Good Friday

I haven’t blogged for a long time but thought it would be appropriate on this Good Friday as I have been reflecting on a lot of things.  I hope you are all enjoying a blessed Triduum. 

For some reason I am always drawn to a beautiful message I read years ago from the homily of Pope Benedict XVI during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on April 13, 2006. These were powerful words about the depths of God’s love for humanity and the sacred events Christians recall during this week. 

I have included a portion of the homily at the end of this blog entry.  God’s love is indeed extreme and radical.  I hope the words below bless you and remind you of the depths of God’s love for you personally. I am always reminded on Good Friday that God is very much at work in the midst of chaos and pain. We are never abandoned even as we groan for the fulfillment of hope (c.f. Romans 8:22).

This Lent has been a strange one for me walking through the intense grief of having lost my wonderful father back in December just before Christmas. I miss him terribly and sometimes the grief of loss overwhelms me. Out of nowhere a memory comes or song, etc, and I just feel powerless and tears just start forming in my eyes. Still, I know the Lord is with me and there are many important spiritual lessons to be learned through these difficult experiences.

The Lord is very much reminding me that part of our healing from grief lies in staying connected and involved in other people’s lives and realizing that we all struggle with grief and are supposed to reach out and comfort one another. I really appreciate the people who have been checking in with me and asking how I am getting along. There has been a real temptation for me to isolate myself but the Lord keeps reminding me to stay connected and engaged. I keep remembering an ad for “The Chosen” where Jesus says to his disciples, “I don’t need you to feel anything to do something great for me”. Emotions and feelings are part of life, but our desire should always be to walk by faith and not let them dominate our decision making. This isn’t easy. St. Ignatius of Loyola reminds us that the consolation is for the desolation. Somehow everything is working for our good (c.f. Romans 8:28) but there are moments like Good Friday where you are suspended in the loss and so eagerly await the joy of resurrection. I know it is coming! 

I visited with Diana on Wednesday. She is a young mom who is dying of ovarian cancer and on hospice. She is my “Holy Week blessing” for this year and I was so impressed by her bright personality, sense of humor, and faith. Please pray for her and her family as they journey through this difficult time.

I have been going through some photos trying to put together a slideshow for a future celebration of life for my dad. I ran across the photo I have posted here of our pilgrimage to Ireland in 2012. My mom and dad as well as numerous parishioners from St. Brendan parish in Bothell and St. Vincent de Paul parish in Federal Way also joined us for the trip. It was a great experience filled with lots of laughter, great food, and getting acquainted with my Irish heritage.

Have a blessed Good Friday and most importantly I pray for a joyful celebration of Easter Sunday! 

Here is part of the message from Pope Benedict XVI I referenced earlier: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (Jn 13:1).

God loves his creature, man; he even loves him in his fall and does not leave him to himself. He loves him to the end. He is impelled with his love to the very end, to the extreme: he came down from his divine glory.

He cast aside the raiment of his divine glory and put on the garb of a slave. He came down to the extreme lowliness of our fall. He kneels before us and carries out for us the service of a slave: he washes our dirty feet so that we might be admitted to God’s banquet and be made worthy to take our place at his table—something that on our own we neither could nor would ever be able to do.

God is not a remote God, too distant or too great to be bothered with our trifles. Since God is great, he can also be concerned with small things. Since he is great, the soul of man, the same man, created through eternal love, is not a small thing but great, and worthy of God’s love.

God’s holiness is not merely an incandescent power before which we are obliged to withdraw, terrified. It is a power of love and therefore a purifying and healing power.

God descends and becomes a slave, he washes our feet so that we may come to his table. In this, the entire mystery of Jesus Christ is expressed. In this, what redemption means becomes visible.

The basin in which he washes us is his love, ready to face death. Only love has that purifying power which washes the grime from us and elevates us to God’s heights.

The basin that purifies us is God himself, who gives himself to us without reserve—to the very depths of his suffering and his death. He is ceaselessly this love that cleanses us; in the sacraments of purification—Baptism and the Sacrament of Penance—he is continually on his knees at our feet and carries out for us the service of a slave, the service of purification, making us capable of God.

His love is inexhaustible, it truly goes to the very end.

Benedict XVI, Homilies of His Holiness Benedict XVI (English) (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013).

Goodbye Blogger Returning to WordPress

Dear Friends,

I have decided to return to WordPress as the Blogger website is a bit disappointing and is no longer sending out the Daily Thoughts as it used to do.

I am going to start blogging again. The past few months have been a bit challenging with my dad and his cancer diagnosis, but the Lord never fails to provide, especially in difficult times.

I will be heading over the mountains after the 10:30AM Mass and spending the Thanksgiving Day week with my family in Richland.

Have a blessed day!

in Christ,
Fr. Jim

Daily Reflection from The Word Among Us

I thought the reflection today from the Word Among Us was very good and wanted to share it.

