Today, my wife and I have been married 42 years. I would love to say we are celebrating 42 years but that would not be accurate. By me, in the beginning of our marriage, not having a relationship with God, being and adulterer 10 years into my marriage, lying and being self-centered has tarnished much of my marriage. As a convert to my faith at the age of 33, I continue my journey daily with Jesus, picking up the cross of the marriage pains I have caused and pray each day for peace for my beloved wife who has endured so much pain.

I now understand more fully the Sacrament/Covenant of marriage. I understand the powers of the world and the evil forces that are attacking marriages and family. But more than anything that I could possibly share that I believe would be helpful to any couple is that one’s chances of being happily married without God as the center of one’s relationship is impossible. All things are possible with God. We as husbands and wives must love God more than we love each other. His love and grace in return is our gift from Him for a loving and Sacramental marriage.


Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign…

…”blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind, do this, don’t do that can’t you read the sign” as the Five Man Electrical Band sang in their hit song. What did Jesus say in today’s Gospel of Matthew 12:38-42 about signs…

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.

The truth is, there are so many signs of God’s glory that we take for granted each day of how much He loves us. How about our first waking breath we are aware of each day. Without it, there would be no waking. Everything we are and we have are gifts from God. What more signs do we need to know that our God cares for us. HOW ABOUT THE SIGN OF THE CROSS? If that does not speak love to every Christian that Jesus Christ gave His life out of love for me, then most likely nothing will.

I was given a great sign this morning. The special day that my wife of 42 years was born. Though she does not do Facebook or read any of what I have to say, I tell the world today how much I love her and wish God’s peace upon her on her very special day!20150307GavinNana10153729_10203768293437859_4856325188366426354_n

Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign…

The Lord Is Our Shepherd

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There were a couple of thoughts that came to mind today as I was reading Sunday’s readings. The first was how much we need to pray for Shepherds, meaning our Pastors, Priests, Ministers and all who proclaim, teach and lead others to follow Jesus. In reading the prophet Jeremiah 23:1-6, these words, though prior to the coming of our true Shepherd Jesus, still have great meaning today…

“Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.”

Sin and Satan wants to bring us all down and the best way to do it would be to attack those whom God has chosen to lead His flocks. We know God is infinitely more powerful than Satan and his fallen angels but because of the gift of free will, temptation along with our human appetites, can lead us to perform the evil deeds prophesied by Jeremiah.

The second thought today was the importance of rest and time alone with Jesus. The Apostles had been traveling from place to place, preaching, healing and teaching the Gospel. They were happy because by the grace of God, all was going extremely well. My guess is they probably wanted to continue moving on but Jesus said to them…

“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.

Where is our deserted place? I have my prayer room and spend early mornings before work and late evenings before bedtime when it is quiet. I do not think we can really know Jesus unless we are able to spend quiet time alone with Him. For those of us who are married or those in very close friendships, we know that we have to spend time alone with each other to know each other more intimately. I think it is the same with our Lord.

I hope everyone is having a beautiful end to their weekend. In beautiful sunny Southern California, God is blessing us with rain. Thank you Jesus! Amen!

The Lord Is Our Shepherd

Wanting Jesus Dead


The Gospel of Matthew 12:14-21 begins today with this…

“The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.”

I cannot even imagine what it would be like to live my life knowing that many of the people I come in contact with would like to see me dead. Jesus seems to always run into the Scribes, Pharisees, the Sanhedrin and the leaders of the Temple who are always trying to trip Him up to blaspheme or do something so they would have cause to put Him to death.

Tonight, like Jesus, I was hanging out after Mass with my crew. Though they are not The Apostles yet as followers of Jesus, I love them dearly and we celebrated a birthday with a fabulous dinner together. What would it have been like to have those sitting next to us start asking us questions that would reveal something to them that they could have us arrested for?

It’s hard for me to grasp how Jesus went from place to place…

“Many people followed him, and he cured them all, but he warned them not to make him known.”

He did nothing but good things and told the truth but people wanted Him dead for this? That does not make any sense. But maybe it just does make sense and I think we as a society, are guilty of this today! Many of us today study the Word of God and try to live it daily in our lives. Even we do not agree completely with the Words of scripture. Jesus teaches us we are one body in Christ and there is only one truth. Do I have the truth? Do you? We have to have an authority to reveal the truth. An authority that the gates of Hell will never prevail against. Yes, the church.

