Archive for August, 2010

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22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 29, 2010

HUMILITY AND UNPOPULARITY

We want to be important, but once again Jesus reminds us that our importance does not come through our own merit.  We want to be part of the “in-crowd” – not only saved and loved by God, but we want to be popular as well.

We keep trying to save ourselves, exalt ourselves, redeem ourselves, prove ourselves.  But we can’t – and we try – it is pride.  . . . and rationally, we know this – but we want so much that what we don’t have.

Go back and read Sirach 3:17-29 – there you will find true humility is not thinking of your self less, it is thinking less of yourself.

Far too many of have used religion as a tool for status.  We want religion, not for transformation, but for social order, membership and control.

Notice who Jesus invites to the table with him.  It would be as if your child invited a group of homeless people and paroled prisoners to your home for dinner tonight.  And how would you respond?  You see, when we get down to it, we like religion because of the security it offers, but this is not the way of Jesus.  Jesus looked for what was good, not for what was predictably controllable.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29; Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24; Luke 14:1, 7-14)

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 22, 2010

THE TEMPTATION OF THE NUMBERS GAME

Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem – the long journey that will eventually lead to his death, when someone asks him this very abstract question:  “Lord, how many will be saved?”

Once again, Jesus puts the focus back on the person asking the question:  strive to enter through the narrow gate.  In other words, you need not be concerned with the “numbers game” – you need only to focus on what you know to do, do it well, and the rest will take care of itself.

But what does it mean to be saved?

What is this narrow gate?

And what does this mean for all those who do not know or have a relationship with Jesus?

Tune in to find out!

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 66:18-21; Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13; Luke 13:22-30)

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20th Sunday – Assumption of Mary

August 15, 2010

BELIEF THAT LEADS TO BELIEF

Mary gives birth to our salvation and to the Church.  She is a mother for all people – kings and orphans alike.  She is anyone who comforts or needs comfort; as well as anyone who speaks boldly and powerfully on behalf of others.

But what we must not forget is that Mary does not see any of this in herself.  Rather God sees her and manifests this sight in the sight of Elizabeth.

Elizabeth recognizes the gift of Mary before she recognizes it herself.  Elizabeth is the first to honor Mary, and we now follow in her wake.

Mary’s belief is acknowledge and strengthened by another person’s faith.

We too grow in awareness of who we are, who God is, and what it means to be a disciple by the faith of those around us.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary): (Revelation 11:19, 12:1-6, 10; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26; Luke 1:39-56)

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19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 8, 2010

PLEASED WITH THE GIFT

We are challenged today to have courage; to have no fear.  Jesus tells us, “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.”

Do you know why Jesus tells us not be afraid so often?  Because we are fearful people.  Do you know the number one fear?   (not public speaking, heights, insects, drowning, or clowns)  Rejection.  And I think many of us are very afraid that at the end of days, God will reject us and so we pray, go to church, obey the commandments out of fear.

But what kind of relationship is motivated by fear?

Our relationship must be more than that, but to find out what this gift entails, you’ll have to tune in.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Wisdom 18.6-9; Hebrews 11.1-2, 8-19; Luke 12.32-48)

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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 1, 2010

PACKING FOR THE JOURNEY

In the season of traveling, the readings for this Sunday prompt us to consider the ultimate trip – to Heaven.

Ecclesiastes (which is the Greek name for the Hebrew Qoheleth) is a book dedicated to the enigma of life.  “What is it all about; its purpose and value?”  Like the rest of the authors in the Wisdom tradition, Qoheleth is trying to find a reason for living and desperately wants to understand the meaning of suffering.

In the Gospel, Jesus tells the crowd, “to take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

The lessons of this Sunday are quite simple:  who you are is more important than what you have.  Who you are is a matter of the soul; of how you will stand before God.

Who you are, you will take with you into the next life; what you have will be left behind.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Ecclesiastes 1.2, 2.21-23; Colossians 3.1-5, 9-11; Luke 12.13-21)