19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) August 7 (Wisdom 18:6-9; Psalm 33; Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19; Luke 12:32-48)

How do we navigate through life, keeping hope alive and persevering in the face of trials? The biblical tradition is consistent and clear — the righteous person lives by faith.

Pursue the real, not what is fleeting

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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 31 (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23; Psalm 90; Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11; Luke 12:13-21)

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus taught that all things are constantly in flux. He famously stated that it is impossible to step in the same river twice.

Our daily choices truly matter

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17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 24 (Genesis 18:20-32; Psalm 138; Colossians 2:12-14; Luke 11:1-13)

Our place is at Lord’s feet

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16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 17 (Genesis 18:1-10a; Psalm 15; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42)

Sometimes there is more than meets the eye in the people we encounter each day. Thousands pass us anonymously, while occasionally we exchange a few words or a gesture with certain individuals. Is this accidental or coincidental? 

To this day, the Christ-child is under threat

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The Gospels tell us that after King Herod died, an angel appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, telling him: “Get up! Take the child and His Mother and go to the land of Israel, for those seeking the child’s life are now dead” (Matthew 2, 19-20). The angel, it would seem, spoke prematurely, the child, the infant Christ, was still in danger, is still in danger, is still mortally threatened, right to this day. 

God’s investment in humanity brings us to the fullness of life

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On summer evenings, without intending it, one hears interesting conversations. 

God fulfills our needs

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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 3 (Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66; Galatians 6:14-18; Luke 10:1-12, 17-20)

There are times when joy seems difficult, even impossible. Telling someone in the depths of misery to rejoice can seem insensitive and even cruel. But that is exactly what God told the people of Jerusalem when they were struggling with the grim reality of life after return from exile. 

Mercy is the path we need to choose

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15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 10 (Deuteronomy 30:10-14; Psalm 69; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 10:25-37)

People love to make the simplest things unbelievably complicated. Perhaps there is a fear that if something is clear and easy to understand it must be superficial or lacking in authenticity. This is certainly the case with how we should live and conduct ourselves.  

Nearer to God, the nearer to suffering

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Daniel Berrigan, in one of his famous quips, once wrote: Before you get serious about Jesus, first consider carefully how good you are going to look on wood!

The committed will bring change, healing

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Thirteenth Sunday Ordinary Time (Year C) June 26 (1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21; Psalm 16; Galatians 5:1, 13-18; Luke 9:51-62)

Many personnel managers would envy Elijah’s situation. God not only told him when it was time to train a successor, but also whom he should choose. Finding Elisha, the designated successor, Elijah threw his mantle over him in a traditional prophetic gesture of selection and empowerment. Elisha’s response was immediate and positive — he was willing, but needed just enough time to say goodbye to his parents. Elijah was rather nonchalant, and indicated that Elisha was a free man and could do as he liked. No one was forcing him to follow in the prophet’s footsteps. Elisha slaughtered the oxen and threw a farewell feast for his family and the people, and then he followed Elijah. 

The deep things are under the surface

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The spirituality writer Tom Stella tells a story about three monks at prayer in their monastery chapel. The first monk imagines himself being carried up to Heaven by the angels. The second monk imagines himself already in Heaven, chanting God’s praises with the angels and saints. The third monk cannot focus on any holy thoughts but can only think about the great hamburger he had eaten just before coming to chapel. That night, when the devil was filing his report for the day, he wrote: “Today I tried to tempt three monks, but I only succeeded with two of them.”