfilled.

He opened up scripture to them so that they could better understand it.  Then he said that they are "the witnesses of these things." 

We are blessed to have heard the Word of God, even though we have not seen Him with our eyes.  We still believe. We, too, are called to give witness to what God has done for us and for the whole world.  Right now we are in that special place between Easter and Pentecost.  Our Savior has risen. What should we being doing?

 I think that we should spend more time being a witness. We are meant to be "witnesses of a great joy, witnesses that love is stronger than death, and witnesses of the resurrection." This is the role that the disciples will soon take on as their mission. This can be our mission as well.  Most of us will not be traveling throughout the world witnessing and evangelizing. However in our small circle of influence we can witness what God has done for us through his beloved Son. And who knows how we might be able to enlarge that circle.

I found Psalm 4 to be just beautiful. I plan to incorporate part of the Psalm into my nightly prayer.

"O Lord, let the light of our countenance shine upon us!  You put gladness in my heart.
  As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep, for you alone, O Lord, bring security to my dwelling. "

Peace and blessings,


(artwork Christ's appearance to the Apostles, by Andrey Mironov CC BY-SA 3.0 via wikimedia commons;  Jesus, I Trust in You, by Eugeniusz Kazimirowski  public domain via wikimedia commons)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Journaling with Sharon and the Father

Unless you become as a little child...

Beset with many tasks and sensing myself sliding into a feeling of being overburdened, I was drawn to an earlier journal entry-- a prayer that began this way:

“Hold onto the sense you are receiving,” I hear that word this morning Dear Lord.  You have taken me back to remembering my sense of things as a little child:

·         I didn’t worry about shelter, home, or food, or having a place to sleep.
·         Things may have been changing all around, there was a war going on, but I felt okay—that everything was being taken care of.
·         And, it wasn’t my responsibility—it was in the hands of others and my parents didn’t put those burdens on me.

 And You say to me, Dear God “Unless you become as a little child, you shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven.”  I probably don’t have the exact words, but that is what I remember.  Today I see a particular meaning for me in being a “little child”, and that is having that “sense” that everything is being taken care of—the world, all of us, are in Your hands, your Loving Hands, and you do not burden us with that which we cannot do. Rather, You teach us to listen with our hearts, from our unifying central core, so that we may move with You, doing, taking care of that which You have placed before us, given to us, as our responsibility. We learn in our teenage to young adult process to go from outer controls to inner controls.  We meet the challenges of our calling. You have called me to a holy Mother.  I am formed in motherhood and I have that gift to offer, mothering where it has been lacking as Father Flanagan “fathered” boys who had missed good fathering-- protection and guidance, provision and modeling.  So today, Dear Lord, I willingly move as Mother—nurturing, guiding, always caring, loving and letting go so my sons and daughters may grow. I was moved by the recent penguin story on Public TV’s “Nature”—how the parent penguins move away, longer and longer distancing, so the growing young will learn how to find them, and in the process, the young penguins develop physical strength that prepare them for life on their own. You, Dearest Father, Brother Jesus, Holy Spirit, sometimes appear to be far away.  Yet you are present, teaching us, teaching me, how to seek and find so that I may be nourished by You.  And in the process, my spirit is strengthened, preparing me for what lies ahead. Thank you, Dear Father that all is in Your Hands; Thank you, Dear Jesus, for teaching us by Your Life and dying, the Way, the Truth and Life;  Thank you, Dear Holy spirit, for moving our hearts and empowering us to express them for building up the body, the kingdom, the place where God is at home.  Thank you for showing me what it means for me to become as a little child.
Now and forever, 
 Your Sharon

As I listen, I hear the Lord say to me:

Beloved of My Heart,

            Yes, as you are free of bitter roots and regrets, you are able to sense my protective, caring, teaching, guiding, providing presence—LOVE, all works of love.  I have prepared you as a loving Mother—you wanted to be a Sister, and I have formed you as Mother.  Mother superior!  What a good laugh you are having over that one!  I show you the path to life, fullness of joy in My Presence and bliss forever at My Right Hand.

