Daily

Reflections

Finding God in our lives
is quite simple.
We just have to take
the time to look.

Picture Perfect

Over the last year or so, I have been blessed to include my daughter in my work. Just as I was trying take my own pictures for my posts, she started developing an eye for photography. Great timing because I just don't have that talent. If you see an amateur-looking photo, that one's mine, and I've probably already heard about it. Now she is on the lookout for good pictures and good themes. She has ideas for posts I could write, and we get to take field trips to beautiful spots around town or when we're on vacation. We pay attention to the tiniest of details that we would have missed otherwise, and we get to see them together. I am amassing a wall of pictures that show her talent and make my

Giving Thanks

Several years ago, a friend of ours was serving in Iraq over Valentine's Day. I wanted to send something to him and to his troops, and thought cards would be a great idea. I was able to get first names from him and had my daughter's kindergarten class write individualized cards to each one of them. The kids loved writing, drawing pictures, and telling these people they were their heroes. I sent them off with some goodies, hoping to brighten the day for the troops. Our friend started to hand them out to each person, receiving polite smiles as they took their card created with kindergarten hands. Soon they realized they were not called out by name to make sure each person received a card. They

Putting it All Together

Have you ever cleaned out a closet? I mean, really cleaned out a closet? Every couple years, I clean out our pantry, which has also served as a storage facility for craft supplies, coloring books, writing notebooks, school supplies, and random trinkets that we just can't seem to throw away. It's a pretty big pantry. Invariably, my husband walks in just as I have everything dumped out onto the floor of the kitchen and walks away in fear that it would never go back to normal. But that's when it's about to get the most productive, isn't it? Well, I'm in that space for my next book right now. I'm doing something with the readings from the fifty days of Easter, as you may have noticed in my blog

Let the Word of Christ Dwell within You

Not long after the Resurrection, Peter and some of the others went fishing. Yes, they had seen Jesus, but life had to go on, didn't it? You can't just sit and wait for Him to show back up again. There is work to be done, people to care for, things to set in order. So life goes on. Time to go fishing. Not like we go fishing, but like a fisherman goes fishing - for his livelihood. This is ordinary time. At least, this is how many of us do it. On some level, after forty days of Lent and fifty days of Easter, ordinary is sounding pretty good. But Jesus doesn't let us go back, really. Something has changed. Peter's fishing trip comes up empty until Jesus shows up again. We're not as productive in

In the Beginning...

"Tell them to meet me in Galilee." These are Jesus' words to Mary Magdalene as she comes from the empty tomb. Everything has changed. Nothing is as expected. As she clings to Jesus, He tells her to let go, and return to the others with a message: "We've started something new, but first we need to go back to the beginning. Back to where I called you in the first place. Back to where you dropped everything and followed Me." When they eventually arrive there, Jesus comes to them again at the edge of the sea. Just like the first time, Simon Peter has been fishing and has again caught nothing. Jesus tells him to drop his nets and they come up filled to their limits. Once more, Peter recognizes Je

Pentecost

It's finally here. The fiftieth day of Easter. Pentecost. It's interesting to me that Pentecost is not just an event after Easter, but an event ofEaster. Like I said fifty days ago, Easter was not the end, it was just the beginning. In the interim, we've read through the entire book of Acts, and most of the Gospel of John. We've seen how Jesus broke open the Scriptures and explained everything to the apostles. We've seen how the Holy Spirit, who arrives today, changes the people who receive it. From Peter's bravery to Saul's conversion and the addition of thousands to the faith, the fruit of this time in between is incredibly rich. It still seems a little out of order though, doesn't it? We'

Speaking our Language

This week, Paul travels to Ephesus, baptizes a group of 12 men in the name of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit shows up much as it did for Pentecost. Each one of the men starts speaking in tongues and prophesying. After two years, he leaves Ephesus. He knows that he will not return, and tells them so. His travels are coming to an end, and he will eventually be imprisoned and killed. It is interesting to note that Paul's letter to the Ephesians was written after he left them. When you get the chance, read it with the understanding that he will never return to this place he has called home for so long. It's much more powerful when you know where Paul is coming from. In the stories of Paul'

Do you love me?

In this final week of Easter, we straddle Holy Week as Jesus finishes His prayers and dialogue at the Last Supper and then talks to Simon on the seashore after He has risen from the dead. We start the week hearing Jesus tell the apostles that they are going to scatter and leave Him alone, and then immediately He starts to comfort them. That's not usually how that goes, is it? He tells them not to worry that they have left Him alone because the Father is with Him. He wants them to know so that when they come back, they'll have peace. They've already been forgiven, and then Jesus prays for them. He doesn't pray for what they will do in the next few days. He prays for what they will do in the

Putting God into the equation

As the Easter season draws to a close, we come to a place of transition in the readings of the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Jesus has risen, appeared many times, and returned to heaven with a promise that He will send an Advocate to help them. As they wait, they must replace the one who was lost. Jesus had many disciples, but the inner circle was very specifically twelve. Reflecting the twelve tribes of Israel, this new kingdom had to be complete in same way. I think he thing that is so interesting about this is the process they use to select the replacement. The apostles come up with two candidates based on a very specific criteria. The person must have been with them from the time Jesus was b

Crazy Like a Fox

In this sixth week of Easter, we find Paul and another disciple beaten and in prison once again. At this point, the man has to be an incredible mess of scars, broken bones, and painful wounds. Yet, he sits in prison singing and praising Jesus. What kind of crazy is this? It's the kind of crazy that knows Jesus will do anything to place you where you need to be and reach those He needs to reach. In the middle of the night, there is a huge earthquake, the cells are all opened, and somehow the chains fall off of all the prisoners. (Another one of those Easter moments - did you catch it?) The jailer is about to kill himself rather than face the consequences of their escape, and Paul yells out to

Good Job?

I have to say, the job "Follower of Christ" is a hard one to sell. Just read Jesus' words trying to get the apostles ready for what is coming when He's gone. I know for me, the whole Resurrection thing would make me think that we were done. Mission accomplished, let's pop open the bubbly. I imagine the apostles were thinking something similar, because Jesus kept telling them that they would be persecuted just as He was. Yes, the Resurrection is real and powerful, but you can't get there unless you go through Good Friday. Jesus tells the apostles that they'll be kicked out of the synagogues, killed by people who think they are doing it for God (looking at Saul here), and they will mourn as t

Friend of Jesus

It's a funny balance. Jesus, our friend and Jesus, the Savior of the world. Jesus, our King and Jesus, the one who washes our feet. I think we balance roles like this in our lives all the time. When I was young, my parents were the ones who fed and cared for me, they were the fun parents who took me on adventures and played games with me, and they were the ones who disciplined me when I got out of line. I respected them, trusted them, and enjoyed them immensely. This Sunday, Jesus is at the Last Supper telling the apostles a few last things before He goes. Until now He has been their leader - directing, teaching, and basically running the show. Now things are going to be different. They are

Charting a New Course

Isn't it incredible how drastically God can change a person? In the readings this week, it is clear that Paul has completely turned his life around. First, Paul and Barnabas, who are traveling together, heal a crippled man. The crowds are amazed, as they should be, and declare that the two men are the gods Zeus and Hermes. They even have animals ready to sacrifice to them. How crazy is that? Paul and Barnabas are distraught at how their message has been distorted. They are emphatic that they are no more gods than anyone else there. This power was not theirs but God's. This response makes me think of some of the stories I read about saints, especially the more modern day ones who have writing

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Karen May

Inspirational Catholic Writer and Speaker

based in Austin, Texas