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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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Reflection for August 16, 2007

Faith is the Evidence of Things Not Seen"

Today's Mass Readings

Living by the word of God is, perhaps, the most challenging task before a Christian. I make this observation not necessarily because the demands that it makes are challenging, but because God demands action from us even before we can be sure of the results. The letter to the Hebrews says that, “faith is the realization of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Living by the word of God is challenging because it demands that we do what is required of us from God and leave the consequences to God in faith.

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Reflection for August 15, 2007

Blessed are Your Who Believed that Everything the Lord Promised will be Fulfilled"

Today's Mass Readings

Today is the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven. The assumption is gift of God to Mary for her faith, her belief, her fidelity. The angel had told her at the annunciation that nothing is impossible with God. Mary believed in the God of the impossible. And so when the impossible happened, i.e., when Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, Mary had to be part of it. Mary who was associated with Jesus from the womb to the tomb, is allowed by God to take part even in his resurrection and ascension, for she believed all that the Lord promised her would be fulfilled. The promise made to her was fulfilled in the most extraordinary of ways, but blessed is she for she believed.

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