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Reflection for Sept 25, 2007

Let Us Go Rejoicing to the House of the Lord"

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s first reading from the Book of Ezra, we see the continued construction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. This reading discusses the Temple’s completion, but it was only a preliminary completion. It was completed in the sense that sacrifices could once again be offered within its walls, but Jews would continue to add to the temple, particularly under the later reign of King Herod. It was in fact not until the time of Herod that the final work on the Temple was completed.

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Reflection for Sept 24, 2007

The Lord Has Done Marvels For Us"

Today Mass Readings

In today’s first reading from the Book of Ezra, we find a foreign king aiding the Jews. In fact, this is the first period in history where these people were known as Jews. During the time of Abraham, they were the Hebrew tribe. After Jacob gets his name changed to Israel, and has his famous 12 sons, they become known as the Israelites, composed of 12 tribes named after the 12 sons of Jacob/Israel. Eventually, after the reign of King Solomon, the kingdom splits into a Northern half, known as Israel or Ephraim, which is composed of 10 tribes. Some of these people became modern day Samaritans (who were also the Samaritans of the time of Jesus). The Southern half was known as Judah, composed of 2 tribes. It was the southern kingdom of Judah that was taken into exile by Babylon. In today’s passage, these people, who begin to be called Jews, have been brought back from exile and have been invited to rebuild Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple there.

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Reflection for Sept 23, 2007

You Cannot Serve Both God and Mammon"

Todays Mass readings

The gospel reading has an insight for us in with regard to our attitude toward wealth. In the gospel reading, Jesus says to his disciples, "You cannot serve God and mammon" (Lk 16:13b). Yet while declaring the opposition of God and mammon (Lk 16:13b), Jesus surprisingly praises the dishonest steward for his prudence. Why does Jesus commend the dishonest steward?

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Reflection for Sept 22, 2007

Keep the Commandment Without Stain or Reproach”

Today's Mass Readings

The focus of today’s reading today certainly is the word of God. Thus, in the first reading, Paul, in his letter to Timothy urges him “to keep the commandment without stain or reproach…” (1 Tim 6:14). The “commandments” here refer to the teaching of Christ. In the gospel reading, Jesus himself explains the parable by saying, “The seed is the word of God” (Lk 8:11).

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Reflection for Sept 21, 2007 - Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Live in a Manner Worthy of the Call You have Received"

Today's Mass Readings

Today is the Feast of St. Matthew, an apostle of Jesus and the author of the gospel of Matthew. On this feast day we reflect on the “call” each Christian has. In today’s first reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul calls himself “a prisoner for the Lord.” Rather than being prisoners to sin, we all are prisoners to the Lord. Of course, unlike prisoners in a prison, we have far more freedoms. The point is that we ought to choose to follow the Lord’s will in our freedom, unlike a prisoner who is forced to do another’s bidding because of his lack of freedom.

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