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July 8, 2018 - "Faith is Hard"

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

I have a few questions for you? Put your hands up if at some point of your life, you found faith hard? Put your hands up, if at some point you were tempted to give up faith? Put your hands up, if at some point you doubted if God existed? Put your hands up if at one time or another you had it out with God, because a very selfless and legitimate prayer was unanswered? Put your hands up if you at one or another you looked at God and said, “That’s not fair!” Would you agree with me, if I said, “Faith is hard?”  

In today’s gospel reading Jesus visits his home town. The passage ends with the statement, “He was amazed at their lack of faith” (Mk 6:6). One way to reflect on this passage would be to look at everything that was wrong with the people of Jesus’ town and see what we can learn from it. The approach I am taking a just little broader. I am asking the question, “Why is faith hard?” 

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July 7, 2018 - Inspired and Inspirational

Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Do you ever ignore the Psalms? Maybe in Mass you use that time to whisper a pressing thought to your spouse. Maybe as you read the daily Mass readings you think, "So there is the Psalm and next is the Gospel." For the books musical quality we can ironically tune them out. At least I can.

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July 6, 2018 - Unexpected Reversals

Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Many of the people in my family are, or have been, farmers.  Consequently I’ve heard many farming stories in my life.  At this point, I have no idea at all what happened to which of my family members, or indeed whether the stories are true at all.  But one of them is the story of a family who went to church one morning, and while they were at church, they heard rain, then hail.  The hail, of course, would ruin their crop.  Some people left the service to go attend to their crops, but this family did not.  In fact, this family observed Sabbath-keeping, and so did no work at all on Sundays.

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July 5, 2018 - The Forgiveness of Sins

Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

It seems to be a part of our fallen human condition that we do not bear criticism well. No one wants to be told that he is failing to live a good life. Perhaps even less so do we want to hear criticism of our nation. We don’t like people accusing the United States of injustice, selfishness, materialism, or neglect of the poor and the needy. We’d like to think that we are doing alright, and serve as a model to other nations because of all the good for which we stand. 

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July 4, 2018 - Instinctively Good

Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

"Hate evil and love good." (Amos 5:15) Most everyone believes this conventional wisdom.  When we hear such words we often nod our heads in agreement.  We agree so instinctively to this that these words often wash over us like a swiftly flowing stream.  Yet, do the waters soak in below the surface?  If we all really lived our belief in living for good, would not our homes, workplaces and communities be more peaceful places.

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