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November 23, 2017 - Praying for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day

Scripture Readings

As our minds and hearts turn to the meaning of the Thanksgiving Holiday, perhaps you’ve heard some of the following advice:
“The easiest thing you can do to increase your happiness is to list five things each day that you are thankful for.”
“People of all incomes and ages report vastly different levels of happiness, but the amount of thankfulness is a strong determining factor.”
“You can be thankful in any circumstance, because everything is a gift from God.”

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November 22, 2017 - Martyrdom

Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

Scripture Readings

It is with powerful yet somewhat violent imagery today that the readings challenge us to live and speak boldly for the Kingdom ofGod.  The continuing story from the Second Book of Maccabees shares the image of a faith-filled family.  The narrative has the family being tortured for their beliefs.  As each brother refuses to obey the command of the king, they are executed, all this while their mother watches.  The mom waxes poetically about how the creator of the universe gave each child life and to them they will return.  Her statement is not defeatist though, as she encourages her sons to accept their fate with hope that a merciful God will reunite them all again some day.

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November 21, 2017 - A Spectacle of Grace

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Scripture Readings

The story before us in Luke today is, like so many stories in the Gospels, extraordinary. In it, a wealthy man of some years and a “chief tax collector” runs through a crowd to get a glimpse of Jesus. Because he is a short man, that is not enough. He still can’t see Jesus. So, he climbs up a tree.

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November 20, 2017 - Simply Following Jesus

Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

When I read the Scriptures for today, especially the reading from Maccabees,  I was struck by how closely it relates to what we are experiencing in our own time. I have never been one to blindly follow 'commands' or 'directives', however the Responsorial Psalm offers firm and simple guidance in all the midst of all the confusion and opposing viewpoints I (we) encounter on a daily—or hourly—basis. "Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands". Can it be that simple?

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November 19, 2017 - How will Our Story be Retold?

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Latest data tells us that now the richest 1% own 86% of the world’s wealth. In the United States, top 20% of Americans own 86% of the country’s wealth and the bottom 80% of the population own 14%. I begin with my homily with these statistics not only because of staggering the inequality, but also because in a Capitalist economy such as ours, the Parable of the Talents might make us conclude that the top 1% are really the heroes of the parable, and that the rest of us are lazy, stupid, and incapable. After all, the master said, “For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich.”  Matthew’s purpose of writing this parable is certainly not economic. If the Master is God and the servants are us, it becomes very important that the parable is interpreted correctly, least it become a tool for oppression. 

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