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  Tuesday – Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle Gospel – Matthew 9:9-13 Hospitality Part 2 Chapel of Tears, Jerusalem We are edging closer to one of my favorite holidays.   And   NO, I don’t mean Christmas!   I am referring to Thanksgiving!   And that means it won’t be long before we start hearing heart-warming stories about someone organizing a massive food drive, or a family giving up their Thanksgiving meal to serve other, and those wonderful stories of a family opening up their home to a needy person or a member of the military who have no way to celebrate with their own family. Now that is real hospitality, not the shallow version we heard about a few days ago when a Pharisee invited Jesus to his home.   And that is the hospitality we see in today’s Gospel.   This time Jesus basically invites Himself to dinner.   Yes, Matthew was a Jew but he was also a tax collector.   That meant he took money from his own people and handed it over to the enemy- the Romans.   And he p
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  Monday - 25 th Week in Ordinary Time Gospel – Luke 8:16-18 Shadows and Light Church of Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem I saw a video recently of a little toddler.   She was outside with her parents taking a short walk.   It’s a gorgeous day and the sun is shining brightly.   But perhaps a bit too brightly for the little one!   You see, this is the moment she sees her shadow for the very first time.   And she is terrified!   She keeps running and looking back, trying to get away from this dark shadow, all to no avail. We all have shadows in our life, some thrust on us and some of our own making!   They are the sort of things that keep us from living in the present and planning for the future.   They force us to dwell on the past and bring out feelings of anger, regret, resentment, jealousy and even fear (like the little toddler). Jesus speaks of light and darkness in today’s Gospel and He challenges all of us to live in the light, to be the light for others and not hide
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  25 th Sunday in Ordinary Time Gospel – Mark 9:30-37 I’m the Greatest; No, I Am! Sea of Galilee A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, wearing his baseball cap and toting a ball and bat. “I’m the greatest hitter in the world,” he announced. Then, he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, and missed. “Strike One!” he yelled. Undaunted, he picked up the ball and said again, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” He tossed the ball into the air. When it came down he swung again and missed. “Strike Two!” he cried out. The boy then paused a moment to examine his bat and ball carefully. He spit on his hands and rubbed them together. He straightened his cap and said once more, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” Again he tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it. He missed. “Strike Three!” “Wow!” he exclaimed. “I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!” We all want to the best at something; we all want to be rec
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Saturday 24 th Week in Ordinary Time Gospel – Luke 8-:4-15 Are Ya Listening? Mass at Gethsemane I know what you’re going to say!   Yeah, yeah, the sower and the seed, rocky ground, weeds, thorns, trodden path and good soil.   I’ve heard this plenty of times before; and besides, Jesus explains the entire parable in today’s Gospel!   Same old, same old!   What kind of ground am I?   what prevents me from hearing the Word?   What do I have to do to be more receptive to the Word? OK, then, let’s take a different perspective!   Picture yourself as the Sower!   Wait, what?   Yes, picture yourself as the Sower.   You are the one spreading the Word!   No, no, that’s not right; that can’t be right.   God is the Sower. But aren’t we all Christians?   Aren’t we all meant to live a Christ-like life?   Aren’t we all disciples? Of course!   And as disciples we are all called to spread the Word, by our words and our actions, day in and day out!   Does that mean everyone will get it
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  Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Chicago  It seems only fitting to include a second reflection today as we celebrate the Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine, patron saint of our parish An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but the time was right and he was ready to hang up the hammer. His boss was disappointed as the carpenter had been a loyal and diligent worker for many years, so he was sad to see him go. He asked for one last favor, requesting that the carpenter could build just one more house before retiring. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career. When the carpenter finished his work, his boss c