            Stay with Me, beloved, as I stay with you.  Remember My words:

            “I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you so that you walk in my statutes, observe my ordinances, and keep them.”  (As did Jesus)  Ezekiel: 36.26

            “We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.”  (Hebrews 19.24)

            Jesus said, “To the one who has something, more will be given.”  (Mark 4.25)  The more you are open to the word of God, the more you receive.  God does not hold back!


I love you, Dear Heart, now and forever,


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mary Magdalene - Apostle to the Apostles

Easter Sunday
A Reflection on John 20:1-11a, N.A.B. 
By: Larry T 

The four Gospels mention Mary Magdalene (Mary of Magdala) at least twelve times, which is more often than most of the apostles are mentioned. Is Mary Magdalene the sister of Martha and Lazarus? No, the sister of Martha and Lazarus is Mary of Bethany. The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Saint Mary Magdalene on July 22nd, and the feast of Saints Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany on July 29th.

Was Mary of Magdala a virgin? Possibly. Saint John Chrysostom (349-407 A.D.) and Saint Ambrose (340–397 A.D.) both suggested that Mary Magdalene was a virgin.

Was Mary of Magdala a prostitute? Probably not. Attempts at merging Mary Magdalene, Mary the sister of Lazarus, and the penitent woman (Luke 7:36-50 N.A.B.) into one person began as early as 591 A.D. However, instructions included with the 1969 revision of the Roman Calendar stipulated that the feast of Saint Mary Magdalene is solely that of the woman to whom Christ appeared and not that of the sister of Lazarus or the penitent woman.

In his apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem ("On the dignity and vocation of women", part 67-69) dated 15 August 1988, Pope John Paul II dealt with the Easter events in relation to the women being present at the tomb after the Resurrection, in a section entitled 'First Witnesses of the Resurrection':
“The women are the first at the tomb. They are the first to find it empty. They are the first to hear 'He is not here. He has risen, as he said. (Mt 28:6) They are the first to embrace his feet.(cf. Mt 28:9) The women are also the first to be called to announce this truth to the Apostles.(Mt 28:1-10, Lk 24:8-11) The Gospel of John ( also Mark 16:9) emphasizes the special role of Mary Magdalene. She is the first to meet the Risen Christ. Hence she came to be called "the apostle of the Apostles". Mary Magdalene was the first eyewitness of the Risen Christ, and for this reason she was also the first to bear witness to him before the Apostles. This event, in a sense, crowns all that has been said previously about Christ entrusting divine truths to women as well as men.” - John Paul II

In the following reading we see that Mary of Magdala was the first to arrive at Jesus’ tomb, and the last to leave. Peter and the other disciple came, saw the empty tomb, and returned home.

1 On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don‘t know where they put him.”
3 So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
4 They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first;
5 he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
6 When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
7 and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
8 Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.
9 For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.
10 Then the disciples returned home.
11a But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. – John 20:1-11a, N.A.B.

Why was Mary Magdalene so devoted to Jesus? Her dedication to him probably began when he exorcised seven demons from her and cured several other women of evil spirits and infirmities (Luke 8:2 N.A.B.). In response Mary and the group of women began to follow Jesus, some supported him financially, while others tended to his needs (Mark 15:41 N.A.B., Matthew 27:55, 56 N.A.B., Luke 8:3 N.A.B.). Does this group of women, led by Mary Magdalene, exemplify the correct response to the Lord for answered prayer and healing? On a larger scale could they represent wounded humanity in need of physical and spiritual healing, and having received it from Jesus, remained uniquely faithful to him? That women still remain uniquely faithful to the Lord is evident by the way they continue to minister to his Church through their involvement in various lay ministries and many parish activities.

Mary Magdalene must have watched Jesus perform miracles, exorcisms, and healings. Likewise she would have listened to Jesus’ teachings and probably witnessed his confrontations with the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes. Her actions at the empty tomb confirms that she and the other women had an exceptional bond to Jesus, and that she was more than qualified to become a foundational character in the earliest Christian community. 

The Resurrection is the most important event in Christianity, without it Jesus would have been just another Jewish prophet that had been put to death. God handpicked Mary Magdalene, a woman in a male-dominated world, as his messenger to announce the Good News of the Resurrection to the disciples. This is why Saint Augustine (354-430 A.D.) called her apostle to the Apostles.