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Reflection for August 21, 2007

The Lord Speaks of Peace to His People

Today's Mass Readings

One of the themes found in today’s readings is that of peace, God’s peace. This is most clearly seen today’s responsorial psalm, Psalm 85, where we read that the Lord proclaims peace “to his people, and to his faithful ones, and to those who put in him their hope.” And again, “justice and peace shall kiss.” The antiphon itself pertains to peace: “The Lord speaks of peace to his people.”

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Reflection for August 20, 2007

"Normal Versus Perfect"

Today's Mass Readings

At the end of the book of Joshua (see reflection for August 18), the people had made a firm commitment and declared, “We will serve the LORD, our God, and obey his voice” (Joshua 24:24). But as the first tells us, the “abandoned” the Lord to serve Baal and Ashtaroth, the fertility god and goddess in the Canaanite religion. Just as the Lord had promised, infidelity would lead to desolation and defeat.

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Reflection for August 19, 2007

"Normal Versus Perfect"

Sunday Mass Readings

Scripture and tradition hold those people in high regard who remain steadfast to the divine law even if they were in disobedience to civil authority. In today’s first reading, we hear the persecution of Jeremiah at the hands of King Zedekiah. Jeremiah’s prophecies were directed against the wealthy and ruling elite of the Kingdom of Judah. Corruption, exploitation of the poor, infidelity to the Covenant was rampant at this time. Jeremiah foretold the future destruction of and subjugation of Judah at the hands of the Babylonians. For this he was accused of treason. The point for us today, though, is that, even when Jeremiah was thrown into the pit, even while he was being sucked into the quicksand, he stood by the prophecy God has commanded him to proclaim. Such fidelity is extolled in the Scriptures.

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Reflection for August 18, 2007

"As for Me and My Household, We will Serve the Lord"

Today's Mass readings

In continuation of Joshua’s impassioned speech in front of the people of Israel (yesterday’s reading), in today’s reading, Joshua both challenges the people to a radical commitment to the Lord and makes his own choice in this regard. In the now famous declaration, he confessed, “As for my and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

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Reflection for August 17, 2007

"From the Beginning it Was Not So"

Today's Mass Readings

From totally different perspectives, both the readings today call for fidelity. In the first reading the context is the entry of the Israelites into the Promised Land in the second reading the context is marriage. In other words, whether it is our relationship with God or with people we love – they must be characterized by fidelity.

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