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November 8, 2018 - More Rejoicing!

Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

If you’ve been a Christian for a while, you may struggle with the same challenge as Paul (and I): Confidence in “the flesh;” in other words, confidence in the self.  In all Paul’s writing, ‘the flesh’ points not to our physical nature, but to our ‘self’ as it exists independent of God.  It alludes to our will, our rationality, our emotion, our human-informed capability for both vice and virtue.  In the first reading when Paul talks about “confidence in the flesh,” he’s talking about the human ability to be good, or to ‘save yourself.’  There’s a tendency among many people (especially we who are trying very hard to be good) to believe that our salvation counts on our goodness.  That our ‘flesh,’ our being on its own, can and MUST act rightly if we are to have a good life and eternal life.  If we act wrongly, bad things will happen.  It totally depends on ME.  In a funny way, it’s self-centered; this belief inflates our sense of self-importance.  Paul confesses to being like this before his conversion.  Lots of religious people think this way.  Most days, I think I do.  It can be a problem.

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November 7, 2018 - God's Desire and God's Work

Wednesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Before I became Catholic in 2003, I really wrestled with my decision. A wise person that I consulted told me that maybe a way to pray about it would be to pray: “God, if it is your will, increase my desire for it, and if it is not your will, decrease my desire for it.” At the time, that was the exact prayer I needed - and I now realize, it was a version of the line from the Our Father: “Thy will be done!”

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November 6, 2018 - Accepting the Invitation to God’s Table

Tuesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Most of the time when I receive an invitation I am just grateful that someone wants to have me over. I look forward to enjoying a meal with them and to spending time with them and perhaps others.

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October 5, 2018 - The Labor of Unity

Monday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

There is not in recent memory a time of such discord, factionalism, and disunity in our society. People seem to feel emboldened and even justified in saying and doing the most dreadful things. Oftentimes there doesn't even seem to be an objective other than causing outrage and division. The message in today's Scriptures relates a message that is particularly relevant in these times. It is a message of oneness and wholeness…a message of unity.

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November 4, 2016 - The Core of Christianity

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Here is a tweet from a priest that I follow on twitter: “All liturgy should be celebrated solely by the candlelight of beeswax candles in an enormous, dark church filled with the smoke of incense. All parts should be either chanted loudly and solemnly in Latin or said in such a low voice that no one can hear them.” Here was my reply. “At the Last Supper, on which every Mass is based, none of these eccentricities existed!” What is it about us that we like to take what is accidental to Christianity and bring it center stage? And what is it about us that we take what is center stage of Christianity and relegate it to the boundaries? 

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