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Reflection for May 23, 2008 - Hardship and Patience

Friday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

There's a lot we could discuss from today's readings, since they bring up so many issues---oath-swearing, Jesus' teaching against divorce, etc. I want to focus, however, on the allusion to the Book of Job from today's first reading from the Letter of St. James.

In today's first reading, St. James gives us the example of Job from the Old Testament. Job is a great example of someone who had hardships and trials in his life. Job not only lost much of his wealth in the form of livestock, but he was harmed physically as well, with sores all over his body. Even worse, all of his children were killed. Job is then surrounded by his friends who basically blame Job for all of his problems.

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Reflection for May 22, 2008 - Weep and Wail

Thursday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

It should be difficult for nearly any of us in the United States to read today’s first reading and not feel convicted by the Holy Spirit by James’s writing. Whether we feel this way or not, we are the rich of the world. On a daily basis we are surrounded by a quantity and quality of possessions that most of the world can only dream about – houses, cars, furniture, clothes, toys, food, and so on. We need only look about us at this minute to know it is true. It is easy to reflect on our comfort and perhaps think to ourselves that we are truly blessed.

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Reflection for May 21, 2008 - If the Lord Wills it...

Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

I am sure that by now we have realized the fact that St. James was a straight talker. And may be he has begun getting on our nerves with his in-your-face wisdom that we have read over the last two weeks. His writing on humility in yesterday’s reading was difficult to digest, yet, we know it to be so true. Today’s reading unveils another bitter truth about human existence – that human beings think that they are in control of their lives. Instead, as James puts it, Christians have to get used to thinking, “If the Lord wills it… (Jas 4:14). And surprisingly, this is the meaning of humility that James was talking about in yesterday’s reading.

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Reflection for May 20, 2008- The Exaltation of the Humble

Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

Today's first reading from the Letter of St. James continues St. James' advice on how to live the Christian life, and is jam-packed with important insights. One theme which he brings up, which I want to focus on today, is that of humility. He exhorts us: "Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you" (James 4:10).

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Reflection for May 19, 2008 - Wisdom and Prayer

Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

Wisdom often seems to have an elusive quality. It’s hard to get a grasp on what precisely is wisdom. Doubtlessly, there are some who think they are wise but are not, which is why James begins his letter today by saying that the wise person will “show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom” (Jas. 3:13). Although wisdom may seem intangible, the works of a good life is more tangible. We can probably call to mind many of these works – feeding the poor, caring for the sick, being nice to annoying co-workers, being patient with children, and so on. This is the kind of wisdom that comes from above, from God, in contrast with the earthly wisdom that includes jealousy, boasting, and selfishness. Hence James’ letter once again provides us with some practical advice for everyday Christian life. As Christians, we should want to be wise, and one way to receive wisdom from God is to engage in the many practical works of a good life.

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