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Reflection for Sept 15, 2007 - Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

...And You Yourself a Sword will Pierce"

Today's Mass Readings

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Although this feast really became popular during the Middle Ages, one can trace its origins to the most sorrowful of events in her life – the death of her Son on the Cross. John the apostle can be called her first devotee, since, he considered it important to record her presence at the foot of the cross and weeping for her only born (John 19: 25-27).

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Reflection for Sept 14, 2007 - Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

The Son of Man be Lifted Up"

Today's Mass Readings

Today’s Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross focuses on one central aspect of Jesus’ life, namely His death on the cross. The idea of the “exaltation of the holy cross” is entirely apropos considering the Gospel of John’s theme of Jesus’ own exaltation, which occurs precisely when He is literally lifted up on the cross. In the Gospel of John, more than any other Gospel, Jesus is seen reigning as King, while He is dying on the cross. In today’s reading from the Gospel, Jesus makes an explicit reference to today’s first reading from the Book of Numbers. Jesus says that, “just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (keep in mind that the context for this passage in John concerns baptism, rebirth by both water and Spirit, so baptism and faith are here linked together, inseparable as they must be).

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Reflection for Sept 13, 2007

"For if You Love Those Who Love You,
What Credit is That to You?"


Today's Mass Readings

The teaching found in today’s Gospel reading is perhaps the most difficult in the entire Bible. Jesus tells us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, and to bless those who curse us. Jesus is not telling his followers to feel good about their enemies; love is not merely a feeling. The kind of love Jesus is talking about is the sacrificial love where one wishes their enemies well and goes out of their way to help their enemies, even sacrificing for them.

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Reflection for Sept 12, 2007

"Blessed are You who are Poor..."

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s gospel reading we read Luke’s version of the beatitudes. There are some very critical differences between the beatitudes in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. For example, in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus delivers the sermon from the top of a mountain, hence, the term “sermon on the mount.” In Luke, this section is called the “sermon on the plain” because Jesus after spending the night in prayer on the mountain (Luke 6:12), “came down with them (disciples) and stood on a stretch of level ground” (Luke 6: 17). There are other differences between Luke and Matthew. Whereas Matthew says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” Luke simply says, “Blessed are you who are poor” (Luke 6:20). Whereas Matthew has all the beatitudes begin with “Blessed are…” Luke has one set of four blessings (Luke 6:20-22) and one set of four “Woe to you…” (Luke 6:24-26).

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Reflection for Sept 11, 2007

" We Walk in Christ"

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s first reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul exhorts believers to follow Christ. We must always keep in mind that Christ is our foundation. St. Paul makes an important link, he explains how baptism replaces circumcision. In the Old Testament, circumcision was how when entered into a covenant relationship with God (in the case of men----women entered into such a relationship through their family). Baptism is the New Testament form of circumcision, and it is for both men and women. Circumcision merely cut away flesh as a symbol, whereas baptism actually effects what it symbolizes. Baptism buries us with Christ and raises us with Christ.

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