The Spirit Blows Where It Wills

“The Spirit Blows Where It Wills”
A reflection on Luke 9:49-50, Mark 9:38-40, Numbers 11:25-29
Monday of the Twenty-Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

Another Exorcist

Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.”

Read the rest

Do Not Worry About How You Are to Speak

“Do not worry about how you are to speak”
A reflection on Matthew 10:17-20
Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans.

Read the rest

I Have Called You By Name

“I Have Called You By Name”
Isaiah 43:1
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

The seventy[-two] returned rejoicing, and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold,

Read the rest

The Still Small Voice

“The Still Small Voice”
A reflection on 1 Kings 19:9-18
Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time (Year II)
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

The God of Moses on Mount Sinai revealed himself in thunder, lightning, smoke, and fire (Exodus 19:16-18).… Read the rest

Easter, Day 38

“Easter, Day 38”
John 16:7, adapted and abridged
Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

Paraklétos is variously translated as Paraclete, Advocate, Intercessor, Consoler, Comforter, Helper, Strengthener, Standby, and Counselor. Paraclete, the Anglicized form of the Greek word, is used here to represent all possible translations.… Read the rest

I AM. Fear not!

Amédée Varin (1818-1883), Le Christ marchant sur la mer

Saturday of the Second Week of Easter

John 6:16-21

Darkness, turbulent waters, and a mighty wind threatened to capsize the disciples into the whirling vortex of chaos. The image recalls the antediluvian waters at the dawn of creation.… Read the rest

Wine, Woman and Wakening

Wedding Feast at Cana

Fourth Week of Lent, Monday

John 4:43-54 

Then he returned to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine.

John 4:46

The Gospel of John calls special attention to Cana, the location of the first and second “signs” (sémeion) revealing Jesus as the Messiah to Israel.… Read the rest

Ask, Seek, Knock

Icon of Pentecost

First Week of Lent, Thursday

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Read the rest

The Spirit of the Holy Name

“The Spirit of the Holy Name”
A reflection on Mark 9:41
Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
©2022 by Gloria M. Chang

Whoever slakes the thirst of a Christ-bearer,
Honoring the Name, is with us a sharer.


John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” But

Read the rest

Ephphatha!

“Ephphatha!”
A reflection on Mark 7:31-37
Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
©2022 by Gloria M. Chang

Again he left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. And

Read the rest

Love Never Fails

“Love Never Fails”
A reflection on 1 Corinthians 13
Sunday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time (Year C)
©2022 by Gloria M. Chang

Brothers and sisters: Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

Read the rest

Holy Preachers

“Holy Preachers”
A reflection on Mark 3:11-19
Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

And whenever unclean spirits saw Jesus they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known.

Read the rest

New Wine of the Bridegroom

“New Wine of the Bridegroom”
A reflection on Mark 2:18-22
Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to him and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 

Read the rest

One Mightier Than I

St. John the Baptist by Meister von Gracanica.
Serbo-Byzantine fresco from Gračanica Monastery, Kosovo, c. 1235.

A Reflection on the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Advent

The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What then should we do?” He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two tunics should share with the person who has none.

Read the rest

Isaiah 35, Day 1

 “Isaiah 35, Day 1”
Isaiah 35:1
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

The wilderness and the parched land will exult;
the Arabah will rejoice and bloom.

Isaiah 35:1

East of Eden, the whole earth is parched and barren, thirsting for the vivifying stream of the Spirit of God.… Read the rest

The Root of Jesse, Day 3

“The Root of Jesse, Day 3”
Isaiah 11:2b-3a
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

A spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord,

and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11:2b-3a

Counsel

The Hebrew word etsah (counsel, advice, guidance) is cognate with etsah (trees), from the parent root ets (tree, trees, wood).… Read the rest

The Narrow Door

“The Narrow Door”
Luke 13:22-30 “in a snailshell”
Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

He passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?”

Read the rest

Baptism of Fire

“Baptism of Fire”
Luke 12:49-50 “in a snailshell”
Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!

Read the rest

The Cross and the Beatitudes

10th Week in Ordinary Time, Monday (Year I)

2 Corinthians 1:1-7; Matthew 5:1-12

A single teardrop from God could wash away the sins of the world, but the Father gave his only-begotten Son to the last drop of blood.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.

Read the rest

The Father’s Face

Russian icon, The Mystical Supper (early 14th century). Fresco in Vatopedi Monastery, Mt. Athos.

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter

John 14:7-14

If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.

Read the rest

Word and Eternal Life

Andrei Rublev, Icon of the Most Holy Trinity

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

John 12:44-50

Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.

Read the rest

Bread of Shalom

Christina DeMichele, Christ Enthroned in His Creation (Used with permission)

Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

John 6:44-51

The Jews murmured about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,” and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph?

Read the rest

Bread from Heaven

Christ feeding the multitude (Coptic icon)

Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter

John 6:30-35

So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

Read the rest

Water and Spirit

Christina DeMichele, Christ Enthroned in His Creation (Used with permission)

Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

John 3:7-15

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked Jesus (John 3:9). How can a person be “born of the Spirit?”

The youthful Mary had also asked the angel Gabriel, “How can this be?”… Read the rest

Peter’s New Wings

St. Peter Preaching in Jerusalem, Masolino da Panicale, c. 1426

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

Acts 3:11-26; Luke 24:35-48

Lit by tongues of fire,
Deniers and deserters
Set the world afire.

