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Sunday Scripture readings, Sept. 24, 2017:

September 20th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

 

Twenty-fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

           

Cycle A Readings

1) Is 55:6-9

Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18

2) Phil 1:20-24, 27

Gospel: Mt 20:1-16

           

In the vineyard

Gospel parables often contain a paradox meant to open us to a deeper understanding of who God is and who we are in relationship to God. To unpack the deeper meaning of the parable takes time, reflection and silence.

At times, we are challenged to “think outside the box” to understand the meaning of God’s word. This is particularly true of today’s Gospel parable that invites us to reflect on how different God’s ways are from our ways. Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Sept. 10, 2017

September 6th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

 

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

            Cycle A Readings

            1) Ezekiel 33:7-9

            Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9

            2) Romans 13:8-10

            Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20

           

 

An invitation to love

 

God desires our friendship and love. But do we really believe this? Do we live as if we were convinced that God created us in love and for love?

Today the word of God invites us to discover who we are and who we are called to be in our vocation to love God and neighbor. We are encouraged to recognize the presence of Jesus in our midst in the love we receive and share each day. Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Aug. 20, 2017

August 16th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

            Cycle A Readings

            1) Isaiah 56:1, 6-7

            Psalm 67: 2-3, 5-8

            2) Romans 11:13-15, 29-32

            Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28

           

Meeting the God you cannot understand

God is mysterious, no question about that. Today’s readings provide ample evidence.

“My salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed,” God says (Is 56:1). Looking around at a nation and world filled with the opposite of his justice, we may wonder what that “about to” means. When, Lord, when is your justice going to come? Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Aug. 6, 2017

August 2nd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Transfiguration of the Lord

 

1) Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 9

2) 2 Peter 1:16-19

Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

 

You don’t have to work to discover the message of today’s Gospel. Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, Lord of all. And the implications are made as explicit as possible: Listen to him! Do what he says!

Each of us can grapple with this without much explanation. Where should Jesus’ lordship over me make a difference in how I’m living? What particular word is he speaking to me that I need to respond to? Read more »

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Sunday Scripture Readings, March 12, 2017

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Second Sunday of Lent
Cycle A. Readings:
1) Genesis 12:1-4a
Psalm 33:4-5,18-20, 22
2) 2 Timothy 1:8b-10
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9
The “mountain” where I recently experienced Jesus transfigured was actually a kitchen table.
My women’s faith sharing group meets only once a month and sometimes not even that often. But we’ve committed to stay together because we love each other and have a deep spiritual connection in which Jesus is always present.
Our last gathering began typically, sitting around Nancy’s kitchen table as women do, eating snacks and chatting about the latest happenings in our lives — catching up on each other’s families and situations. Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Jan. 22, 2017

January 19th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

            1) Isaiah 8:23-9:3

            Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14

            2) 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17

            Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23

 

In my work as the Catholic campus minister at a large state school, I spend a lot of time commiserating with college students about their futures. Some come to the university with a definite plan. They know their major, the list and order of classes needed for their degree and what internships will best put them on track to reach their goals. But alas, such college students are the exception, not the rule. Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Jan. 8, 2017

January 5th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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The Epiphany

            Cycle A. Readings:

            1) Isaiah 60:1-6

            Psalm 72: 1-2, 7-8, 10-13

            2) Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6

            Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12

 

One of the things I love most about holidays is the anticipation of gathering our whole family in one place. Multiple adult children in several different cities on two continents present quite a challenge to get together. Throw some in-laws, stepchildren, ex-spouses and new babies into the assembly, and you’ve got quite a group! At the center of it all is my mother, who rejoices when all her children come home. Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Aug. 21, 2016

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Catholic News Service

Aug. 21, Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time

Cycle C. Readings:

1) Isaiah 66:18-21

Psalm 117:1-2

2) Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13

Gospel: Luke 13:22-30

The final part of the Gospel for this week speaks of an event many of us are looking forward to with eagerness. Jesus says, “And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

“I come to gather nations of every language.” — Isaiah 66:18a

“I come to gather nations of every language.” — Isaiah 66:18a

Having lived a pretty privileged first-world life, I’m not looking to rise in the rankings in the kingdom of God. But it has also been my privilege to know many people, despised because of their poverty and their lack of education, who will.

My wife has the added privilege of working with the poor in the form of refugees and immigrants who have literally come from the east and the west, the north and the south: from Africa, Asia and from all of Latin America.

They come here with hope and a vision to achieve a new life free from fear and free to earn a living that will sustain them and their families.

Though not all are virtuous to a fault, most of them have grown up in families where they were nurtured and protected. However, some fight against deeply dysfunctional family dynamics that caused them to live on the streets in their home countries. But they do fight their circumstances, and my wife and her co-workers at her school assist them, offering them a hand up through education, kindness, empathy and simply the presence of a listening ear.

Many, though not all, are believers. Some follow the Hindu and Muslim faiths.

Many of them will someday be among those our Savior greets in eternity in the kingdom of God, where, having experienced life in this world among “the last,” they will everlastingly experience life in the kingdom among “the first” as they recline at the table with our Lord.

Questions:

Who do you know whose lives in this world would put them in the category of “the last”? In what way are you looking forward to seeing them experience life among “the first” in the kingdom?

 

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Sunday Scripture Readings, April 24, 2016

April 21st, 2016 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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April 24, Fifth Sunday of Easter

            Cycle C. Readings:

            1) Acts 14:21-27

            Psalm 145:8-13

            2) Revelation 21:1-5a

            Gospel: John 13:31-33a, 34-35

In today’s Gospel, Jesus urges his disciples to take care of one another when he’s gone. But when he says, “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another,” he emphasizes that the love he hopes will remain among them is of an uncommon kind.

For God, love is unconditional and absolute. But for us human beings, it seems, all love isn’t so equal. Nevertheless, Jesus calls us to hold one another in the kind of unconditional love that he has for all of us. Read more »

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Sunday Scripture Readings, April 17, 2016

April 14th, 2016 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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April 17, Fourth Sunday of Easter

            Cycle C. Readings:

            1) Acts 13:14, 43-52

            Psalm 100:1-3, 5

            2) Revelation 7:9, 14b-17

            Gospel: John 10:27-30

While leading a youth ministry retreat on how to hear the voice of God, I presented an activity that involved one person being blindfolded and then challenged to navigate an obstacle course by listening to directions from others in the group. The catch was each group member played a different role. Read more »

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