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September 8, 2017 - God is with Us

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Scripture Readings

Today is the day the Church celebrates the birthday of Mary. We honor Mary in many different ways because she is so essential to God’s plan of salvation for us. Her willingness to have her life changed so radically when God asks her is an inspiring and humbling witness to her faith. Mary models so much for us, including discipleship, selfless love, and courage. She is the first disciple because she said yes to Jesus before he was even born; she is selflessly loving, putting the salvation of others before her own comfort by saying ‘yes’ to God; and she is courageous in both these things, willfully opening herself to scorn and stigma by essentially becoming an unwed mother in a time when this almost surely meant social exclusion.

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September 7, 2017 - God's Pencil

Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Years ago, I read with my youngest son a wonderful children’s book, beautifully illustrated, about Mother Teresa’s life (Mother Teresa, by Demi, 2005).  One of the things that stood out to me was that she did not set out to start her own order of sisters and brothers, or to earn the Nobel Peace Prize, or to be known and loved throughout the world, she simply listened to God’s voice, God’s call within her, and took little steps to answer that call.  She even had what she referred to as “a call within a call”.  While she had already answered the call to become a religious sister and went from teaching in Calcutta to eventually becoming the principal of the school, she became aware of the people suffering in the slums near the school and began to visit and help them in whatever ways she could.  Then, while on a train to her summer retreat, she heard the call to leave the convent and “help the poorest of the poor while living among them.”  Her first “school” among the people living in the slums was simply under a tree with five “street orphans” who she began to teach by writing with a stick in the dirt.

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September 6, 2017 - Gratitude

Wednesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

A good friend of mine is one of the kindest, gentlest and holy souls I know. It is fascinating how many people come to me and talk about how this man has healed their lives and given them hope.  Often I remind the people that I hear their feelings of gratitude, and ask them to consider sharing these deep heartfelt feelings directly with this person.  Many of them realize this and then endeavor to tell this person.  In Paul’s letter to the Colossians’ many people, had been telling Paul about the faithfulness of the people in Colossae.  As he writes the Colossian’s, he expresses gratitude for the ways their faithfulness to the Word is bearing great fruit.  What are the ways of sharing our gratitude that might bear great fruit?

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September 5, 2017 - What Is There About His Word?

Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

The text that comes to us today from Luke is dramatic! Jesus is teaching on the Sabbath in Capernaum when he encounters a man who is possessed by a demon. The man cries out to Jesus and even challenges him, suggesting that Jesus has come on a mission of destruction. Jesus responds with force and authority, telling the demon to be quiet and come out of the man. The demon does, and does so without harming the man in any way. The people who witness this ask, “What is there about his word?”

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September 4, 2017 “Physician Cure Yourself!”

Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

In today’s gospel Jesus uses the phrase, “Physician cure yourself” as He addresses the people of Nazareth.  Every time I come across this reading, I wonder exactly what Jesus is trying to say. After some reflection, it seems that Jesus is suggesting that people who are His followers need to have humility, openness, and the ability to find the supernatural in the most ordinary and familiar. Without a proper receptiveness, God does not force His mercy and healing on those who refuse to believe, and therefore they cannot experience His power.

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