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July 30, 2018 - The Smallest of Deeds

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Today's readings led me to reflect on what one might call the 'big picture' AND the 'small picture'.

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July 29, 2018 - The Heart & the Hands of Jesus

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Just down the road from our parish is some land which the Marianists call Mount Saint John.  The other night, as I was there praying I came across a statue of Jesus for the first time.  Jesus’ heart is exposed and his open hands are lifted next to his heart.  He struck me as strong and vulnerable, ready to receive whoever comes and eager to give them whatever he can.  It is an image which I think can help us unpack today’s readings.  Let us consider the heart of Jesus, the hands of Jesus, and Eucharistic life. 

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July 28, 2018 - Don't Play Games

Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

It was 7th grade.  We were sitting in line waiting for our name to be called to go out to our cars.  I had something pressing to tell my friend, probably something about the Pokémon I was looking for (yup we were playing that when I was in middle school too).  Knowing we weren’t supposed to talk, I folded my hands over my face so my palms covered my mouth and my fingers met on the bridge of my nose.  I was mid-sentence when my teacher crouched down right in front of me, hands just like mine telling me, “I can still see your mouth moving.”  That’s what he said, what I heard was, “I see you trying to be clever which means you know the rules, but you’re not that clever, so stop playing games with me.”

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July 27, 2018 - It Is God Who Scatters the Seed

Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

 In the gospel reading for today, Jesus admonishes his disciples to wholeheartedly receive his teachings.  In order to do so, they must minimize the noise, distractions, and competing influences that prevent them from letting the gospel take root in them.  It is certainly true that we need to allow the gospel to take root and to grow in us.  Without doing so our faith will be fruitless, empty, and short lived.  However, I would like to focus on a different aspect of today’s readings—namely God’s role in the process of sewing seed and causing it to grow.

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July 26, 2018 - Taking a Deep Breath of Reflection

Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Scripture Readings

A couple years ago, around this time of year, I was blessed to go on a 7-day backpacking trip in Olympic National Park with some friends from college.  We affectionately call these yearly trips a “man-venture” with the intention that we are just a bunch of guys looking to get away and spend some time together.  Each year they serve as an unstructured retreat opportunity for myself, a time to disconnect from distractions, to reconnect with great friends, and a time to listen to God, others, and nature more closely.  These trips help me re-center myself, typically they are an impetus for me to recall the important things in life and how I may have lost sight of those.  For me, these trips are one of a few ways I try to use my “summer vacation” to re-prioritize, re-center, and re-focus prior to the upcoming academic year and returning to work in August.

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