Fr. Mike’s Favorite Topics

Fr. Mike’s Page


Thank you for visiting.  I hope you will enjoy the variety of topics to enhance your spiritual life.  You can either read them below and/or down-load them and read at your leisure.  I have also added my Sunday Homily for those interested.

CURRENT TOPICS: Short History of the Eucharist series and           Mike’s Gallery, ENJOY!

My Recent Homily

Easter Sunday 2024 – John 20:1-9

The time is early and it is still dark, which means for John that Christ who is the light of the world is absent.  Three disciples react to this absence.

Mary Magdalene is the first: we read only the first half of her story, but we notice how her faith is at an early stage.  Her devotion brought her to the tomb, but the missing body can only mean that someone has taken it away.  Jesus himself will have to search her out to bring her to full believe.

The second is Peter.  At the end of the discourse on the Bread of Life, he made an impressive personal commitment to Jesus, but later denied three times that he even knew him.  So wounded was he spiritually by these denials that even though he saw the grave clothes lying there, he could not conclude to the truth.

The third disciple is not named, but he has already appeared at the side of Jesus at the supper and was present at the foot of the cross.  He enjoyed this intimacy with Jesus because he already had the right relationship with him, that of mutual love.  For this reason, he could run faster than Peter and he drew the correct conclusion from the grave clothes which he saw in the tomb.  He himself a model believer, he became not only the authority for his community for the material contained in this gospel, but an example to them.  They were to believe as he believed; their relationship to Jesus was to be that of friends, not servants.  The question of his identity is still debated, but this is of small importance compared with his significance.  Usually, he is identified with John.  He represents all faithful disciples of Jesus through all ages of the church.  Their loving intimacy with Jesus ensures that though they do not see Jesus physically, they believe without seeing.

Sandra Schneiders writes for today’s gospel:

“How believers, down through the ages will experience Jesus living and acting in their midst is still to be explored and explained in the rest of the Resurrection narratives and down through the centuries of Christian experience.  But that Jesus is alive is now revealed.  As the story unfolds through history, his disciples will learn that the Bread they taste in Eucharist, the gospel they hear in scripture, the friend, or spouse, or suffering neighbor they see and touch in community and ministry—indeed, all the sacramental experience of their life of faith—is real contact with the living Jesus who is bodily risen in our midst.

“…On this Easter morning, as we, the living body in this world of the Risen Jesus, sing the Alleluia we will someday sing in the presence of the Glorified Lord, let us lovingly renew our faith and hope that what we see, hear with our ears, taste as our food, touch with our hands is the Word of Life indeed, the One who is already risen in our midst.”

I believe that Sister Sandra says it all that we the living body of Christ present in the community around us continue to bring Jesus to others and to the world, especially through our ministries that you are all now familiar and continue to participate.  It is not how perfectly we participate in the Eucharist, but how perfectly we allow the Jesus in we to love and minister to the Jesus in thee.


Easter Sunday 2024

“Short History of the Ordinary of the Mass”

Please  read the whole “Short History” by clicking on the site below.

Short History of the Ordinary of the Mass



One topic that is close to my heart is Prayer.  The following series is gleaned from my many years of teaching our Novices and Seminarians in Africa.  There are many styles and ways that we can pray and it is good to be informed of them, since these different styles and ways may or may not appeal to us, depending on our personalities.  But before I begin I will explain the difference in Public prayer and Private prayer.  Then I will further explain the differences between Meditation, Affectation and Contemplation types of praying.  But all of this depends on our personal relationship with God through knowing and being aware of God”s attributes of goodness, beauty, truth, and love!  Now we are ready to talk about Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory and all the distractions that get between us and God…of course, I offer some suggestions.  (Continue below.)

PRAYER 8 final










Part three

 “Despite all the dust, it looks like her father is riding on ahead of our sons!” Abe exclaimed.

“Supposing those are women in the cart and that is their father!” Michael pointed out.

“I don’t recognize him,” Abe said.  “Do you?”

“Too far yet, brother,” Michael said.  “Let him get closer.  He does seem a little familiar to me.  Oh Yahweh, be praised!”

“You recognize him, don’t you?”

“If that is the person,” Michael said in awe, “then we are witnessing another blessing from God!”

“What do you mean?” Abe asked.

“How do you think I was able to return home?” Michael asked in return.

“When you took off with the family fortunes?” Abe teased.

“Yes!” Michael said excitedly.  “That man’s father brought me to the turn off leading to our property.  I was too embarrassed to have them bring me home in person.  I think they knew it and understood.  I didn’t find out until later that his father and our father were like brothers.”

“So our son could be marring into their family,” Abe suggested.

“Only if one of our sons are marring into his family,” Michael said, and suggested, “Or they are accompanying our sons home!”

“What do you mean?” Abe asked.

“They may be only traveling together for safety,” Michael suggested.  “Or, maybe they are coming to visit us…me?  He had only one son, Eliud, the last I saw them.”

“Michael,” Eliud called out as he approached them.

“Eliud?” Michael returned.