Like a caterpillar morphed into a butterfly, the apostle Peter flew boldly into the light and witnessed to astonished crowds about Christ’s death and resurrection.… Read the rest

Two Angels and a Sword

Tuesday within the Octave of Easter

John 20:11-18 

“Woman, why are you weeping?”

Two angels and the Lord Jesus Christ asked the same question in a garden. The scene recalls the first garden at the moment of exile: two angels, a fiery revolving sword guarding the way to the tree of life, and a weeping Eve (Genesis 3:24).… Read the rest

Rose of Sharon, Day 4

“Rose of Sharon, Day 4”
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

The Hebrew word for Spirit (ruach) in Genesis 1:2 is feminine. 

St. Ephrem the Syrian writes:

[The Holy Spirit] warmed the waters with a kind of vital warmth, even bringing them to a boil through intense heat in order to make them fertile.

Read the rest

God Made All Things Good

Peter’s vision of a sheet with animals, from Acts 10; illustration from Henry Davenport Northrop, “Treasures of the Bible,” published 1894.

5th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday (Year I)

Genesis 1:20—2:4a; Mark 7:1-13

Then God said: Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: tame animals, crawling things, and every kind of wild animal.

Read the rest

Children of the Goldsmith

Cimabue, The Flagellation of Christ, 1280

4th Week in Ordinary Time, Wednesday (Year I)

Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15

The dramatic parade of the “cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews 11 finds its finale in Jesus Christ, “the leader and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2).… Read the rest

A Garden Enclosed, a Fountain Sealed

Mary Garden at the Passionist Monastery in Jamaica, New York (Photo by GMC)

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; 1 Corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17; John 2:13-22 

In the enclosed garden of Eden, a river branched out to the four corners of the earth, enlivening and nourishing all creatures (Genesis 2:10-14).… Read the rest

The Tree of Grace

Parable of the Mustard Seed. Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX, and Gospel Light, Ventura, CA. Copyright 1984. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

30th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday (Year II)

Ephesians 5:21-33; Luke 13:18-21

In challenging times when the world seems to be falling apart, a tiny mustard seed of faith is more powerful than all negative forces combined. … Read the rest

The Wind of the Spirit

29th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday (Year II)

Luke 12:54-59

As a weather vane points in the direction of the wind, Jesus points in the direction of the Holy Spirit (pneuma). 

“The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).… Read the rest

Holy Division?

29th Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday (Year II)

Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.

Luke 12:51

Strange words from the Son of God. Jesus was accused of many things, but utopianism was not one of them. … Read the rest

Before the Angels of God

Russian icon of St. Stephen

28th Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday (Year II)

Luke 12:8-12 

Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9). … Read the rest

The Indivisible Garden

Slavic icon of creation

28th Week in Ordinary Time, Wednesday (Year II)

Galatians 5:18-25; Psalm 1; Luke 11:37-41

When reality is one and undivided, the universe is a perfect mirror of the soul, and vice versa. An offering of a fragrant flower to the Father by Adam, the original gardener, was simultaneously an offering of love. … Read the rest

Children of the Father

Mosaic of the Sermon on the Mount (Ravenna, Italy)

23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday (Year II)

Luke 6:27-38

Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you… Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.”Read the rest

Mary, Mother of a New Genealogy

Icon of the Theotokos

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Happy Birthday, Mother Mary!
Happy Birthday, Mother Earth!

First Genesis

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

Read the rest

The Law Incarnate

Divine Mercy Icon

22nd Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday (Year II)

Luke 6:1-5

While Jesus was going through a field of grain on a sabbath, his disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them.Read the rest

Kingdom of the Little Ones

Fra Angelico, Coronazione delle Vergine (1435)

Deuteronomy 7:6-11, 1 John 4:7-16, Matthew 11:25-30

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

“God is Love.”

Like an owl squinting in sunlight, the eyes of humankind open gradually to the truth of who we are as a people and who God is.… Read the rest

Mary, the Church, and the Trinity

Icon of the Theotokos

After Christ’s revelation of the thrice holy Trinity, new light is shed upon the entire arc of salvation history, especially the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This meditation sketch explores the thesis that Mary and Mother Church image the Divine Person of the Father in being the font of new persons.… Read the rest

A Summary of Pentecost

Acts 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23

When the Holy Spirit descends,
Fearful fishermen
Become fearless preachers.
Tongues of fire
Replace the babble of Babel,
Uniting in Christ
What Adam fragmentized.

No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,”
Except by the Spirit,
And it is the Spirit who cries out,
“Abba, Father!”… Read the rest

The Eyes of the Heart

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:17-23,  Matthew 28:16-20

“Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?”

Both at the empty tomb and at the Ascension in Luke’s writings, two men dressed in white suddenly appear and ask, “Why?”… Read the rest

One Day at a Time

6th Week of Easter, Wednesday

John 16:12-15

“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.”

With the coming of the Messiah, Israel has been stretched far beyond its comfort zone. What words can express the mystery of God’s hidden, inner communion now being manifested to the chosen people? … Read the rest

The Spirit of Truth

Simon Ushakov, Last Supper, 1685

6th Week of Easter, Monday

John 15:26-16:4a

At the nexus between heaven and earth, the Son and the Spirit orchestrate our grand return to the Origin. From the Father and to the Father, the Holy Spirit conceived the Son in the womb of the Virgin.… Read the rest

The Advocate

Andrei Rublev, Icon of the Most Holy Trinity

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter

John 14:21-26

As we continue to listen to Jesus at the Last Supper, we are ushered into the precincts of the hidden and manifest, the seen and unseen, heaven and earth. … Read the rest