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September 22, 2018 - Great Expectations

Saturday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

“I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep everyone’s expectations.”  These are the words that end a Calvin & Hobbes strip as Calvin gloats about the C his school work earned.  His classmate, who earned an A, is understandably perplexed. As usual, the author of Calvin & Hobbes, Bill Watterson, uses this devious 6-year-old and his stuffed tiger to make us think.  This particular statement brings to mind the burden of carrying other’s expectations.  The flipside of this is expressed when we lower our own expectations in order to avoid the displeasure of disappointment.  Both of these realities fly in the face of our first reading today.

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September 21, 2018 - Answering the Call

Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist

Scripture Readings

Wedding invitations have changed a lot in the last twenty five years.  To create a wedding invitation the main questions were “embossed or not?” and “what font?”  It was simple.  The advent of digital technology has allowed for invitations to be re-envisioned.  While this is great in that it allows for so much more creativity, it also difficult because there are so many questions to answer.  Should we use pictures? If so how many?  Which of these thousand pictures do we choose?

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September 20, 2018 - Set an Example

Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Priest, and Paul Chong Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs

Scripture Readings

As we continue walking with the Lord in this 24th week of time, we encounter two excellent readings today. The first is from the first letter of St. Paul to Timothy, which we have been reading now for almost a week (with a few interruptions). 1 Timothy is a practical letter, and today’s excerpt contains some practical advice that is still relevant for us today. Paul instructs the readers to “set an example.” Actions are often more powerful than words, and sometimes the best persuasion of the goodness of Christianity is the example of Christian believers.

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September 19, 2018 - Pianoforte

Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

In one of my classes at the seminary, I learned a new vocabulary word.  Pianoforte is a word that has become abbreviated and now we simply call it a piano.  Pianoforte translates from its Italian roots to mean soft and strong.  This imagery rushed upon me as I reflected on these readings from scripture. Angelic tongues, without love, are like clashing cymbals.  While a piano can be played and the notes can be rendered precisely, without love is it really music?

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September 18, 2018 - The Rest of the Body is Depending on It

Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

When first diagnosed with Celiac Disease several years ago, I was severely anemic, and my doctor ordered me not to engage in any strenuous exercise because I was at a higher risk of having a heart attack. This really surprised me. Obviously not being a physician myself, I had to learn about what was happening inside my body. Basically, my understanding is that this autoimmune disease was causing the lining of my intestines to be damaged when I consumed any gluten, which in turn was preventing my body from absorbing the nutrients and minerals it needed, including iron. I learned again that our bodies need iron to carry oxygen to the various organs, including the heart. This compromised my heart, apparently putting me at greater risk for a heart attack (although I was fairly young) until the iron my body needed was able to be replenished. Thankfully, once I removed all gluten from my diet, the intestines healed and I was able to absorb the iron I needed. This experience truly emphasized for me the complex interconnections within our bodies, and the important role that even small, usually unseen, parts play in sustaining the body and keeping it alive and functioning well.

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