“It has been years!” he said.  “And I see you are in better circumstances!”

“Eliud, God be Praised!” Michael called out.  “You haven’t aged a year!”

“Ha!  I see your disposition has improved, too” Eliud exclaimed.  “Greetings from our family!”

“Eliud, this is my brother Abraham, Son of Micah,” Michael introduced Abe officially.

“Adonai, Be Praised!”  Abe said in return.  “Welcome to our home!  I know you will be blessing us with your presence, you and your family!”

“Blessings upon you and your family too!  Our fathers were like brothers,” Eliud cried out.  “And now we are twice blessed!  First we were blessed by your sons and now upon hearing your greeting!”

“I hope our sons have carried our names well,” Abe asked, working towards the big question.

“They have indeed!” Eliud returned, almost knowing what Abe was hinting at.  “They have smitten my daughters, and now I have to accompany them all the way here just so I can have peace of mind, and my wife has joined me on our journey.”

By now Abe is dancing in the road again, singing a welcoming song.

“You must meet Abe’s wonderful spouse, Miriam!” Michael continued the welcoming for his brother.  “Do tell us, what brings you all the way here from home?” Michael asks, unable to contain himself also.  “Certainly not to just accompany our sons.”

“Business,” Eliud teased.

Abe stopped dancing, “Business…is that all?”

“Oh, no!” Eliud answered emphatically.  “We have come to visit the wonderful sons of Micah.  We needed to verify the stories of your sons, Joshua and Michael, to see if your names truly deserve to be added to the list of our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” he said laughing.

“My sons have never told an untruth in their lives,” Abe teased back.  “But this may take you days to verify.  We better kill the fatted calf.”

“Several fatted calves,” Michael added.

“Your father visited us once, after things had settled down here,” Eliud said.

“He said it was a chance encounter, since your family is always traveling on business,” Michael said.

“Actually, travel is a way of life for us,” Eliud emphasized, “like our ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Unlike the other tribes, we Rechabites were never given land.”

“Neither were the Levites,” Michael said, recalling.

“They were never given land as a tribe,” Eliud countered, “but they were given land in specific cities set aside for the Levites,  like Nob, and designated cities of sanctuary and other selected cities in the Northern Kingdom.”

“Oh,” Michael said.  “I didn’t realize that.”

“Jeremiah 35,” Eliud quoted.  “The reason why I share this information about our family is that we are almost certain that your father was also of the tribe of Rechab.”

“A fallen away Recabite?” Abe asked.

“Possibly, since there is the possibility of our family becoming united by blood, we had to be certain, as much as possible!”

“That would explain my brother’s urge to travel,” Abe teased.

“Actually,” Michael added, “we both have that urge to “be on the road”, any road.”

“We will have to look into the possibility of making your dreams come true,” Eliud teased again.

Walking back hand in hand, the three men continued to banter back and forth along the road as they approached the house.

“Here is Miriam, my wife,” said Abe.  “If you leave here thin, it is your own fault.  Miriam!  We have guests.  Come and greet them.”

After the greetings and introductions were through, Eliud finally puts forth the reason for their visit.  “Your sons have smitten my daughters, so we have come to see for ourselves the parents of these wonderful men.  The seed does not fall far from the tree.”

“We have complete confidence in them to represent us, even to the Holy City, Jerusalem,” Miriam said.  “Besides, I knew you were coming, and even now food is prepared!”

“Now how could you know that?” Abe was truly surprised.  “Our sons were simply going on a business trip.”

“I know my sons and a woman’s intuition,” she said.  “Besides, when I found out you had given them too much money, they would eventually conclude one thing, they were supposed to find wives.”

“Miriam is never wrong,” Abe said proudly and lovingly.  “I have learned to listen to her over the years.”

“And that is the success of a happy marriage!” Eliud added.  “We have come a long way and have quite a way to go.  You may know that we are Rechabites, and our families have always traded in goods.  We have never settled down since the time of our forefathers, and have tried to be faithful to Abraham’s way of life as a nomad.  Even now we are on our way to Egypt to trade.”

“Egypt?” Michael and Abe asked at the same time.

“You must need some rest then,” Miriam interrupted.  “You must also bless us with your presence and stories as long as you can, and even after you have run out of stories,” she teased.  “What is ours is yours.”

“Your sons are truly blessed,” Eliud said.  “I knew as soon as they talked about you, they could only be the grandsons of Micah?!  And now we have witnessed for ourselves.  We are truly among the children of Yahweh!”

“How many daughters do you have?” Miriam asked anxiously.

“Seven,” Eliud answered.  “But two of them are twins, and they are the ones smitten by your sons.  Their names are Rebecca and Rachel.  Of the seven, they are the ones that will concern you and your future.”

“Twins?” Abe said to himself.  “And both have eyes for our sons?”

“Yes!  Joshua is enchanted with Rebecca, and Rachel has fallen for your other son Michael.” Eliud explained.  “So I guess smitten goes both ways!” he laughed.

“You are on your way to Egypt?” Michael asked, but he was interrupted by the sons who have just arrived.


