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Reflection for Nov 9, 2007 - Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

The Temple of God, which You Are, is Holy"


Today's Mass Readings

The readings for today are so appropriate to commemorate the dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, which is the official church of the pope. Most people think St. Peter’s Basilica is the pope’s official basilica, but in reality the Lateran Basilica, which is where most of the previous popes before modern times lived, is actually the official basilica of the bishop of Rome, the pope.

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Reflection for Nov 8, 2007

Whether We Live or Die, We are the Lord’s"

Today's Mass Readings

“For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord,” says Paul in today’s powerful first reading. We are the Lord’s. The gospel reflects a similar theme of belonging to God. Jesus uses two parables – one about a lost sheep, and the other about a lost coin.

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Reflection for Nov 7, 2007

Love and Hate"

Today's Mass Readings

At first glance today’s readings appear perplexing. In the first reading, from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, we are told to “love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Yet in the Gospel reading from Luke, Jesus tells the great crowds following him, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” What sense can be made of these seemingly opposite commands? Doesn’t the fourth commandment tell us to honor our mother and father? Didn’t Jesus tell us to love even our enemies? How can we honor our parents and love our enemies and yet hate the members of our own family? Can a Christian both love and hate?

With closer inspection, the answer to the paradox of today’s readings may be found in the passages themselves. However, without a proper understanding of love, the answer will elude us.

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Reflection for Nov 6, 2007

In You, O Lord, I have Found My Peace

Today's Mass Readings

In this passage from today’s Gospel reading taken from Luke’s Gospel, we find Jesus explaining the kingdom of God in an unexpected way. Often Jesus' hearers, ourselves included, have a false image of what the kingdom of God will be like. In this instance, one individual talks to Jesus about how blessed one would be to feast in the kingdom of God. The word for “blessed” here can also be translated as “happy,” and perhaps that is the best way to handle that word in this context. “How happy will be the one who gets to dine in the kingdom of God,” we might paraphrase.

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Reflection for Nov 5, 2007

The LORD Hears the Poor"

Today's Mass Readings

The gospel reading for today is a very challenging one – one we are likely to dismiss as unrealistic or try to explain away using a spiritual understanding. Could it be that Jesus really wants us to include such undesirables – the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind – at our dinners and lunches? How would we even go about doing such a thing? It’s such a foreign concept in our way of life, as it would have been for the Pharisee who was hosting Jesus.

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