20th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year C) Aug. 19 (Jeremiah 38:1-2, 4-6, 8-10; Psalm 40; Hebrews 12:1-4; Luke 12:49-53)

Jeremiah is not the first or the only prophet to get into trouble by voicing contrary views during a crisis or time of war. Usually the party line is the only voice desired or permitted. But Jeremiah has the dubious honour of proclaiming the word of God — not his own — and it is not something that those in power want to hear.

The Spirit shows us reality in ways we never dreamed

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On a trip to France I had a weekend in Paris, which meant serious decisions about what to visit and what to leave out. After Notre Dame, I went to nearby Sainte Chapelle, advertised as having the best stained glass in the country. Stained glass was not a particular interest of mine, but the day was sunny and the destination close.

True faith is not blind

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

What did the Israelites know and when did they know it? The book of Wisdom is a late interpretation of Israel’s foundation myth and it leaves one with the impression that the Israelites had God’s master plan tucked under their arm all along. In real life, things are seldom that clear or simple.

Our mission is to know God

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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), Aug. 5 (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23; Psalm 90; Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11; Luke 12:13-21)

What is real? We have so little time on earth — what is the most important thing in life? These are questions that people have asked for millennia and they are addressed by both testaments of the Bible.

Even one person can work wonders

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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), July 29 (Genesis 18:20-21, 23-32; Psalm 138; Colossians 2:6-14; Luke 11:1-13)

Fifty – 40 – 30 – 20 – do I hear 10? The image of Abraham and God haggling and bargaining for the fate of a city and its inhabitants is rather disconcerting. It is one of many all-too-human images of God in the Bible, and reflects the mentality and understanding of people at the time it was written.

There is no ‘cheap grace’ from God

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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), July 22 (Genesis 18:1-10; Psalm 15; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42)

In the ancient near east, especially among the nomadic people, hospitality to strangers and travellers was a sacred duty. The host was responsible for the physical well-being of his guest: food, water, lodging and protection.

Doing the right thing

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

The holiest and most precious things are usually close at hand. Sometimes we think that a spiritual quest involves trips to deserts, monasteries or mountaintops. Many want to consult gurus and teachers, or practise ascetic regimes. All of this to answer a few basic questions: Who is God? Who am I? How should I live? What is right and wrong?

Doing the right thing

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

The holiest and most precious things are usually close at hand. Sometimes we think that a spiritual quest involves trips to deserts, monasteries or mountaintops. Many want to consult gurus and teachers, or practise ascetic regimes. All of this to answer a few basic questions: Who is God? Who am I? How should I live? What is right and wrong?

Live and labour on the side of light

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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), July 8 (Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66; Galatians 6:14-18; Luke 10:1-12, 17-20)

Some places are best visited only in the realm of the imagination. After longing to see a cherished city in person, the initial visit leaves some disappointed or disillusioned. Jerusalem is a prime example.

God’s compassionate, non-violent reign

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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 1 (1 Kings 19:16, 19-21; Psalm 16; Galatians 5:1, 13-18; Luke 9:51-62)

Freedom is very precious, but it is often taken for granted and is not fully appreciated until it is lost.

John the Baptist was singled out for greatness

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The Birth of John the Baptist (Year C) June 24 (Isaiah 49:1-6/Acts 13:22-26/Luke 1:57-66, 80)

What will this child become? That question probably crosses the minds of many as they gaze into the faces of infants.