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Simple Diakonia

Simple Diakonia

By Deacon Hector Ortiz
A podcast about diaconate spirituality
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One-Minute Reflection: John 13:35 (30-Days of Prayer for Unity #5)

Simple Diakonia

Reflection: John 10:11
"I am the good shepherd." Reflection: Jesus is truth, strength, and protection. Under his care, faith sanctifies frailty; hope overcomes darkness; charity provides shelter. Today's Intention Lord, be my shepherd today and always. Peace and Goodness
April 27, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 46 Holy Week: Mark 16:6
"Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised." (Mark 16:6) Reflection Holy Saturday is hope; the time of the Resurrection. Jesus has overcome sin and death. Let us rejoice, for today, salvation has come to us through the water and blood of our Lord. Today's Intention Jesus, your Resurrection is the hope of our lives, the never-ending light. Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on us. Peace and Goodness
April 03, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 45 Holy Week: Luke 23:46
Reflection Good Friday is the affirmation of faith. There are many aspects of our lives that are always not in our control. Some of them cause us a great deal of inconvenience and, at times, sorrow. Jesus on the Cross shows us that no one is immune from life's perils and injustice. However, when we place our trust in God, life's trials offer transformation and redemption. Today's Intention Lord Jesus, you give us the Passion as a sign of trust in your Father and the Holy Spirit. We ask that you move our hearts with the same grace of faith. Peace and Goodness
April 02, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 44 Holy Week: John 13:15
"I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do." (John 13:15) Reflection The foundation of Holy Thursday is charity. Aware of the certainty of the Cross and confident in his victory over death, Jesus focused on what he did throughout his ministry, serving others. He taught a model of service to his disciples by washing their feet, the lowest of a servant's duties at the time. Today's Intention May we be blessed this the Holy Thursday, O Lord, with the graces of charity, which flow from the Father through the Holy Spirit. Peace and Goodness
April 01, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 43 Holy Week: Isaiah 50:7
The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced." (Isaiah 50:7) Reflection Fear is death when humiliation is its cause. When we place our faith in God, however, disgrace produces life. The Word of God humbled Himself that we may live. He embraced dishonor in exchange for our redemption. Holy Week symbolizes victory over humiliation. The overcoming of light over darkness, life over death. Today's Intention O Lord, walk with us this Holy Week. May we do not let disgrace prevent us from living our faith. Peace and Goodness
March 31, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 42 Holy Week: Isaiah 49:6
"I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6) Reflection We hear it over and over again, yet sometimes we do not get it. Jesus' servant mission was universal. He is the shepherd of every child. Despite what we may imagine, Jesus is the savior for all. Holy Week is the light that shines on that truth. Today's Intention Jesus, help us to become a light of salvation this Holy Week and beyond. Peace and Goodness
March 30, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 41 Holy Week: Isaiah 42:1
"Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased." (Isaiah 42:1) Reflection What is Holy Week? Holy Week affirms obedience to the Father. Holy Week fulfills God's promise of salvation. Holy Week models the perfect sacrifice of service. Holy Week unites our human suffering with the divine. Holy Week gathers the lost and the scattered sheep. Holy Week celebrates victory over sin and death. Holy Week is Jesus, and in him, Holy Week is us. Today's Intention O God, may we too be pleasing to you this Holy Week and always. Peace and Goodness
March 30, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 40: Mark 11:8
"Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields." (Mark 11:8) Reflection Did you hear? The Messiah has entered Jerusalem. Come, let us honor him. Bring your palm leaves. Let us shout: "Jesus Christ is Lord!" Did you hear? A woman poured perfumed oil on Jesus’ head. Together with his disciples, Jesus broke bread. What can we do to prepare him for his death? Did you hear? One of his disciples betrayed Jesus; another one denied him. He rests crucified now. He has died so that we may live. Come, let us join Mary and John at the foot of the cross. Today's Intention Thank you, Lord, for humbling yourself; for sharing our humanity so that we may share your divinity. Following your Father's will, may the Holy Spirit fills us with a sense of mystery, worship, and prayer this Holy Week. Peace and Goodness
March 28, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 39: John 11:51-52
"he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God." (John 11:51-52) Reflection Passover is upon us; the Lenten season is approaching its fullness. A day when Jesus willingly offered himself as a spotless lamb, establishing a new Passover of salvation. One sacrifice to unite us all, the near and the far. Today's Intention Jesus, Son of the living God, you established a new Passover of eternal life to those who believe. May we praise you eternally for your priestly offering of redemption. Peace and Goodness
March 27, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 38: John 6:63
"The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life." (John 6:63) Reflection From Scriptures flow Redemption, for from them flow spirit and life. Spirit because the Divine inspired them, spoke them, fulfilled them. Life because through them and in them Resurrection has come to us. Today's Intention O Lord, your words are spirit and life. May they bless our Lenten journey and beyond. Peace and Goodness
March 26, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 37: Luke 1:31
"Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus." (Luke 1:31) Reflection The announcement of the birth of Jesus is eternal salvation. When the Angel Gabriel spoke to Mary, we too became overshadowed by the Holy Spirit's grace: Jesus within us. The Lenten season is a chance to meditate on the meaning of the Annunciation in our lives. Are we servants of the Lord? Is the joy of the Word of God manifested in us? The answers lie in our hearts. Today's Intention May the Holy Spirit teach us to live out the child Jesus conceived within us. "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you." Peace and Goodness
March 25, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 36: Daniel 3:56
"Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven, praiseworthy and glorious forever." (Daniel 3:56) Reflection Some people view Lent mainly as a time of self-sacrifice. However, Lent is more than that. Lent is also a time of joy. During the Lenten season, we celebrate the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, and the Annunciation of the Lord. Also, there is no fasting on Sundays. Then, on Easter Sunday, we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord. Lent is joyful too. Let us embrace it as much as self-sacrifice. Today's Intention May the last days of Lent, O Lord, open ours hearts to experiencing the joys and blessings you have given us, and may we share them with those we encounter. Peace and Goodness
March 25, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 35: Psalm 102:2
"Lord, hear my prayer; let my cry come to you." (Psalm 102:2) Reflection: Prayer and Lent are inseparable. One sustains the other. Prayer is Lent, and Lent is prayer. In prayer with talk with the Lord, in Lent, the Lord listens to us. Prayer comes from our heart, and Lent flows from the heart of Jesus. Prayer is our voice, and Lent unites our voices with our Savior. In prayer, we seek relief, and in Lent, we find refuge. Today's Intention You know my prayer, O Lord, have mercy on me. Jesus, you shared our humanity; wipe away our tears. Holy Spirit, you are our advocate; we trust our prayers to you. Peace and Goodness
March 24, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 34: Psalm 23:4
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me" (Psalm 23:4) Reflection: Lent can be challenging. Even the most fervent believer struggles at times in their prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. However, agony in itself is a reminder to continue to fix our gaze upon Jesus unless we want to live in fear. For Jesus walked in the shadow of death and overcame it and by the grace of the Holy Spirit so can we. Today's Intention: Your presence, O God, is the light of goodness and mercy in troubled times. May we dwell in your house with Jesus and the Holy Spirit this Lenten season and always. Peace and Goodness
March 22, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 33: John 12:26
"The Father will honor whoever serves me." (John 12:26) Reflection: Today is a day for rejoicing in the Lord, for today we remember Jesus' agreement with us. Our Savior expresses the perfection of his covenant in three parts. First, the Father will honor his followers. No human being can ever make this claim, only the Son of God. Second, Jesus died for all humanity. It is Jesus' sacrifice of love on the cross that unites us with him. Third, our works in faith, obedience, and charity aim at glorifying the Lord, not us. Today's Intention: O God, thank you for this Lenten day of service in worship, thanksgiving, and joy through the grace of your Son and the Holy Spirit. Peace and Goodness
March 21, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 32: John 7:46
"Never before has anyone spoken like this one." (John 7:46) Reflection: Lent is the season of hope. When someone touches our hearts as never before, we see in them hope. Unfortunately, at times, we misplace our hope. The chief priests and the Pharisees placed their hope in the laws, but Jesus in his Father. Their expectations produced different results. Hope in the rules harvested fear, betrayal, and death. Hope in the Father conceived faithfulness, forgiveness, and salvation. In who we place our hope determinates our fate. Today's Intention: Lord, your triumphant 40-day journey in the desert gives us hope. Please continue to walk with us so that we, too, can complete our Lenten journey with the same determination. Peace and Goodness
March 20, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 31: Matthew 1:20
"Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home." (Matthew 1:20) Reflection We know little about St. Joseph, the husband of Mary. What we do know, however, is a blessing. The descendent of a human king obediently humbled himself for the glory of the divine King. He fasted from fear to serve his family courageously. He was a righteous man, a man of prayer. When it meant the most, he trusted in his faith to protect his family from peril and, indirectly, us from the sting of death. Today's Intention Lord, you give us St. Joseph as an example of righteousness, obedience, and courage. May we, who are responsible for others' care, enjoy the same graces of humility, fortitude, and charity from the Holy Spirit as we near the end of the Lenten season and beyond. St. Joseph, pray for us. Peace and Goodness
March 19, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 30: Psalm 106:20
106:20) Reflection When our desires become our master, we lose our identity. We walk not under the light of life but within the snare of darkness. Then, as we wander without a clear sense of who we are, we make for ourselves gods to fill the empty spaces we created. The good news is that God is patient and merciful. Lent is our opportunity to experience his glory. Today's Intention Jesus, we ask for your mercy this Lenten season. Teach us through the grace of the Holy Spirit to recognize all the glory God has bestowed upon us. Peace and Goodness
March 18, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 29: John 11:25
"I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live." (John 11:25) Reflection The foundation of Christianity is Jesus' resurrection. Lent is an act of faith. A time of preparation leading to the remembering and celebrating of the Paschal Triduum: Jesus' crucifixion, death, and resurrection. During this time, we join Christ's suffering with ours, the loss of loved ones receives new meaning, and we celebrate the joy of the resurrection's promise. Today's Intention O God, we believe that Jesus is the resurrection, the source of eternal life. However, there are times when we struggle with our faith. We ask that the Holy Spirit continue to be our companion in those moments, and Jesus, the light of our lives. Peace and Goodness
March 17, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 28: Psalm 46:8
"The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob." (Psalm 46:8) Reflection Lent is a door into the divine fortress of God's kingdom. A place where we find the strength to face our problems with faith, hope, and charity. Life is both joy and pain. At times, it feels like suffering has the upper hand. It can be easy to be discouraged when our prayers appear unanswered by God; our almsgiving goes unappreciated; we are unable to fast as we intended. Yet, it is on those occasions that we must stay put within the walls of His protection. Today's Intention: You are our refuge, O God. Help us to remain always within the stronghold of your love. Peace and Goodness
