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  Thursday – 11 th Week in Ordinary Time Gospel – Matthew 6:7-15 It’s All in the Name Chapel of St. Joseph, Nazareth Ever notice how a name, what we call someone, speaks volumes about our relationship with them.   Sometimes formal and aloof, sometimes affectionate, sometimes comical and relaxed.   When I was little, I always called my father “Father”.   It was formal, respectful and reflected a very proper sort of relationship.   It reflected my view of him as a rock, steady and strong.   As life went on, though, that relationship changed and I began to call him “Dad” and our greetings always included a warm hug.   One regret I have is that my dad never had the chance to enjoy being a great-grandfather!   He would have been awesome!   I can just picture him with Tyler or Nate as infants, rocking them on his knee, holding them up high like an airplane or passing on his unique sense of humor.   That sense of love, of joy and contentment would have been so bright and it w
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  Wednesday – 11 th Week in Ordinary Time     (revisited) Gospel – Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 Blind Spots! Palm Sunday Road, Jerusalem We bought a new car a few months ago, the most up to date vehicle we have ever owned, and I am loving it!   It has so many bells and whistles that we are still acclimating ourselves to: GPS, Bluetooth, satellite radio, connectivity to our phones, etc.   But what I absolutely love is this: blind spot alert and rear view camera!!   Wow, it’s like having a guardian angel beside you in the car reminding you when danger approaches. It’s a good reminder that we all have blind spots in life, moments when we literally miss what is right beside us, right in front of our eyes.   Sometimes, perhaps too often, we let ourselves get distracted – maybe a song, that text message or that book we are so engrossed in that we didn’t hear mom yelling.   Car manufacturers certainly understand our easily distracted nature.   Every time I put our car into reverse, t
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  Tuesday – 11 th Week in Ordinary Time     (revisited) Gospel – Matthew 5:43-48 Perfection Stone of Anointing, Church of Holy Sepulchre I made a mistake yesterday!   And I really screwed up 2 days ago!   And I can guarantee you I will mess up sometime today and even tomorrow!   News Flash!   I make mistakes, lots of them!   I stumble and fall; I mis-step and mis-judge.   I am human and I am definitely not perfect, far from it!   2 nd news flash!   I am not alone!   We are all imperfect beings! And yet today’s Gospel ends with a troubling line!   “Be perfect just as your Heavenly Father is perfect!”   Seriously?   How is that even possible for me or anyone?   I think we can manage perfection for about an hour or a day if we are lucky.   But to be perfect?   To live a perfect life?   Should we just throw up our hands in frustration and give up now? The Greek word used in this passage is “ teleios ” and it really does translate as “perfect”.   But it can also mean
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  Monday – 11 th Week in Ordinary Time Gospel – Matthew 5:38-42 War of Words? Praying at the Western Wall, Jerusalem   One of my all-time favorite holiday movies is Christmas Story.   Yes, I know- Christmas is still a long 6 months away but hear me out.   I always make sure to watch it at least once over the holiday season.   It is filled with one favorite scene after another.   But I want to focus on one today – sticking your tongue on that frozen flagpole!   What’s important here is what led up to that ridiculous stunt.   Dares!   I dare you! I double-dog dare you!   I triple-dog dare you!   Back when I was in college in the seminary, we would have an award ceremony every Sunday evening after dinner.   Embarrassingly, it was for the best sarcastic comment of the week.   Whatever were we thinking?   An award for the most biting, biggest cut-down comment anyone could manage.   And believe me, we truly competed for this “honor” of belittling someone.   At some point(s) in
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      11th Sunday in Ordinary Time