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Reflection for Aug 24, 2008 - Genuine Faith leads to Community

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

Jesus said to Peter, “…you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). That Jesus would entrust his church to a mere human person baffles me. That is why we believe that the church is both, human and divine, holy and sinful at the same time.

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Reflection for Aug 23, 2008 - Of Covenants and Temples

Saturday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

Our sensibilities from reading and hearing the gospel stories are conditioned to think of the Pharisees only as hypocrites and show offs. This conception, however, misses some of the force of Jesus’ critique of these folk. They were not such easy targets. On the whole, they were considered the most pious Jews of their day, admired for there adherence to the law and their dedication to God. Nevertheless, their conflicts with Jesus centered around their overly legalistic adherence to the law. These were different interpretations of the Jewish tradition.

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Reflection for Aug 22, 2008 - Dry Bones Raised to New Life

Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today's Mass Readings

Today is the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. Her queenship affirms not only her role as Queen Mother, since she is Jesus’ mother, but also in her resurrection and life in heaven. We see an important Old Testament witness to the belief in the resurrection from the dead in today’s first reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel.

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Reflection for Aig 21, 2008 - Invited to the Feast

Memorial of Saint Pius X

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s readings, we see a theme of sin and redemption with God’s love shining throughout. The passage from the prophet Ezekiel is a well-known one: here God reveals his dedication to the people of Israel who have turned away from him. The Lord speaks of bringing the people back, cleansing them from their false worship, and giving them a “new heart” and a “new spirit” (Ez. 36:26). Even though the people have deserted God and worshiped other gods, the Lord remains faithful, and in this fidelity to his sinful people, God is willing to do the cleansing, to give the people another chance.

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Reflection for Aug 20, 2008 - Disciple as Shepherd

Memorial of Saint Bernard

Today's Mass Readings

The theme of the good shepherd is a common thread for today’s readings. We come across Ezekiel just after he learns of Jerusalem’s fall. Ezekiel had already been in exile for twelve years. Ezekiel’s prophecy against the shepherds of Israel reads like a job description of a bad shepherd: you feed yourself instead of your sheep, you do not search for those who have strayed or are lost, and you do not strengthen the weak or heal the sick. The prophet is challenging the leaders of the faith, who have failed to hear the word of the Lord. The story does not end here. The Lord, the Good Shepherd, promises to search for the lost sheep and gather them back into their land.

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