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October 12, 2018 - Gathered, Not Scattered

Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Sometimes it feels like we American Catholics are more scattered than gathered, to use the words from today’s Gospel (Luke 11:15-26). US Catholics are scattered on a variety of things, especially relating to American politics: economy, immigration laws, abortion. These are all also key aspects of our faith and therefore important topics for discussion: ultimately the point of such discussion is to try to understand our faith better and to help each other live better lives.

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October 11, 2018 - Don't You Get It?

Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

It’s not often that we see the humanity of the biblical writers, but we certainly see it today.  Paul calls the Galatians “stupid,” and Jesus calls his audience “wicked.”  Do you ever get tired of the world’s resistance to our best efforts to do good?  St. Paul certainly did.  Are you ever amazed at the inability of your fellow men and women do to good and avoid evil?  Jesus was amazed and frustrated as well.  But perhaps for you the opposite is true.  Are you even amazed at your own wickedness?  Or brought low because of your inability to fully understand the gospel?

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October 10, 2018 - Sincerity of Heart

Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Chaplaincy in a hospital can be very challenging when it comes to prayer.  Catholics of a certain age see prayer as something private or if spoken the prayer should be grounded by praying the Our Father.  For most other Christians, prayer is extemporaneous.   This extemporaneous prayer and the ministry that surrounds it, often reflects back to the minister spiritual depth in which it is offered.  Many times it is affirming, but sometimes the image that one conveys it not the one reflected back.  This reflection illuminates both strengths and weaknesses.  The toughest times arise when the mirror image highlights hypocrisy.

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October 9, 2018 - Choosing the Better Part

Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

For a long time, I struggled with the story from Luke’s gospel that is before us today. Here we have a woman, Martha, who the text says has welcomed Jesus into her home and is hosting him. To host Jesus was surely a big deal, and she is stressed out about it. She is also clearly focused on the tasks before her, which have become a burden to her. And she is irritated by her sister, Mary, who instead of helping her out is hanging out with Jesus.

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October 8, 2018 - There is No 'Other' in the Kingdom of God

Monday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

In today's Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. A man—robbed, beaten, and 'half dead’—by the side of the road is ignored by a priest and Levite while a Good Samaritan goes out of his way to attend and provide ongoing care for him. Let's take a moment and think of each of the characters in this parable—the robbers, the ones who pass by, the Samaritan, the victim. Can we not identify with each of them? Have we not each passed by someone in need and overlooked an 'other'? Helped someone in trouble? Experienced being the 'other' passed by, disdained, rejected? Have we not, at times, been the cause of someone else's suffering or misfortune? Each one of us have played these roles at times. It is a mixture of seeing someone as neighbor and seeing them as 'other'.

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