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November 10, 2018 - Indebted

Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church

Scripture Readings

I serve two masters. The Lord clearly warns me not to in today's Gospel, but the reality is that I do. I'm not sure I would say my second master is mammon, but it is my past decisions with money. I've become more and more convicted of this fact as I've reflected on how the Bible handles the issue of money. We recently ran Financial Peace University at Immaculate Conception and through reflections on my life and that program I've seen how I serve to masters. I'm indebted to two masters.

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November 9, 2018 - Foundation of Zeal

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

Scripture Readings

We know Jesus got angry because of what we hear in today’s gospel as he formed a whip and drove of the money changers.  More often than not when I hear this story the focus seems drawn to the anger.  Especially in that people use it to justify their own anger.  Certainly Jesus’ actions reflect an anger that we should name as righteous.  Or as the scripture points out the action of driving out the money changers came out of a zeal that consumed Jesus.  Jesus’ desire was that disruption of the marketplace be removed from the temple.  Jesus still desires that everything within each of us, that leads us away from deeply practicing our faith, must be driven out.

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November 8, 2018 - More Rejoicing!

Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

If you’ve been a Christian for a while, you may struggle with the same challenge as Paul (and I): Confidence in “the flesh;” in other words, confidence in the self.  In all Paul’s writing, ‘the flesh’ points not to our physical nature, but to our ‘self’ as it exists independent of God.  It alludes to our will, our rationality, our emotion, our human-informed capability for both vice and virtue.  In the first reading when Paul talks about “confidence in the flesh,” he’s talking about the human ability to be good, or to ‘save yourself.’  There’s a tendency among many people (especially we who are trying very hard to be good) to believe that our salvation counts on our goodness.  That our ‘flesh,’ our being on its own, can and MUST act rightly if we are to have a good life and eternal life.  If we act wrongly, bad things will happen.  It totally depends on ME.  In a funny way, it’s self-centered; this belief inflates our sense of self-importance.  Paul confesses to being like this before his conversion.  Lots of religious people think this way.  Most days, I think I do.  It can be a problem.

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November 7, 2018 - God's Desire and God's Work

Wednesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Before I became Catholic in 2003, I really wrestled with my decision. A wise person that I consulted told me that maybe a way to pray about it would be to pray: “God, if it is your will, increase my desire for it, and if it is not your will, decrease my desire for it.” At the time, that was the exact prayer I needed - and I now realize, it was a version of the line from the Our Father: “Thy will be done!”

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November 6, 2018 - Accepting the Invitation to God’s Table

Tuesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Most of the time when I receive an invitation I am just grateful that someone wants to have me over. I look forward to enjoying a meal with them and to spending time with them and perhaps others.

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