March 16, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 27: Amos 5:14
“Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then indeed the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you as you claim.” (Amos 5:14) Reflection We cannot claim the Lord as our God when our faith does not match our actions. Lent is a training season to live-out our claim that God is with us. We do that with words, deeds, and sacrifices pleasing to God and edifying others. Today's Intention Help us this Lent, O Lord, to seek good in ourselves, others, and the world. Peace and Goodness
March 15, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 26: Psalm 118:22
"The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." (Psalm 118:22) Reflection Jesus is the cornerstone of our Lenten journey path. When we travel on that road, we walk with confidence that our lent is in accord with God's will. Even on the coldest of desert nights, the heat stored on the cornerstone of our salvation, Jesus Christ, keeps us warm. Today's Intention O God, thank you for the gift of your Son. Without Jesus as the foundation of our faith, we are doomed. May the Holy Spirit continue to direct our footing this lent. Peace and Goodness
March 14, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 25: Hosea 6:3
"He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain that waters the earth." (Hosea 6:3) Reflection When our prayer, almsgiving, and fasting are in union with Jesus, their effects are like water that nourishes and cleanses. Being in Jesus transforms us and those we encounter. Our words are genuine, our actions sincere, and our restraint is peaceful. Today's Intention O God, we want to be cleaned; come to us like the rain. May we, like your Son, receive the graces of the Holy Spirit. Peace and Goodness
March 13, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 24: Hosea 14:7
"His splendor will be like the olive tree and his fragrance like Lebanon cedar." (Hosea 14:7) Reflection Imagine being in the desert and finding a tree to offer relief from the sun. Hopefully, as we continue our Lenten journey, all of us have discovered or are about to encounter our tree in the desert, Jesus' love. It will be a tree which splendor will be visible at a distance. Its fragrance will act like a compass pointing to the tree of life. Today's Intention Jesus, you are our refuge. May the Holy Spirit guides us to the comfort of your shade. Peace and Goodness
March 13, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 23: Luke 11:23
"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." (Luke 11:23) Reflection Our Lenten journey points to the heart of Jesus. In his heart, we find the love that binds us, the arms of mercy that gather us. However, there are children of God who have walked away from Him. Let us pray and walk with them in charity in their journey back to Jesus' heart. Today's Intention Jesus, you walked alone in the desert, but your gaze always pointed to your Father. We pray that we, too, are engulfed by the Holy Spirit to remain with you and never scatter away from you. Peace and Goodness
March 13, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 22: Matthew 5:17
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17) Reflection Lent is a reminder that Jesus died for us to fulfill God's promises of salvation spoken through the prophets. The Lenten observance opens the door to the beauty of the law witnessed in the life of our Savior: to love God and neighbor. Today's Intention Through our baptismal waters, Lord Jesus, we share your office of prophet. We ask that through God's grace, may the Holy Spirit descend upon us to prophesy and fulfill your laws, especially during our Lenten walk. Peace and Goodness
March 10, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 21: Matthew 18:21
"Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?" (Mt 18:21) Reflection Forgiveness is an excellent fasting habit to practice during Lent. When we forgive others, we free ourselves from the gluttony of resentment and hate, protecting our body and soul from physical and spiritual harm. As author Marianne Williamson wrote: "Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die." Fasting from forgiveness is not always easy or painless, but with God's help and human intervention, we can persevere. Today's Intention O God, teach us how to make forgiveness a habit in our lives. Peace and Goodness
March 09, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 20: John 4:14
"Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst." (John 4:14) Reflection: Water is essential to our body. In most cases, the human body cannot survive without water for more than three days. After that time, the body reaches a dangerous point of collapse, possibly leading to death. The same is true for our spirituality. A Lenten journey without Jesus, the fountain of living water, will lead to a fruitless spiritual life. Today's Intention: God, we pray that the Holy Spirit directs us in prayer, almsgiving, and fasting to the fountain of living water, Jesus Christ. Peace and Goodness
March 09, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 19: Ecclesiastes 3:7
"A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak." (Ecclesiastes 3:7) Lent is a time of spiritual silence with God. By journeying into the desert, Jesus found a place to block the noise and focus on prayer. The fruit of spiritual silence provides nourishment to overcome temptation. Today's Intention: Lord, help me make spiritual silence with you a priority in my life. Peace and Goodness
March 08, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 18: Psalm 103:12
"As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us." (Psalm 103:12) Reflection It is foolish to try to measure God's mercy. The effects of Jesus' sacrifice of compassion on the cross are boundless. God the Father and God the Son desire to forgive us. They wish to bless us with their love through God the Holy Spirit. During this Lent, let us reject the lies that tell us that we are undeserving of Jesus' love and mercy. Today's Intention Lord, help us to seek your forgiveness. May we bathe in the waters of reconciliation this Lenten season. Peace and Goodness
March 06, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 17: Isaiah 53:11
"My servant, the just one, shall justify the many, their iniquity he shall bear." (Isaiah 53:11) Reflection: At times, we forget the many blessings God has bestowed upon us. The greatest among them, Jesus Christ our Savior. The focus on Lent is on prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. We should add a fourth pillar, gratitude. A grateful heart is a prayerful heart because it knows salvation comes from above. A thankful heart is filled with charity because it understands that almsgiving without love is a fancy act. A grateful heart realizes that fasting is not about suffering but joy, a healthy balance of self-giving and control. Today's Intention: Lord, move us through the Holy Spirit to live in gratitude. To give you thanksgiving every day for the gift of Jesus Christ who justifies us and bears our iniquities. Peace and Goodness