Even me as a Catholic, whose church claims to be the church established by Jesus Christ, knows that we have Catholics who disagree with the teachings of the church. The church says abortion is wrong yet there are many who are “pro choice.” The church says that marriage is between a man and a woman yet there are many who advocate there is nothing wrong with “same-sex marriage.” These are just two examples of disagreements.

We do not go as far as to hate each other to the point of wanting the other dead, at least I hope not. But unlike acting like Jesus in turmoil, we are vicious at times with each other. We spew vile and terrible things on social media sites, call each other names and frankly at times in a very threatening tone. And we are CHRISTIANS? What has happened to loving our neighbors as ourselves? The truth is, many of us by our actions are killing the Spirit of Jesus today. May God have mercy on us all.

Wanting Jesus Dead

Come To Me

Today’s short Gospel from Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

The ups and downs of life. I had a real downer yesterday that is actually a great blessing. My dear friend and priest, Father Tom Mullen, passed away from his battle with cancer. He was a friend, supporter of my musical group SIGN, Singing In God’s Name and he was an awesome spiritual director for me. I love him and will miss him. Fr. Tom, pray for us because the blessing you have received is one we long for to be with our loving Father and Jesus forever.


Fr. Tom had labored and was greatly burdened with suffering from cancer. Jesus says, “Come to me” and Fr. Tom was at peace, prepared to come to Jesus. For the rest of us sinners, living in this sinful world, we can find comfort in His promise that He will give us rest because His yoke is easy and His burden is light.


A yoke was made for two and the strongest of the two would carry the heavy part of the load. I think we all know who that is in our lives!

The ups for me, being a sports guy, is that the Los Angeles Dodgers are having a Christian Faith Day on Sunday, August 16, 2015. The promo says…

Dodger players Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez, AJ Ellis, & Scott Van Slyke cordially invite you to join us for a day of faith, family, and fellowship at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, August 16. Arrive early to visit Viva Los Dodgers before the game! From 11am-1pm, you can enjoy music, food, games and more! Viva is located in the Historic 76 Station and is completely free with your game ticket. Following the game, Dodger players will share their personal testimony with fans in attendance and there will be a special musical performance by The Katinas. All fans in attendance are invited to stay after the game to enjoy our post-game program!

Jesus and Baseball, together at Dodger Stadium sounds like a winner to me! Thank you Jesus!

Come To Me

Who Am I?

In reading the scripture passage today from Exodus 3:1-12, we gain the understanding that God hears the prayers of His people who are being oppressed by Pharaoh. So he summons Moses and tells him…

“Come, now! I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

Moses responds…

“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

It immediately reminded me of a song by Casting Crowns that I love to sing and play called “Who Am I”. I have wrestled with that many times in my life. Who am I to do this or that? Am I capable? Maybe? Maybe not? Maybe someone else could do a better job? Yet, look at some of the simple Saints we have come to know and even the soon to be Saints like Blessed Mother Teresa. They did God’s will, what they were asked to do. Some things were simple and some were great. But the Saints, Moses and us have one important thing in common and God revealed it to Moses in His response…

“I will be with you”

We cannot go wrong if we truly have faith that God is with us! Be not afraid! Now, all I need to do is to act upon what I just said. It’s easier for me to sit back and pray while others do. It’s important for me especially to remember that faith without works is dead. I cannot earn my salvation but I must be open to receive and cooperate with God’s grace given to me. Thanks be to God!

Who Am I?

Mighty Deeds!

It’s 10pm and I just finished watching the pre-game and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, delayed on my DVR. Since I was a little boy, I have loved baseball and this particular game even though it has changed so much. Tonight, it was very special to watch.

Let me first say that our God is a merciful God. Tonight’s Gospel is about repentance. I had a very long lunch conversation today about Pete Rose, who was honored tremendously tonight in his hometown of Cincinnati. I’m one who thinks he should be in the Hall of Fame. With that in mind, we need to forgive, not only Pete Rose, but forgive in general. God tells us in the Our Father prayer that if we want our trespasses forgiven, we have to forgive those who trespass against us. Somehow though, I would hope that anyone who is forgiven or desires to be forgiven, would show some kind of remorse or repentance for the crime or sin they have committed. I am not so sure that this has happened in Pete’s case but that is not for me to judge.

