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July 20, 2018 - What Are Our Immovable Temples?

Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

I have a lot of nostalgia for an old Carmelite monastery where I used to go on retreat.  It was located in my favorite place in the world, in Colorado, and the retreats I made there were always rejuvenating.  I wish I could return, and go on retreat there again, especially in times when my spiritual life is in upheaval.  I feel sure if I could just go there, things would be better.

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July 19, 2018 - Smooth...

Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Our first reading reminds me of a story my wife tells about a teenager she used to mentor.  ‘What was your moment of awakening, when you really decided to make different choices?’ my wife asked the girl.  She thought for a moment and responded ‘At some point, I realized it really was easier to do the right thing.’  Spinning a complex of lies and stories was too much to remember.  When we steal or cheat, the lack of trust in our relationships makes it harder to get the help that we truly need.  Using people to get what we want leaves us in situations where we are being used and lonely. But when we tell the truth, when we keep our promises, when we love and help others, the world becomes a beautiful place, and we are not alone anymore.

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July 17, 2018 - Tales of Three Cities

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

It is interesting that in three readings before us today we are presented with three very different cities. One city looks to be bound for God’s harshest judgment. Another appears to be under imminent threat of attack. And the third is the very city of God. What might we learn as people of faith from these three cities? That is what I want to consider in this reflection.

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July 16, 2018 - Stay the Course

Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Today's passage from chapter 10 of Matthew's Gospel (Mt 10:34-11:1) is one that can easily be misunderstood. In fact, it has been used to point out the contradictions and/or defects in the teachings of Jesus. The fact is that belief in Jesus causes divisions…even in the strongest of families and between the closest of friends. Following Christ requires every ounce of grace that God provides in order to stay the course.

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July 15, 2018 - An Exorcist, Each One of Us

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

I was in a phone conversation with a couple last week. They believe that their home is possessed. At least one of the family members is convinced that a strange presence may be controlling this person. They gave me very vivid and strange imageries of things happening in the house. The terms they used most often was “darkness.” Knowing that they were not Catholic or that any of them were baptized, I invited them to meet with me so that I could know more about them before I went into their house to bless it. The family did not honor their appointment and I feel a little concerned. I made a phone call to find out, but they have not responded. It is not very rare for me receive requests for exorcism. Whenever I receive them, I am a little cautious but also bold. I am always remined of today’s gospel reading, where Jesus gave authority over unclean spirit to his apostles. Today’s gospel tells us that with faith in the authority that Christ gave them, “The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.”

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