March 05, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 16: Jeremiah 17:10
"I the Lord test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings." (Jeremiah 17:10) Reflection: We can hide what is in our hearts from others, but God's reach goes beyond our intentions. That notion is unsettling to some, and to others, it brings peace. Safe to say, our actions have consequences. Lent is a moment to prayerfully reflect in our ways and doings—a chance to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in changing our lives as necessary. Today's Intention: "God, grant us the courage to change our ways. Bless our doings so they may produce this Lenten season fruit filled with your love. Peace and Goodness
March 05, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day #15: John 8:12
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 Reflection: All of us experience darkness. If you are there right now, you are in my prayers. Pray this Lenten season for God to reveal the light of life through the Holy Spirit, our Advocate. Walk not alone in the darkness—instead, seek divine intervention and almsgiving from others. Today's Intention Lord, bring joy this day to those in darkness, and may the Holy Spirit shows us how to assist them. May they embrace the light of life upon them. Peace and Goodness
March 04, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 14: Isaiah 1:16
"Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil." (Is 1:16) Reflection I cannot function well when I do not take a shower. I am less patient, loving, and caring if I feel dirty. The same is true for my spirituality. When misdeeds stain my heart, I cannot perform my vocations properly as husband, father, and deacon. One spiritual activity we can benefit from this Lenten season is reconciliation or confession. Its grace is like soothing water that removes our hearts’ impurities. Today's Intention: Lord, I want to be cleaned from my misdeeds; please forgive me. Peace and Goodness
March 02, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 13: Luke 6:36
"Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." (Luke 6:36-RSV) Reflection Many of us have been fasting unaware before Lent. We have been on the fasting from mercy. The waitress forgot our order; we immediately complain about it. A teammate did a poor presentation. We think of them as incapable. Our spouse or child had a difficult day; we do not care. The list goes on. During this Lent, let us practice fasting from mercilessness. Let us give almsgiving to the strangers, those with collaborate, and our loved ones. Today's Intention Lord Jesus, we cannot expect mercy when we are merciless ourselves. We ask you to send the Holy Spirit to teach us to be merciful towards others as your Father is merciful towards us. Peace and Goodness
March 01, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 12: Mark 9:2-3
"And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them." Mark 9:2-3 Reflection Lent offers transfiguration. However, like other graces available to us through the love of God, it is up to us to accept this gift of spiritual transformation. The good news is that when we accompany Jesus with a humbled and contrite heart, we, too, can experience the"light of Tabor" in our hearts as Peter, James, and John did. Today's Intention Lord, open our eyes this Lent to see your radiance and be transformed by your love into faithful children of God. Peace and Goodness
February 28, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 11: Matthew 5:46
"For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same?" (Matthew 5:46) Reflection Lent challenges us to disengage the auto-pilot of our spirituality. It is an occasion to grow in faith, hope, and charity by praying and ministering to those we dislike. To fast from hatred toward those who we do not consider deserving of our love. Today's Intention: Lord, give us opportunities this Lent to step away from our spiritual comfort zone by praying and ministering to those we disapprove. Peace and Goodness
February 27, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 10: Psalm 130:1
Out of the depths I call to you, Lord; Lord, hear my cry! (Psalm 130:1) Reflection: There is so much despair in our world, and its consequences are infecting us physically, emotionally, and mentally. Grief, loneliness, depression are robbing us of connections, joy, and peace. All of us, directly or indirectly, have been touched by the claws of despair. The pain we experience begs the question: Where is God? The good news is that God is within each of us. He is present in the prayers we offer for each others. God is present in our almsgiving to those in need. God is present when we unite our suffering with the Passion of Jesus Christ. Today's Intention: Lord, hear our cry for help this Lent and give us relief. May the Holy Spirit give us the strength to withstand suffering; to inspire those with resources to share them compassionately with those in need. Peace and Goodness
February 26, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 9: Psalm 51:12
"A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit." (Psalm 51:12) Reflection: Before entering the desert, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus. Therefore, during his Lent, Jesus was not alone; the love of God was in his heart, which Jesus kept cleaned and willing through humility, prayer, and fasting. The good news for us is that during our baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon us too. We are not alone during our Lenten journey. Let us seek to be humble, prayerful, and abstinent as well. Today's Intention: O God, I desire a clean and willing heart today and always. May the Holy Spirit sustain me. Peace and Goodness
February 25, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 8: Psalm 51:19
“My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.” Psalm 51:19 Reflection: If nothing else, Lent is the realization that God is always there to forgive us. Most of us become the prodigal child at some point in our lives (see Luke 15:11-32). We think that we know what is best and walk away from God's love. As a result, we place ourselves in sinful situations. The good news is that when we show humble repentance and atonement for our sins, God showers us with divine mercy. Today’s Intention: "O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, please have mercy on me." Peace and Goodness
February 24, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 7: Matthew 4:4