Let’s start with the 4 greatest living legends that walked out on the field prior to the first pitch. There was hammerin’ Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays. Wow, I was lucky enough to see them all play. Sandy Koufax threw out the first pitch to Johnny Bench, a strike no less! Being a Dodger fan and having worked many years in their organization, they announced the 4 greatest Dodgers of all time. They were Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Duke Snider and Jackie Robinson. As a young 12 year old, I was privileged to attend one of Sandy’s 4 no hitters at Dodger Stadium. That’s pretty awesome! Thank you Lord!

I am blown away by the God-given abilities these great players have been given. They are amazing and they perform “mighty deeds” day in and day out on the baseball field. In a sense, we idolize them. Kids look up to them, even as role models.These great athletes are placed on pedestals in our society and lack nothing of what the world has to offer. Jesus performed mighty deeds wherever He went and people continued to reject Him. He healed, He brought back people from the dead and He taught with great love and mercy. All He wanted was for people to love God and their neighbors. He would be merciful and forgive sins if people would love and repent. But in the Gospel of Matthew 11:20-24, Jesus tells us…

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.”

And He also continued…

“For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.”

Everything we possess, our abilities, spiritual wealth and material wealth is a gift from God. They are to be used to glorify Him. Realizing that, I believe that sports now have such a greater meaning to me and I am more able to fully enjoy the great athletes and accomplishments that bring Glory to God!

Mighty Deeds!

Do You Love Your Mom And Dad?

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Wow, some pretty stern words from Jesus in Matthew 10:34-11:1! Scripture is awesome and if you take it out of context, you can use it for any purpose that you want and the world does that very well. We must try to read scripture in the context it was written and to seek the meaning for us in our lives today.

Jesus was talking to His disciples whom He was sending out to preach the Gospel. He was teaching them. He was not telling them not to love their father or mother or sons and daughters. The 4th Commandment tells us to honor our father and mother and we do that with great love for our parents.

The simple explanation, at least for me is to put God first. Put God first in everything. But to put God first we have to know God and to know God we have to pray, read His Word, pray, worship Him at church (Mass), pray, pray and pray. We should live a sacramental life, one that places our dependence completely on God. I believe when we place God first, all will fall into place. I mention “into place” meaning that we will still have crosses to bear as Jesus continually tells us to pick up our cross and follow Him.

One more simple way to think about it is that the next time you are feeling such great love for your mom, your dad, your son, your daughter or anyone you love, remember where the grace to love comes from. That would be putting God first in the great spirit of thanksgiving.

Do You Love Your Mom And Dad?

Be Welcoming!

This caught my attention today as one who likes to share the Gospel and scripture readings each day. Pope Francis in his homily today said, “Want to preach the Gospel Effectively? Be Welcoming!”

I was thinking what welcoming means to me. I was thinking kindness and smiling, listening and having compassion and actually caring about others and where they are at in their lives today. Then I was reading the Responsorial Psalm 85 today and it offered more thought for me…

Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.

There are a few things that I think we are all searching for. Some that come to mind are truth. I think we all want to know truth. What is the meaning of our lives? What is the purpose of our lives? Another is peace. When we are peaceful, everything seems right and even the wrongs of the world seem more tolerable. I think we hope to be peaceful not only in good times but in our struggles as well. Lastly, I think we are searching for God’s mercy and forgiveness. No matter how good we try to be, we are human and we are going to fall. When we do fall, I think we want to know that God understands how weak we are and that He picks us up and puts us back on the right path.

For anyone who likes to share, preach or attempt to make sense out of scripture like myself, our words are nothing if they are not welcoming and filled with kindness and compassion for others who are seeking the will of God. We are all in different places in our lives. There is only one truth and we are seeking it on different paths. 20 years ago, I am not sure I would have agreed with what I am saying today. My point would be that all of us can dialogue in a welcoming manner, accepting each other in love and continue seeking God’s truth.

Be Welcoming!