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June 18, 2017 - Of God and Fathers

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

Scripture Readings

On Mothers Day, when I preached a homily about mothers, a few fathers nudged their spouses and said, "Let's see what he says on Fathers Day." Of course, fathers, I do have a homily for you as well. After all without our fathers we wouldn't exist. There is a complication though. Today also happens to be the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Perhaps, the connection between the two feasts can be found in God the father who loves, provides for us, nurtures us, and redeems us in and  through the body and blood of Jesus.

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June 17, 2017 - Impelled by Love

Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

What drives us?  Do we want to be known for our great contributions?  Do we wish to acquire wealth and goods?  Does it bring us satisfaction to see people following our lead?  Maybe, we are driven by a competitive desire to be or do better than others.  Are we driven by the desire for pleasure and good feelings?  Maybe I nailed your answer and maybe I didn’t.  I asked the questions though because of the driving force that Paul offers us in the first reading.  He writes, “The love of Christ impels us.”  Can we reconcile these words to our lives?

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June 16, 2017 - Despite Everything, Following Jesus

Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Historically, people have often thought that having a disability or an illness meant that you were a sinner, or that some sort of evil had touched you. So, in some ages, the hearing loss I have would have been a sign that both my parents and I were sinful people – they, because they had a disabled child, and me because I couldn’t hear or speak quite normally. Even in today’s world, I think that we sometimes have that kind of attitude. For example, obesity is often seen evidence that a person lacks personal strength to eat the right kinds of foods, perceived as their personal shortcoming. This is the case even though we know there are some other causes for obesity and weight gain, including hormonal imbalances and side effects of certain medications. But beyond that, I know that I sometimes allow my disabilities to be a reason why I “can’t” do something. Disability is limiting and it can be hard to get the nerve (or energy) to do something (for me, that would be public speaking or going to a concert with my husband) because it’s easier not to fight to hear or move or see.

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June 15, 2017 - Be Reconciled

Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

We all know that anger can kill relationships and seriously wound people, including the person holding the anger. It is a human emotion that can be very destructive. In today’s gospel passage (Matthew 5: 20-26), we read that Jesus is instructing his disciples about anger.  They know the command/law “you shall not kill” and now Jesus adds to that, “But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment….” He goes deeper into the heart where anger lies. Jesus wants more from his disciples than simply obeying laws and commands.  He is challenging us to transform our hearts, our very lives.  

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June 14, 2017 - Law vs. Spirit

Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

In seminary a contrast that often seemed to be drawn was between what the Church law teaches and “the spirit of Vatican II.”  It was pointed out that when people did not like the Church teachings from prior to the council, they put in place a new teaching which was attributed to the “spirit of Vatican II.”  In some cases this “spirit” was a green light to ideas that went beyond the teachings of the Council.  The debates between those in each camp has continued ever since the close of the Council.  As we have moved away from the council there has been a greater balance in properly understanding the teachings of Vatican II and implementing the spirit of them.  We might describe this as a pendulum that has moved between one and the other.

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