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Mt 4:4) Lectio Divina is a spiritual way of almsgiving to nourish our body with the word of God, and Lent is the perfect season to start it. Sit quietly with your bible or a spiritual book and Read a passage for meaning. Next, Meditate on its meaning: What is God trying to tell you? Then, engage in a prayerful conversation with God on the connection to your life and others. Finish in quiet Contemplation with the Lord. Today's Intention: Lord, I desire to nourish my soul with your word. May the Holy Spirit help me fulfill it. Peace and Goodness
February 23, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Romans 12:12 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #30)
Reflection: On this the last reflection of our 30 Days of Prayer for Unity, let us remember that what we seek is never-ending. There will always be situations or people that will push us toward division. The good news, however, is that we have a Savior who understands our struggles. Therefore, let us continue to place our hope in Him to guide our hearts and our nation. Blessed with His strength, we can continue to endure through prayer. Today's Intention Lord, we ask that you continue to sustain our hope, comfort our afflictions, and strengthen our determination for peace and unity in our nation. Peace and Goodness
February 22, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 6: Mark 1:14
"After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God." (Mark 1:14) Reflection Lent is a time of transformation. Upon Jesus' return from the desert, the Prophet John the Baptist gave way to the Word of God. The effects of Lent are lasting. After his death, Jesus passed on the fruits of his desert experience to Peter and the apostles. As a result, we too have access to Jesus' Lent experience. Let us make the most of it. Today's Intention Lord Jesus, you used John the Baptist, Peter, and the apostles to prepare the way for you and spread the gospel of God. We humbly ask that you give us the same grace this Lenten season and the strength to fulfill it. Peace and Goodness
February 22, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 5: Nehemiah 8:9,10
"Today is holy to the Lord your God. Do not lament, do not weep! Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our Lord." (Nehemiah 8:9, 10) Reflection Let us not fast on the Lord's day. God made Sunday for prayer, almsgiving, and joy. Today is a day for worship. A celebration of the blessings in our lives. An occasion to relieve others' sufferings according to our gifts. Today's Intention Lord, this is the day you made for us. Please help us to experience and share it fully as you command us today. Peace and Goodness
February 21, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Luke 5:27 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #29)
"Follow me." (Luke 5:27) Reflection: What a beautiful command: "Follow me." We are all invited to follow Jesus in unity, because we all form part of his body, the Church. Christians and non-Christians, Democrats, Independents, or Republicans. We are all children of one Creator. Let us seek to unite, not to divide. Today's Intention: Lord, we ask that you remove the barriers that divide us and direct our hearts to follow you. Peace and Goodness
February 20, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 4: Ezekiel 33:11
"I swear I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live." (Ezekiel 33:11) Reflection: Lent is a time of conversion. A time to clean our hearts from the impurities blocking the flow of spirituality within. A chance to change our ways, repent and live in fellowship with God and each other. God loves everyone unconditionally. He desires a deep relationship with us. Let us not let lies, life difficulties, and misconceptions about Him to deprive us of His grace of salvation. Today's Intention: Lord Jesus, this Lenten season, give us the courage to turn away from our ways and send the Holy Spirit to guide our return to God. Peace and Goodness
February 20, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 3: Isaiah 58:8
"Is this what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?" (Isaiah 58:8) Reflection Fasting is a sacrifice in humility intended to glorify the Lord. Therefore, let us be mindful of hypocritical fasting. When we fast but ignore others' suffering, act immorally, or consume things that defile our spirituality, our sacrifice is for vainglory. It is fasting from those things that make fasting genuine. True fasting is transformative, kind, and loving. It changes our lives and those of others. More importantly, it reflects the entirety of our lives concerning God and neighbor. Today's Intention O God, may our fasting be acceptable to you. Peace and Goodness
February 19, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 2: Mark 9:29
Reflection: When the devil tempted Jesus in the desert, he probably expected Jesus to fall for his lies. Instead, Jesus cast him out not by force or power but by prayer and fasting. The result was the victory of life over death. We, too, like Jesus, can use prayer and fasting to triumph over death. Prayer to call on the good spirits' protection and fasting to free us from flesh's temptations. Today's Intention O Lord, this Lenten season, hear our prayers of need, sustain our fasting in temptation, and encourage us to persevere in our falls. Peace and Goodness
February 18, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Galatians 3:28 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #28)
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28-RSVCE) Paul has defined for us what unity is like when we live in Christ. We cannot rely on politicians to sustain our spirituality because politics tend to divide. We ought to rely on Jesus' teachings of diversity and inclusion instead. Today's Intention: Lord, give us the wisdom to distinguish politics from spirituality. May You, not politicians, direct our morality. May your love for all be the source of unity in our nation. Peace and Goodness
February 18, 2021
Lenten Reflection Day 1: Joel 2:12
“Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning" (Joel 2:12). Reflection: Lent is a four-legged stool of spirituality: The season for repairing our relationship with our Creator through prayer An opportunity to grow in perseverance and patience by embracing fasting A moment to share with profound gratitude from our well of blessings A chance to be born anew in the waters of consolation and conversion Lent is the spiritual return home of the prodigal child to the warm-forgiving embrace of merciful love. Today's Intention: O Lord, thanks for the gift of Lent, a time of spiritual renewal. We humbly pray for joy, courage, and strength during the journey ahead. Peace and Goodness
February 17, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: 1 John 1:7 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #27)
