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June 21, 2018 - Hero Worship

Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious

Scripture Readings

Can you imagine a greater hero from ancient literature than Elijah?  The ancient Greek stories had powerful human-like gods, but they had such insidious character flaws; they were heroes without holiness.  Elijah was a true hero; a person who not only expressed the power of the one true God, but who also acted with justice and holiness on behalf of the weak and dispossessed.  In a time without action movies, TV, or internet, this passage has the same effect as the summer blockbuster hero movie.  Elijah is the one who did so many wonderful signs as he tamed evil kings and brought the people back into right relationship with their God. 

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June 20, 2018 - Hypocrisy

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Have you ever called someone or been labeled a hypocrite?  In our current political landscape this accusation is being thrown around a great deal.  Most reflective people realize we are all hypocrites at times.  Consider Jesus’ words “let those without sin cast the first stone.”  While this take on the golden rule is for all of us, there are times when we or others cannot help ourselves.  Once I was reading Matthew 25 and thinking about the incredible value of feeding the hungry.  Shortly after I was asked to bring food vouchers to a visitor and found myself displeased at what a few moments before I named a virtue.  The Lord hit me squarely and clearly between the eyes.

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June 19, 2018 - Our Sacramental Discipline

Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

In a clever and poignant skit that aired on the Daily Show recently, the actors staged Facebook as an actual space—a local bar, to be exact. As the skit opens, a woman sitting at the bar announces that she has procrastinated long enough in the place and says it’s time to leave and get some work done. The owner/bartender does not want her to leave because he’d really like to sell her more drinks. He sees an “I’M FOR HER” button on her backpack and makes a crucial intervention. As she is packing up her backpack, he points out that a guy at the bar thinks Bernie would have won the election had he been the party nominee. Incensed, the woman returns to the bar, starts arguing with the Bernie supporter, and orders another drink. Immediately appreciating the brilliance of his intervention, the bartender encourages other patrons to get into arguments with each other. In short order, the bar is full of people arguing with each other, insulting each other, even breaking beer bottles on one another’s heads . . . and buying more drinks. The cash is rolling in. Oh, and now and again, someone shares a photo of their kid with another patron.

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June 18, 2018 - Beyond Retaliation

Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

The Gospel is nothing if not an account of who God is and how the Kingdom of God works. At times, however, it can be bewildering. When attempting to apply it to our personal lives, it is hard to hear certain things in the Gospel. At times, we may regard what we read as allegorical that we might excuse or justify certain behaviors. Today's Gospel may well be one of those times.

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June 17, 2018 - On Earth As It Is In Heaven

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

When I celebrate mass with our school kids, I sometimes ask them where heaven is. It is not uncommon for them to point toward the sky and say, “There.” One of the concepts that is very close to the word heaven is, kingdom of God. And because most of us imagine heaven to be up there, we also think that the kingdom of God lies beyond us in the far distant future. Even though we often pray “Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is heaven,” we really do not believe that heaven and kingdom of God have anything to do with us in the here and now.

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