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Entries for November 2018

If you brought your child to the restroom during the Liturgy of the Word, you might walk away with one of two interpretations of Jesus as King. The first and second readings are bold and victorious. We see Christ coming on the clouds for the final judgment of heaven and earth. The Gospel sets a very different tone. Jesus is under arrest and facing death before Pontius Pilate. We know how this story will end. So if Christ is King, what does it mean? Is he a glorious conqueror or a suffering servant? "My kingdom does not belong to this world." Here is the heart of Jesus' reign. He is a king -- and his "sub...

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Happy Thanksgiving

Posted on November 16, 2018

Turkey Dinner, long car trips, family, the Macy’s Parade, football, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the beginning of the holiday season: all these things come to mind when we think of Thanksgiving Day. Apart from all that, Thanksgiving Day is a time when we pause to reflect upon our many blessings, both material and spiritual, and to give God thanks. Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving gatherings at harvest time have long been common among almost all religions. In England harvest feasts of Thanksgiving became very important at the time of the Protestant Reformation, especially when King Henry VIII cleared away the...

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted on November 15, 2018

  As we edge closer to the closing of the liturgi-cal year, the Church selects readings that re-mind us of the final close: the second coming of Christ. It's easy, perhaps, to forget that this is a dogma of our Catholic faith. We see this dramatic end times language in today's Gos-pel. "The sun will be darkened ... and the stars will be falling from the sky." As Christians and as human beings, we know all things will come to an end. "But of that day or hour, no one knows." The "end of the world" and end of time at Jesus' coming is in a future unknown. But God has given us b...

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32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted on November 08, 2018

In 1 Samuel, God advises the prophet Samuel not to observe as men see but as God sees. He tells him to "look to the heart." This is the movement of this Sun-day's Gospel reading. "Beware the scribes," Jesus ad-vises. He points out their public greetings and "seats of honor," which stands in sharp contrast to their pri-vate greed. For the Jewish people of Jesus' day, honor resides at the top. Power and prestige created a high profile back then as it still does today. After his warn-ing, Jesus turns his disciples' attention elsewhere: a poor widow. "She, from her poverty, has co...

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31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted on November 01, 2018

   "You are not far from the kingdom of God." What does it mean to be close to God's kingdom? In today's Gospel, Jesus is in a dialogue with teachers of the law. They know well the Law of Moses, with its complex codes, expectations, and punishments. What will Jesus say? "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength ... You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus effortlessly distills all the books of law into two commands. The simplicity of the Gospel message doesn't mean it's easy to follow. Fa...

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