"But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another" (1 John 1:7) Reflection: Fellowship with each other goes beyond putting on with someone. It takes intentional efforts to build fellowship. It takes the light of love. Faith and unity require a commitment to know God and neighbor. That which we do not know we do not love. Today's Intention: Lord, grant us the graces of fellowship and unity. The light of love for You and neighbor. Peace and Goodness
February 17, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: 1 John 3:11, 18 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #26)
"For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another. Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth." (1 John 3:11, 18). Reflection: Talk of unity is cheap when its foundation lacks charity. One significant danger to unity is jealousy. Unhinged, envy produces wrath and depression, often harming oneself and others (Cf. Genesis 4:1-16). God created us to love one another; let us do His will. Today's Intention: O Lord, help us to bring unity to our nation through charitable deeds and truth. Peace and Goodness
February 16, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Proverbs 30:9 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity)
"The human heart plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps." (Proverbs 30:9) Reflection: We will derail our efforts for unity if we rely on our will alone, for we tend to do the things that please others. However, when we surrender to our Shepherd's will, we seek to please Him, not men. We pray: "You are my only God, may I always do Your will." Today's Intention: O Lord, You are my Shepherd. May I not worship any other gods. Guide my plans for unity. Peace and Goodness
February 15, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Amos 3:4 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #24)
"Do two journey together unless they have agreed?" (Amos 3:2) Reflection: St. Valentine's Day is a symbol of unity. A moment to acknowledge our love for one another. Love is not free from difficulties. On the contrary, trials are what strengthens love. Christ taught us that lasting love requires devotion, compassion, and reconciliation. Without these virtues, love is like eating food without nutrients on which our body cannot survive, and neither can our relationships. Today's Intentions: O Lord, thanks for your example of love. May your love always be our life's companion, especially during lonely moments. May it be a source of nourishment to bring agreement to our nation. Peace and Goodness
February 14, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Leviticus 19:18 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #23)
"Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your own people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord." (Lv 19:18) Reflection: We all suffer wrongdoing - actual or imagined - and we choose how we act upon it every day. Left to our own device, we respond to transgressions in kind. Jesus Christ, however, showed us a different way: forgiveness. Today's Intention: Lord, we are weak. Without your strength, we are vulnerable to the temptations caused by hurt. Please, give us the fortitude when experiencing unjust loss, wisdom to reflect on them before we act, and perseverance to seek unity before division. Peace and Goodness
February 13, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Luke 1:10 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #22)
"And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense." (Luke 1:10) Reflection: There are glimpses of unity all around us. One instance is people praying together. Today, many of us will gather physically or virtually to pray. We will transcend our differences during those prayerful moments, and our hearts will become one in the LORD. Today's Intention: Jesus, Son of the living God, you taught us how to pray. Now, we ask for the grace to unite each other in prayer. Peace and Goodness
February 12, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Lv 26:6 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #21)
"I will establish peace in the land, and you will lie down to rest with no one to cause you anxiety" (Lv 26:6) Reflection When we look at our nation's political environment, it is hard to imagine how unity can come when peace seems out of our reach. We feel that we have lost control. Thus we are overcome by anxiety. However, as discouraging as the situation may look, we must continue to climb the mountain top with God's help. Today's Intention: O Lord, we ask that you give us rest from our anxiety and strength of peace and unity through Your power. Peace and Goodness
February 11, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Mark 7:20 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #20)
"And he said: "What comes out of a man is what defiles a man" (Mark 7:20-RSV) Reflection Social media's insidious nature is the impression of safety—the entitlement to say anything without regard to unity. Many decent hearts become stubborn and go astray in the realm of social media (cf Psalm 95:8-10), trading wisdom and unity for pride and "likes." Today's Intention: Lord, give us the wisdom to pray before we post, to reflect on the impact on our soul, others, and unity. Peace and Goodness
February 10, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Mark 7:6 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #19)
'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" (Mark 7:6 - NABRE) Reflection Our humanity is a contradiction. We say that we love our neighbors yet work at deceiving them. We say that we love life but disregard others' when theirs interfere with our freedom. We seek God but wander in darkness. Therefore, let us stay awake (cf. 1 Peter 5:8). Let us be intentional about unifying our lips and hearts. Today's Intention: O Holy Spirit, Dawn of Light, helps us honor Jesus with words and deeds that promote unity. Peace and Goodness
February 09, 2021
One-Minute Reflection Psalm 29:11 (30 Days of Prayers for Unity #18)
"May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!" (Psalm 29:11- RSVCE) Reflection Time boundaries do not limit the effectiveness of God's blessings. Prayers invoked thousands of years ago are just as effective today as they will be thousands of years from now. We are all made by the same Creator, and His blessings extend to all generations. God's blessings are gifts for all of us. Today's Intention: O Lord, may your blessings of strength and peace help us bring about unity to those we encounter today. Peace and Goodness
February 08, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Psalm 147:2-3 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #17)
