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Showing posts from October, 2021
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  Wednesday – 30 th Week in Ordinary Time Gospel – Luke13:22-30 A Tight Squeeze Caesarea Philippi Years ago, I took a weekend trip with some buddies of mine down to southern Illinois to Garden of the Gods, a beautiful state park with magnificent mountains, rock outcroppings and miles of scenic trails.   One particular path took us through “Fat Man Squeeze”, a very narrow gap between huge slabs of rock.   It was not for the faint-hearted.   The only way through was to squeeze through side-ways and holding your breath. It took courage and stamina and the willingness to suffer a bit for the experience.     I took a pass and bypassed that little adventure.   No thank you!   Jesus today talks about striving to enter through the narrow gate.   His intent is clear – entering the Kingdom will take effort and courage.   It is not a simple walk through the woods.   You have to work for it with faith and certainly a good dose of humility.   And not just once but all throughout our
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  Tuesday – 30 th Week in Ordinary Time Gospel – Luke13:18-21 The Science of Prayer Mass on Mt. Tabor For such a short Gospel reading today, there are a number of beautiful visual images – mustard seed, birds of the air, yeast, wheat flour and dough.   But you already know where this is going.   Let’s talk about baking!! I have become reasonably proficient in baking my ‘peasant bread’. Even so one little mistake can make the bread a complete disaster!   Too much water, too little yeast, not enough time to rise or too much time in the oven!   It’s a delicate balance and all the ingredients have to work in the right proportions and the proper combination for the bread to be beautiful to look at and delicious to eat.   Baking really is a science.   You can’t just throw things together, a pinch of this and a cup of that.   It just won’t work!     Is our prayer life any different?   It’s not just about making time or effort or place or focus or thoughtfulness.   In order for
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  Monday – 30 th Week in Ordinary Time Gospel – Luke13:10-17 Standing Tall Gethsemane A few years ago when I was still teaching at St. Pat’s, I remember meeting a Muslim mom and her son as they were touring the school.   I greeted her with the traditional “ As-Salaam-Alaikum” – peace be with you!   She had the biggest smile on her face as she returned the greeting.   And it led to a wonderful conversation on faith and shared beliefs.   A simple gesture but such an opportunity to share one’s faith! When was the last time when you had the chance to stand up for something, to make a difference, to profess your faith?   Maybe we stood our ground against a bully.   Or we saw an injustice and we called out for a change.   Or it could be as simple as just being an honest person when someone unknowingly drops a $20 bill on the ground.   But what about standing up for our faith?   What about a time when we professed our belief, our love for God?   In today’s Gospel, Jesus he
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  30 th Sunday in Ordinary Time Gospel – Mark10:46-52 Seeing with Eyes of Faith Praying at Stone of Anointing, Church of Holy Sepulchre One evening, the whole family went out to dinner at a local restaurant.  Everyone got a menu, even the youngest, Aimee, who was 6 years old.  Since the conversation was an ‘adult’ one, Aimee sat there feeling ignored.  When the waitress took their orders, she came to Aimee last. “And, what would you like to eat, young lady?”  she asked.  Aimee answered, “I will have a hamburger, French fries and a large coke”. “No” , said her mother.  “She will have a small salad with low fat dressing, baked chicken, carrots and boiled rice”.  “And milk to drink” , chimed in her father.   The waitress looked at Aimee and asked, “Would you like catsup or mustard on your hamburger”?  She said, “Catsup with some fried onions on top please.  Oh, and put a very small piece of lettuce on top to please my parents.  Thank you very much”.   Her parents sat th
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  Saturday – 29 th Week in Ordinary Time Gospel – Luke 13:1-9   Repentance and Mercy Sycamore Tree, Jericho Remember having to admit to your best friend that you lied to them and then saying you were sorry?   Or maybe it was when you stole that $20 bill from your dad’s wallet.   Having to face him and ask for forgiveness was the worst! Repentance is downright difficult!   No one is comfortable admitting that they are at fault, that they have stumbled and sinned.   Repentance requires honesty and humility especially if we are admitting it to someone else.   Too often, as in today’s Gospel, we prefer to focus on the faults of others and not our own.   And it takes us back to when we were kids – it’s not my fault, it’s his!   Shifting the blame and pointing the finger at someone else! In the end, what we are doing is essentially trying to point the finger away from ourselves. Repentance demands that we examine ourselves critically, accept that we are fallible and that ch