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September 14, 2017 - Look At Me

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Scripture Readings

It is striking how, in today’s first reading, the people are made well after simply looking at the bronze serpent.  Why would simply looking at a sculpture be recorded in our salvation history as the way the people were saved from the wrath of the snakes’ bites?  In the Israelite camp, there were thousands and thousands of people, and there was only 1 bronze snake.  So, to see it, the people would need to seek it out.  The pilgrimage to go and see the snake was a sign of belief, the opposite of their unbelief that caused the snake problem in the first place.  It’s a pretty low-key miracle compared to the quail, water from the rock, walls of water, and ten plagues that the people saw earlier.  God was helping the people understand that they need a two way relationship with God; they need to seek the Lord to be saved.

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September 13, 2017 - Renewed in the Image of God

Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Scripture Readings

‘Dealing with addiction is enough for me to want to end it all.’  The desire of this person whom I encountered was that they be restored to their old self who lived solely for the faith in Christ who was their Lord and savior.  They implied that because of their journey into sin that they must have caused God to turn their back on them.  Although I assured this person that Christ, this dichotomous understanding that many of us, myself included can enter into.  The sentiments of this person’s feelings reminded me of today’s first reading. Paul challenges us to put to death, to end anything in our earthly selves that causes us to take our focus off of Christ who has saved us.  All forms of sin, and any actions that are impure are a form of idolatry that must be put away so that we can put on new self, renewed in the image of God who made us.

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September 12, 2017 - Can We Follow Jesus?

Tuesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

The text from Luke for today is simple and breathtaking. Jesus spends a night in prayer. In the morning, he names the twelve apostles from among his disciples. Together, Jesus and his newly appointed apostles join a large crowd that had gathered. Jesus heals many there who sought liberation from their diseases and unclean spirits.

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September 11, 2017 - Love as an Invitation to Suffering

Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

A friend of mine lost her brother recently following a very short illness. She traveled for hours back and forth to be with him during the weeks of his hospitalization. She also found herself unwittingly immersed a family situation very difficult to navigate. The day after his funeral she was suffering a great deal and the only thing she needed was someone to simply listen to her. It seemed to be how God would be present to her in that moment. Raw pain and grief—suffering—is very difficult to endure or witness in others. But suffering, an inescapable part of being human, can be recognized as an invitation from God. Unsuspecting as we are, every meaningful relationship in life opens us to this painful, yet life giving reality.

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September 9, 2017 - Vacation Church

Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, Priest

Scripture Readings

I have good parents.  They love my siblings and me (and our spouses).  They desire to know what is happening in our lives, even when it has been a while since I’ve checked in with them.  They worked hard to set good examples, and provide us with great educations.  Most of all, they were not afraid to have us kids groan at them about the [good] choices they made.  The example that came to mind as I reached the end of the Gospel today was ‘Vacation Church’. 

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