“The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem, and gathers the dispersed of Israel, Healing the brokenhearted, and binding up their wounds”(147:2-3). Reflection One of the pillars of Jesus' disciples is to bring together God's children. To bring healing is another pillar. Healing comes in many different ways, but they all have one thing in common, a fire for unity. God healed Job, repairing his broken heart (see Job 7:1-7). Jesus cured Peter's mother, restoring her to serve others (see Mark 1: 29-31). To minister for unity means healing the brokenhearted and binding up their wounds. Today's Intention: Lord, strengthen us, that we may be ministers of unity. Peace and Goodness
February 07, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Micah 6:8 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #16)
“You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) Reflection At times we try so hard to achieve unity. In the process, we promote division. God wants us to take action toward unity. However, He requires that our deeds be fair and kind that we humbly walk with Him trusting that He will have the last word. Today's Intention: O Lord, help us to bring about unity build on fairness, kindness, and humility. Peace and Goodness
February 06, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Philippians 1:27 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #15)
"With one mind, struggling together for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1-27) Reflection Unity can be a struggle. However, when we offer our suffering to God, as His Son did in the Garden of Gethsemane, our struggle for unity becomes a redemptive act. We are a nation born out of struggles, born out of the faith of the Gospel. "A nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Today's Intention: Lord, may the Holy Spirit guide our struggle for unity into the way of peace. (Cf. Luke 79) Peace and Goodness
February 04, 2021
One-Minute Reflection Hebrews 12:15 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #14)
"Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord." (Hebrews 12:15) Reflection One of the greatest enemies in the spiritual life is acedia: the lack of interest and effort in the practice of virtue. Many well-intentioned people are sitting as idled-spectators while division is playing out in our community. As children of God, we all have a responsibility to bring about unity to the best of our ability. Today's Intention: Lord, may we praise you with deeds of unity. Peace and Goodness
February 03, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Romans 15:5 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #13)
"May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus." (Romans 15:5) Reflection Harmony is another word for unity. It is a miracle that Paul, a man who persecuted Christians with zealotry, encourages us to think in harmony. When we allow Jesus to transform us, we become his disciples. Through His teachings, we become instruments of healing instead of weapons of violence. Today's Intention: Lord, make us instruments of your harmony. Where there is division, let us sow unity. (Modification of Peace Prayer of St. Francis) Peace and Goodness
February 02, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Ephesians 5:11 (Days of Prayer for Unity #12)
"Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them." Reflection: Evil grows more potent in darkness. The fruits of darkness include hatred, rivalry, and disagreement (see Galatians 5). These poisonous fruits aim to destroy unity. The children of darkness live by evil. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is the advocate of unity. The Spirit calls out evil and spotlights God's goodness working through us. The children of the Spirit live by the Works of Mercy. They correct the sinner, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful, bear wrong patiently, forgive all injuries, and pray for the living and the dead. Today's Intention: Lord, give us the fortitude to expose the works of darkness and the courage to seek unity through Works of Mercy. Peace and Goodness
February 01, 2021
One-Minute Reflection 1 Timothy 2:5 (30-Days of Prayer for Unity#11)
"For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human" 1 Timothy 2:5 Reflection A cause of division in our lives is the worshiping of other gods. Among them: technology, people, and our desires. These gods are the golden calves of our generation, to whom we worship for short-lived joy. Only God and Christ Jesus can give us lasting joy. When we focus on their love, we can properly use all the gifts in this world. Today’s Intention: O Lord, You made this day for us. May we use the gifts you have made available to glorify You and to obtain real joy: unity with You and our community. Peace and Goodness
January 31, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: 1 John 4:20 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #10)
If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” 1 John 4:20 Reflection: Hate divides us from the love of God and neighbor. At the best of times, unity is seldom easy, especially when we place love of self before love of God. Just like the early Christians, we too struggle with love and hate; with unity and division. However, as long as we remember to place God’s love before ours, unity will always have a chance. Today’s Intention: O Jesus, may the Holy Spirit helps us to seek unity by loving God and neighbor before ourselves. Peace and Goodness
January 30, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: John 17:20-21 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #8)
I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word so that they may all be one...” Reflection We who believe in Jesus have a duty to unite others to Him. That includes non-believers and the lost sheep. We also need to unite our brothers and sisters who have misunderstood Jesus' message of unity. In our days as in times past, much disunity has been done and fermented in God's name. Jesus, however, tells us that His prayer for us is that we all be one. Today’s Intention: Jesus, thank for your prayers for us. May we glorify you by fostering unity in all who we may encounter today. Peace and Goodness
January 28, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: Colossians 3:11 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #7
“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.” Colossians 3:11 Reflection: When we choose sides, we create a dent on the door of unity. However, the moment we think our side is superior than the other, the dent becomes a gash. As a result, the winds of injustice, abuse, and destruction enter our hearts. Before there was disunity, there was Jesus Christ. It is to Him that we belong. Jesus is the carpenter who looks after the door of unity. Today’s Intention: Jesus, may we always call on you when our door of unity needs repair.
