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Reflection for Oct 26, 2007

Who will Deliver Me from this Mortal Body?"


Today's Mass Readings

Today’s first reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans is one of the most moving discussions of a Christian’s battle with sin. Although original sin has been removed through Baptism, concupiscence remains, which inclines us to sin. Although concupiscence in itself is not sin, we must fight against this inclination to sin. This can be very difficult. St. Paul explains the difficulty by contrasting his desire to do good and his flesh which leads him to sin. He describes this “war” within himself. He feels that he is enslaved to sin. At the end he cries out, “Who will deliver me from this mortal body?” And his answer is Jesus: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

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Reflection for Oct 25, 2007

I Have Come to Set the Earth on Fire"

Today's Sunday Mass Reading

Today’s Gospel reading from the Gospel of Luke is a difficult one for many of us to read. Jesus says that He has “come to set the earth on fire.” Fire is often used in the Bible to describe the presence of God. Theologians sometimes joke that if the saints in heaven were to step into hell they would freeze to death. Certainly the Bible sometimes describes hell with the imagery of fire, but far more often God is described as fiery. The angels closest to God are called seraphim, flaming ones.

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Reflection for Oct 24, 2007

You Also Must be Prepared"

Today's Mass Readings

There is a popular saying, attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola, which advises Catholics to “Pray as though everything depended on God, and work as though everything depended on you.” Indeed, we even find this quote cited in the section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which discusses the only prayer Jesus ever taught us: the Our Father (CCC, 2834). The saying is a powerful reminder that although we are saved by God’s free gift of grace through Jesus Christ, we are nevertheless responsible for cooperating with God and preparing for our salvation “with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). Hence St. Paul tells us to “pray always” (Eph. 6:18), while St. James reminds us equally that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).

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Reflection for Oct 23, 2007

Here I am, Lord; I Come to Do Your Will"

Today's Mass Readings

Inasmuch as he came expressly to do God’s will on earth, and althoug he was the Son of God, Jesus serves as a powerful model for us ordinary human beings. Although his life involved many pains and sorrows, Jesus never failed in incessant prayer nor in doing many good works (including miracles) out of his great love for God and for God’s people. This faithfulness of Jesus, even unto his death on the cross, is a beautiful illustration for Christians, that is, we who are called to imitate Christ.

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Reflection for Oct 22, 2007

One’s Life Does Not Consist of Possessions.”

Today's Mass Readings

Today’s gospel reading and the message contained therein is very much a part of our furniture. In other words, we are used to hearing thiis gospel proclaimed in Church, and we know that as Christians we are not supposed to be attached to our possessions . And yet, though we know this reading, and see why God calls the man a “fool,” we nonetheless often live our lives as though we wanted just to rest, eat, drink, and be merry. Especially in the United States where our country is so richly blessed with material resources, and so constantly bombarded by advertisements, we are susceptible to this message of materialism and consumerism.

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