The Prodigal Sons Three

The Prodigal Sons Two

The Prodigal Sons One

***If you have your favorite prophet/s, and I have several, you will enjoy these series.  This present series from The Prophet’s Wife Isaiah’s wife tells her side of the story.


Part Three: In The Courtyard, End of A Kingdom

             This time Isaiah found his wife in the garden, seemingly waiting for him to return from his usual time with his growing number of disciples.  He knew that she favored this time of the day when they had quiet time to themselves before their children returned from their instructions.

“It seems your prophecy has begun to be fulfilled,” Miriam said to her husband, Isaiah, as he walked through the entrance to the garden.  He took a seat next to her.

“So, you have heard the news?” Isaiah asked.

“The Kingdom of Jeroboam II has been reduced by the Lion of Assyria!” Miriam said.

“This is the beginning of the end if the Northern Kingdom does not submit to the Lord,” Isaiah could see the path they have already chosen.  “Tracks of territory on the coastal plain in Galilee, and east and north-east of Galilee were annexed by Assyria.  Now the Kingdom of Ephraim is reduced to the time before their king Jehu.”

“I have also heard, my husband, that their King Hoshea, who was doing so well until Tiglath-pileser died,” his wife added.  “And now he has now joined Assyria’s enemies in a bid to overthrow their rule.”

“What!” Isaiah was astonished at the news.  “The fools, they will bring down the wrath of the Assyrians to our door steps.”

“Our sons will discern the meaning of their names,” Miriam said

“They are old enough now,” Isaiah said.  “At least Shear-Jashub wants to join the other students rather than the fools.”

“His command of the language is growing,” Miriam said with pride.  “He wants so much to be like you.”

“Soon we will change his name,” Isaiah hinted.  “I am only waiting for a sign.”

“Well, I met a young man today,” Miriam stated, “Not to change the subject, but he is a refugee sent by his father from the Northern Kingdom.”

“Oh?” Isaiah said interested.  “What is his name?”

“He said his name was Ammi,” Miriam said, and then paused as she recalled his father’s name.  “…Ammi ben Hosea.”

“Is he from the tribe of Levi?” Isaiah asks.

“Yes, that he did mention,” she answered.  “By his accent he is definitely not from Judah but probably from Northern Israel near the territory of Syria.”

“That explains why his father sent him south,” Isaiah said.  “They are right in the path of the advancing Assyrians.”

“I asked him if he needed a place to stay,” Miriam said.

“My wife,” Isaiah said with love, “What a blessing you are to me and to the people of God.”  And then Isaiah added, “Maybe a blessing of information about what is happening in the north, and from a Levite!  At least some are listening to their priests.”


Probably Isaiah had been a teacher of some sort.  That there were schools in Jerusalem at this time cannot be doubted.  A key concept of this school literature appears to have been that human wisdom or counsel is fallible, but the “counsel of Yahweh stands firm.”  It is precisely this point that Isaiah brings against his contemporaries.  The king and his counselors, he says, are giving advice without consulting Yahweh or paying attention to what his counsel might be.

Had Isaiah been a teacher in such schools this would also help to explain his literary versatility.  Note especially the superbly crafted allegory of the vineyard, in 5:1-7, and his transparently pedagogical approach in a passage like 28:23-29.  This too would explain why he alone of the prophets took the unusual step of binding and sealing his teachings in the memories of a certain group of students or disciples.  Isaiah’s messages are generally regarded as the theological high-water mark of prophetic literature and lend themselves, as such, especially well to thematic treatment.

The second event in the background of Isaiah’s mission was Assyria’s response to this rebellion on its western flank.  In that same year, 734, Assyria launched a sweeping invasion of this region during which Damascus-Syria was roundly defeated and large tracks of territory belonging to Israel on the coastal plain in Galilee and east and northeast of Galilee, the Trans-Jordan area, were annexed as Assyrian provinces.

Isaiah came to believe that a devastating invasion was about to sweep through Judah, one that would lay waste its countryside and towns.  Although, it was not explicitly stated that Assyria is to be the perpetrator of this invasion, this clearly is what Isaiah had in mind.  However, Assyria’s rise to power, as Isaiah came to understand it, was more than an accident of history.  Behind this event was the One whom his eyes had seen enthroned over the universe: the King, Yahweh Sabaoth.  Assyria was but an instrument of divine action.

Why is Yahweh doing this?  Because we are told in 1:10-17, the people of this city are endlessly involved in worshiping Yahweh through an extravagance of animal sacrifices which the Lord hates, while neglecting what he really wants of them: ceasing to do evil, learning to do good, searching for justice, disciplining the violent, and caring for orphan and widow.

Why then, in summary, is Yahweh bringing the Assyrians to decimate Judah before being crushed itself?  It was to humble Judah’s proud elite, to purge a remnant in Jerusalem of its sins, to demonstrate that Yahweh is indeed God, and to prepare the way for the advent of a new, more just, more upright leadership and community among those who survive these ordeals.



Allegory of Vineyard, Is 28:23-29

Why is Yahweh doing this? Is 1:10-17