January 27, 2021
One Minute Reflection: James 3:16 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #6)
"For where jealousy and selfish ambition exists, there is disorder and every foul practice." James 3:16 Reflection: No one is immune from the perils of jealousy and selfishness, not even the Apostles were so. It is a dangerous practice when we measure our worthiness by comparing ourselves to others, especially when we are driven by pride. God made each one of us unique. He blessed us with our own gifts to share with others in harmony for His glory not ours. Today’s Intention: O Lord, help us to recognize that we cannot build unity in the quicksands of jealousy and selfishness, but on the solid grounds of your love.
January 26, 2021
One-Minute Reflection: John 13:35 (30-Days of Prayer for Unity #5)
“This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 Unity is the sweet water that floods from the well of life, Jesus crucified on the cross. Jesus’ blood and water transformed the stench of death with the fragrance of living water. It is from the fountain of this living water, where Jesus’ disciples quench their thirst for unity so they may continue to love one another. Today’s Intention: Lord, may our cup of discipleship be always filled with the living water from your cross.
January 25, 2021
One-Minute Reflection on Romans 14:19 (30-Days of Prayer for Unity #4)
Let us then pursue what leads to peace and to building up one another.” Romans 14: 19 Reflection: Peace and building one another are foundations that support the bridge of unity. A bridge designed by God, built by Jesus, and operated by the Holy Spirit. As children of God, we are the laborers responsible for the maintenance of the bridge of unity. We form the rebar system that reinforces it against the forces of division. We are its guardians, protecting it against sabotage. Today’s Intention: O Lord, may we live up to our duty as laborers and guardians of the bridge of unity.
January 24, 2021
One-Minute Reflection on Ephesians 4:6 (30-Days of Prayer for Unity #3)
Ephesians 4:6 “One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Reflection: The foundation of God’s love is unity. Its divine illustration is the Holy Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, three persons in one. Its earthly representation is the Church, the body of Christ, which is formed by we all. Unlike the Holy Trinity, the Church is imperfect. The good news, however, is that when we surrender to the Holy Trinity we experience God’s presence in all its splendor. Today’s Intention: Holy Trinity, we pray that you keep us together in our brokenness.
January 23, 2021
One-Minute Reflection on 1 Peter 3: 8-9 (30-Days of Prayer for Unity #2)
“Finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble. Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult; but on the contrary, a blessing.” – 1 Peter 3: 8-9. Reflection: Our nation is at a crossroads. We are a diverse people. We have different political perspectives, religious beliefs, moral convictions. However, we are also loving, peaceful, compassionate. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to guide us. Today’s Intention: Lord Jesus, Son of God, give us clarity to take the higher road, to listen, forgive, pray and bless one another.
January 22, 2021
One-Minute Reflection on Psalm 133:1 (30-Days of Prayer for Unity #1)
“How good and how pleasant it is, When God’s people dwell together as one!” – Psalm 133:1 Reflection God desires unity with Him and with each other. When we dwell together as children of God, even disagreements cannot separate us. For unity built upon the foundation of God’s love knows that adversity is normal in any healthy relationship. However, unity built upon the foundation of fear has the opposite effect. Instead of forming communities, fear forms tribes, which then see others as enemies to protect against. Today’s Intentions: May our actions bring people together as one.
January 21, 2021
One-Minute Reflection on Eph 1: 17-18
“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of [your] hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones,” Eph 1:17-18 Reflection: As a deacon, parishioners constantly ask me to bless them. It could be a blessing for their sacramental objects, for an special occasion, or during difficult events in their lives. The good news is that by of our baptism, we all have the grace to bless others. For example, parents may bless their children and friends may bless friends with a simple “God bless you.” Blessings are links to the divine. They are the pillow where our head rests on the heart of Jesus where we hear the pulsating beats of his wisdom, enlightenment, and hope. May the Lord of Peace and Love, bless you and protect you always.
January 19, 2021
One Minute Reflection on Heb 4:12
“Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints, and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” Reflection: The world is filled with words. Most of them are inconsequential. They are like the air that we breathe in without noticing. Some words are inspiring. They move us to action. Some words bring joy; others bring pain. They are like jewels that adorn us or rocks that disfigure us. Then there is the word of God. It is the incense of life The well of joy that keeps us hydrated in the desert of despair. His word is intentional. The word of God calls out the fragility of our humanity while revealing the hope of the promise of salvation.
January 18, 2021
One-Minute Scripture Reflection: 1 Samuel 3:10
“Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10) The Love of God be with you. Listening to the LORD is an act of humility; a recognition that He is the center of our attention. Such awareness unseals the doors of our hearts to receive the sweet fragrant of Wisdom.Listening to the LORD, however, can be a challenge when we are unfamiliar with His voice. Like Samuel, we could confuse God’s voice with another the voice of another person. Therefore, like a runner training for a marathon, we must train our hearts to recognize and to receive the LORD’s words. Such conquest is possible through a training regime of prayer, worship, and Lectio Divina. Pax et Bonum.
January 17, 2021