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November 17, 2017 - Spiritual and Religious

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious

Scripture Readings

I have friends who say, "Jana, I don't need to go to church because I find God in nature."  It's a common statement, especially among those who identify as "spiritual but not religious."  I have some sympathy for this view because, as I usually tell my friends, I too see God in nature, and I get that religion sometimes seems cold, hard, unforgiving and lifeless.  It's just that I don't find nature (or similar ways of trying to find God) sufficient for finding God or seeing God or knowing God - for that, I do need the whole Body of Christ that I encounter on Sunday mornings and every other day besides.  I do need to be both spiritual AND religious.

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November 16, 2017 - Thy Kingdom Come

Thursday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

In today’s Gospel, Christ speaks of the Kingdom of God, and how we will not know when it is here. It will not be announced or observed, like a holiday. Rather, it will be found in the ordinary.  We will come to know the Kingdom of God in our day to day lives and in living out our daily motions. It is now, has been and ever will be around us, every moment of the day.

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November 15, 2017 – Spiritual Healing

Wednesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Our readings today challenge us to single-mindedly seek out God.  In the book of Wisdom we read that all power on earth is given by God.  The test is whether the power is used to exalt our own purposes or for God’s purpose.  The Lord’s mercy is great and just, yet to those who are given many possibilities, much will be expected.  That is why the Old Testament author calls us to deeply desire that which is holy.  When we learn wisdom and keep holy God’s precepts, then our response to the test will be: we have walked in the ways of the Lord.

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November 14, 2017 - Following Jesus Is a Hard Thing

Tuesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

In the six verses that precede the reading from Luke for today, Jesus gives instructions to his disciples about how to follow him. The first takes the form of a warning: do not become an obstacle or stumbling block to someone else’s faith. In other words, don’t do anything that might encourage someone else to turn away from God. If I give someone else reason to doubt God or I encourage them in some way to sin and, thus, be in wrong relationship to God, I am a stumbling block to their faith. The second is a call to hold accountable the brother or sister who sins and, even more, to forgive them no matter how many times they sin so long as they repent each time. That could mean enduring a whole lot of someone else’s sinning and offering up a whole lot of forgiveness to boot!

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November 13, 2017 - The God Who Knows Us So Well

Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin

Scripture Readings

Is there someone close to you that knows you so well that they can anticipate what you are going to do or say? They know your likes, dislikes, how you think, and even all the little habits that make you unique.  Today’s readings and psalm remind us that God knows us better than we even know ourselves.  When we recognize God’s presence within, and allow Him to direct our paths, then Jesus tells us the tiniest bit of faith in this loving God will bring incredible results.

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