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Reflection for June 19, 2008 - The Lord’s Prayer

Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s selection from the Sermon on the Mount from the gospel of Matthew, we find Jesus instructing his followers on prayer. The passage, not to mention the prayer, is so familiar to us that we might easily pass it over. This would be a mistake, however. As we often hear at Mass, this is the prayer “that Jesus taught us.” This is “the Lord’s Prayer.” This is the prayer of the whole Church.

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Reflection for June 18, 2008 - Your Heavenly Father will Repay You

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s reflection on the sermon, Jesus contrasts the way disciples are called to perform certain actions from those who perform actions either to be seen or those who perform actions out of insecurity and fear. Three actions are the focus of attention: prayer (relationship with God), almsgiving (relationship with others), fasting (relationship with self). Even though it is only three areas that are mentioned here, the supposition is that every aspect of the disciple’s life will be different from those of those who are not disciples.

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Reflection for June 17, 2008 - Love Your Enemies

Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

In today's Gospel reading from the Gospel of Matthew we encounter one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult, sayings of Jesus: "Love your enemies" (Matthew 5:44). Loving your enemies is an important part of what it means to be Christian, but it is very difficult.

Jesus acknowledges that His audience has been told before to hate their enemies. For most of us, I think, we could find that much easier to do. Wouldn't it be nice if Jesus said that it was ok to hate our enemies? But He does not. Rather, Jesus says, "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

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Reflection for June 16, 2009 - Moving Beyond An Eye For An Eye

Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

Today in the Sermon on the Mount from the gospel of Matthew, Jesus raises the familiar quotation of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” This phrase speaks of the simple justice of whatever you do to me, I can do to you. It’s the kind of childhood logic we enjoyed in our sandbox days. If you take my shovel, I’ll take yours. I’ll pay you back for whatever you did to me (or my friends and family). While I called this “simple justice,” what it really denotes is a sort of exchange model of justice wherein these acts are equal and therefore fair. It does sort of make sense, to some extent.

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Reflection for June 15, 2008 - Our God is an Awesome God

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday Mass Readings

Today’s readings are about a faithful, loving and compassionate God. The God we hear about in the first reading today is the God who bears us on eagle wings. This is the God who in the second reading proves his love for us that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This is the God whose heart in the Gospel reading is moved because he saw the people and they were like sheep without a shepherd.

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