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Scripture Reflection

  • The power of the cross

    There is a story from William Barclay about a missionary in rural India who had just finished telling the story of Jesus to a crowd of people.
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  • The perils of Christian testimony

    If you’ve heard one story of Jesus curing a blind man you’ve pretty much heard them all, whether it be of Jesus smearing mud paste, simply touching the man’s eyes, whether the man cries out to the “Son of David” or first experiences his cure by seeing people who look like “walking trees,” after which Jesus sternly orders them to tell no one.
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  • Separating the things of this world from the things of eternity

    Today’s Gospel contains one of the most realistic statements in Scripture: “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan?” Jesus tells his disciples how to set their priorities with regard to material possessions, inviting them to learn dependence on God from the birds in the sky, the flowers in the field.
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  • With God, all things are possible

    Do you ever stop and wonder sometimes why the Mass is organized the way it is, why this or that “part” is situated as it is relative to the other “parts”?
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  • Jesus shows the way

    What is morality? Why does God give us commandments? Why should I care about doing good and avoiding evil? Why should I care about right and wrong? Why does it matter what I do or how I act?
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  • King servant our Lord

    Typically kings possess an entourage of personal staff that proves to be as functional as it is impressive. But there is always one who races ahead of the pack to broadcast the king’s movements to the people.
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  • Setting us free from our knots

    I tell anyone who asks that the most enjoyable part of my life is the time I get to spend with the elementary school kids at St. Peter and St. Anthony-Immaculate Conception in the Mission District.
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  • Rejoice: He is near

    This Sunday is “Gaudete Sunday” (“Rejoice”), so named from the first word of the Introit (Entrance Chant) for the Mass for the Third Sunday of Advent, which is taken from St. Paul’s command proclaimed in our Second Reading to the Philippians and to us: “Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again: Rejoice!
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  • God’s faithfulness stays through all our missteps

    It is rare to hear anything from Baruch’s short six chapters, but for this Sunday’s readings we get an interesting excerpt.
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  • Called to serve the king

    On this last Sunday of the church’s liturgical year, we focus our attention on Jesus as the king of the universe. What a divine irony there was on Calvary when the cross became his instrument of victory, and a condemned thief was the first to be assured of a place in his kingdom.
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  • His people, living and dead, will be victorious

    Years ago a popular bumper sticker read: “Stop the world! I want to get off!” It reflected the frustration, anger, and helplessness at the insanity in the world. Aren’t we too at times exasperated by the world and national events?
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  • Making room for more of God’s gift

    Ruth Burrows, a little known but noteworthy contemporary author of spiritual books, stresses time and again in her small, powerful books and essays (one thinks especially of her masterpiece “Guidelines for Mystical Prayer”) that God is always looking to share with us as much of his grace as we can receive.
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  • Throwing aside the garment of worldly attachment

    What must I do to be saved? To ask this question – truly, authentically, honestly, in the depths of our hearts – is already a profound gift of grace from Jesus Christ. How often do we ask this question? How seriously do we take this question? Do we realize it is possible not to be saved?
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  • Sons of thunder: ‘We want power’

    Since the Second Vatican Council there has been a lot of confusion about power in the American church. To some Vatican II became an opportunity to “restructure” the distribution of power in Catholicism.
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  • Unity marks God’s kingdom

    In the Gospel for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for their “hardness of hearts.”
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  • God’s most amazing surprise

    At the Mass on Oct. 13, 2014 at St. Martha guesthouse in the Vatican, Pope Francis reflected on the God of surprises.
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  • God’s hand in our struggles

    Having grown up in a house full of boys (I am the third of four) I can easily picture the argument the Apostles were having along the road to Capernaum about who among them was the greatest.
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  • Christ’s cross is our hope

    This Sunday Jesus gives us the doctrine of the fruitfulness of His Cross – a beautiful preparation for the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on Sept. 14 and Our Lady of Sorrows on Sept. 15.
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  • Practicing ‘custody of the eyes’

    In Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23, the Pharisees are up in arms (as usual) about their observations of Christ’s religious observance.
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  • Tasting the ‘living bread’

    Marie is a extraordinary minister of holy Communion in her parish. Each Sunday she attends the 10 a.m. Mass.
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