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June 8, 2017 - Love. Love All.

Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

The book of Tobit contains some of the best story-telling in the Bible- I hope you’ve enjoyed it over the last few days as much as I have.  Reflecting on today’s ‘episode,’ I’m struck by the “noble purpose” from Tobit and Sarah’s prayer.  Raguel still calls his wife “my love,” after many years of marriage.  The noble purpose of marriage and family is love.  In family life, we have to learn to love our children, our parents, and our siblings, whether they match our personality or are very difficult and different.  There are many strengths to the modern tradition of children moving out of their parents’ home when they become an adult, but a weakness is that, living alone or with a chosen roommate, it’s easy to spend nearly all our time with people we prefer to be around, when they are in good moods.  This can weaken our ability to love people who are difficult, wounded, different from us, or just in a bad mood.

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June 7, 2017 - Cest La Vie

Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Many know the phrase, when “life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.  This is a great phrase, and one friend I know described it as meaning take the opportunities given to you and live them to the fullest.  By opportunities, he meant both the good things and the bad things and that we need to make the best of the cards we have been dealt.

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June 6, 2017 - What Belongs to God

Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

In this well-known story from Mark, the chief priests, scribes, and elders send Pharisees and Herodians to “ensnare [Jesus] in his speech” or trap him. They ask him whether they should pay taxes to Caesar. The intended trap is the following: if Jesus says they should pay the tax then the crowd will be displeased as it would appear that Jesus is saying that the imperial rule of Rome is legitimate, and if he says that they should not pay the tax then the authorities will find him suspect for seeking to undermine the payment of the tax to the emperor. Of course, Jesus takes neither tack. Instead, he first calls them out for their attempt to trap him. Then he asks to see a denarius, the specific kind of coin that was required for the payment of this tax (the poll tax). He asks the men who were trying to trap him whose image appears on the coin. And they reply, “the emperor’s.” So, Jesus tells them to “give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s and to God the things that are God’s.”

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June 5, 2017 - Becoming Who God Created Me To Be

Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

Scripture Readings

Have you ever wondered about the very first things that cross your mind when you wake up in the morning? It comes and goes in a flash! For me, often the first thoughts—just for an instant—are the questions, "Who have I become?" and "How am I refusing to become the person God created me to be?" These are heavy questions. And like a good (deeply flawed) human creature, I find myself forcing these thoughts away. I prefer thoughts that do not convict me--like my children and grandchild, the tasks of the day, and so forth. Why is it so very hard to face the ultimate and foundational question of my very existence? Why do I resist God's help in fully becoming who God created me to be?

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June 4, 2017 - Dear God...

Pentecost Sunday 

Scripture Readings

I read the scripture readings for Pentecost for the first time on Wednesday. As I read each of the readings I could feel my eyes tear up. Somewhere in the deepest part of my being, I feel very tormented. Nothing troubles me more than the inability of human beings to come together and work for the common good. Global conflicts, racial divides, economic inequalities, political and religious intolerance affect me deeply. When I was a kid and later as a teenager, I used to be much more optimistic. I believed then, that one day we will work through our problems. I believed that one day there will be fewer poor people in the world. I believed that one day, nations will spend less on weapons and more on education and development. At fifty-one, I have become less optimistic. I have not lost hope, by my hope is fading that in my life-time I will see a more equitable, peaceful, and united world. The scene on that first Pentecost was the beginning of a revolution, a recreation of a wounded world. The tears filling my eyes was an expression of two things: first, my regret at the world continuing to be a wounded world; second, a pining for a new Pentecost. “Dear God,” I prayed, “please let your Spirit work wonders in our midst again.” As I prayed, I continued to write my prayer. I invite you to pray with me. 

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