“Whoever loses his life will save it.” (Luke 17:33)


Have you ever missed the bus, lost your job due to downsizing, or felt forgotten by someone close to you? It doesn’t feel good to be left out. Imagine, then, what it must feel like to be left out of Jesus’ Sec­ond Coming. None of us wants that! But it’s unnerving, isn’t it, that we won’t know when Jesus will come again. We don’t want to miss it, so we have to be in a state of con­stant readiness.

The good news is that Jesus has made it easy for us to be prepared. He wants to see us ready! He liked to compare the kingdom of God to a banquet—the more people come, the merrier. Yes, there is a dress code, but we have all the clothes we need. Let’s look at three particular items that are vital to any spiritual wardrobe.

First, keep your conscience clear. Even small sins can cloud our vision of the Lord and his calling for us. That’s why it is important for us to examine our conscience and repent often. It’s also why we should make regular use of the Sacrament of Rec­onciliation, an excellent way to receive even more of God’s grace to resist temptation and grow in virtue.

Second, love others. Over and over, Jesus tells us to place the wel­fare of others above ourselves. He even commands us to love others as he has loved us. And since his love is unconditional, ours should be too. Keeping our hearts and our hands open especially to the poor and needy keeps us open to the Lord himself (Matthew 25:40).

Finally, stay close to Jesus. As you draw near to him, he will draw near to you. His love and mercy will become clearer, and you will find yourself changing to become more and more like him—and more and more ready for his return.

Time and time again, Jesus asks us to be ready for his coming. He wants to give us his inheritance of fellowship with God for all eter­nity. If we clothe ourselves with these three practices, we won’t have to worry; we will be ready in an instant!

“Jesus, I want to be with you at your heavenly banquet. I know that you make it possible, so help me to do my part today. I love you and all that you do for me!”


I switched to a new website design program several months ago when Apple stopped hosting with Mobile Me. I am not sure how much longer Apple is going to support IWeb and there are rumors going around that they are going to stop making it.

I am now using Rapidweaver. It is a very easy to use and impressive program. You can by all kinds of plug-ins for it and it is extremely flexible. However, just like getting apps on your Iphone, there are very few free plug-ins, so you have to watch yourself. (I accidentally bought a plug-in I already had thinking it was a newer version!)

I have been revamping the Resources page with a much easier to read format. I have also posted some new resources. You can view them by clicking here.

Lessons in Prudence- Or the lack thereof

Dear Friends,

If you caught the post from Monday evening (I have since deleted it) I wanted to take a moment to apologize and didn’t mean to alarm people. That should have been something I kept for spiritual direction.

It’s amazing how a series of events can temporarily fog your judgment and vision. It all serves to remind me that I have a long way to go before the virtue of Prudence and I are good buddies!

Thanks to some rest, wonderful Scripture readings, prayers, and good friends, I am in a very different place.

I still feel the Door Prophecy is important and wanted to share that as a means of encouragement to anyone who is feeling out of of sorts and wondering why God is allowing certain things to happen in their lives, the world, Church, etc. I really do believe special graces are going to be available for us and I don’t know about you, but I sure want to accept everything the Lord offers us “for such a time as this” (cf. Esther 4:14).

Here is the Door Prophecy:

I see these two massive doors, something like what you would see on a medieval castle.  These doors are swinging open and the Lord says this,

“I grant you access to a new place, I call you to a new land.

And these doors no man can open, they can only open at my word. 

But I grant you access and I open these doors wide for you and I call you to come in.

I call you to enter to a place that no one can go without my permission. 

But not only do I grant you permission, I call you to come here.

So I call you to come through these great doors. 

What the world cannot open with its wisdom, what the world cannot open with its might, what the world cannot open with its money or its power, to them it will remain shut but to those whom I grant access, the entrance is open.

Come into a new place my people, live in a new land, dwell in a new reality, enter into the place I have prepared for you. 

You do not have to wait until you die before you enter this realm.

You do not have to wait until you die before you can live in a heavenly reality.

Enter in here and now, for by my word and by my decree these doors are now open, and you have access. 

Enter in my people.

Enter in to the privilege that I have granted you that the world does not have access to because they do not know me. 

Those who know me, I open the doors and say enter in.”

Prayer Request

My First Communion catechist, Kay, could sure use some prayers as she faces health problems. She was one of those bright shining stars for me as I grew up. She spoke with such love and affection about Jesus and her relationship with Him.

Thanks for keeping her and all those struggling with their health in your prayers.

Another Day of Work in the Vineyard

The elections are over. I will refrain from commenting on the results and was reminded during Morning Prayer, that regardless of who won or what initiatives passed, the work of a disciple remains the same. Think of the countless souls who surround us everyday who don’t know the joy of claiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. Think of the church going people who worship from a distance, not engaging with their hearts, and how dramatically things could change if they got baptized in the Holy Spirit. The Vineyard is in desperate need of faithful workers. Hopefully, we all rolled (or crawled) out of bed with an open heart and desire to do the Lord’s work for the day.

Politicians come and go. Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever! I now have the privilege of celebrating this Truth during Daily Mass.

Have a blessed day!