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From the category archives: Word Made Flesh

Word Made Flesh

Make your life your living witness to God

Ralph Himsl

October 24, 2011
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 30, 2011

The Gospel readings for recent Sundays have Jesus engaged in discussions with priests, scribes, elders and Pharisees - community leaders in Jerusalem. He berates them in personal confrontations.

Even in their absence, as in today's Gospel, he discusses their failings in a forthright manner. He acknowledges their intimate knowledge of the law - the scribes for example, made copies of its texts and so knew them well. But their failure to live by its requirements drew Jesus' ire.

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Love the Lord your God with all your heart

John Connelly

 

October 17, 2011
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 23, 2011

In this week's Gospel we are given a profound and central key to the heart of God. Jesus is posed the following question, "Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?"

And Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment."

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God's vigilance is ever present in our lives

Kathleen Giffin

October 10, 2011
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 16, 2011

My second daughter, who has Down syndrome, often went on "unauthorized walks" when she was young. It was not so much that she was running away, it was more that she was off on an adventure and had neglected to inform us of her intentions.

While there were some moments of panic as we tried to locate her, one of the most frightening times looking for her was when she was older and did not return home from her walk to the store.

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Jesus' love heals the dark night of the soul

Maria Kozakiewicz

October 3, 2011
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 9, 2011

I still remember my first reading of the famous Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."

I stumbled upon this text while browsing through the rich library of my priest-friend. The book of Psalms I was holding in my hands was small and tattered, with many notes and exclamation marks in the margins.

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God's vineyard demands righteous tending

Ralph Himsl

September 26, 2011
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 5, 2011

The English language and no doubt many languages have an expression that covers the trap implied in the words, "I don't mean to criticize, but . . ." The use of these words seeks forgiveness of those listening for what follows. I find myself about to step into that trap.

Today's Gospel plunges us into a serious discussion between Jesus and some Temple bigwigs, the chief priests and elders.

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Pray with the heart of Jesus for renewal

John Connelly

 

September 19, 2011
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 25, 2011

In this week's Gospel Jesus says to the chief priests and elders of the people, "Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of heaven before you" (Matthew 21.31).

This was a shocking thing to say to the devout religious people of his day. Imagine Jesus telling these leaders that the people they considered the dregs of society were getting into the kingdom of heaven before them.

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God's point of view can be life changing

Kathleen Giffin

September 12, 2011
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 18, 2011

There are singular events in every person's life that serve as both watersheds and points of reference in the years that follow. One such event for me was the birth of my daughter Ange. On the day she was born she was diagnosed with both a congenital heart defect and Down Syndrome.

My response, in the succeeding days and weeks, exposed the best and the worst in me. The best was that I did everything that I could to make sure that she was loved, nurtured and received the best medical care and early intervention. The worst was what I thought and felt about this event that had "happened to me."

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Heartfelt forgiveness trumps vengeance

Maria Kozakiewicz

September 5, 2011
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 11, 2011

All of this Sunday's readings are about one of the most important aspects of human life, the healing of the soul through God's forgiveness and what follows as natural consequence of it — our forgiveness of others.

While we all, consciously or not, crave God's mercy and annihilation of our sins, it is not always easy to forgive the other.

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Acquire the wisdom of humility in daily life

Ralph Himsl

August 29, 2011
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 4, 2011

In an earlier column on these pages, it proved desirable to refer to the work of the Anglo-American poet and 1948 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature T.S. Eliot, specifically, his words in Four Quartets, "The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless."

Those words read well and lofty. While I often measure the thought they express and admire the insight, my own day to day encounter with humility and wisdom has a simple, homely form.

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Call out to Jesus, welcome him into your life

John Connelly

 

July 25, 2011
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 7, 2011

The one thing I have come to know about Jesus is that he is faithful. He is faithful in revealing to us love and compassion even when we are inconsistent, foolish and proud. Jesus is truly the Compassionate One. He sees our weakness and struggles and he comes to us to transform our broken lives by his power and love.

In this week's psalm we read the words, "The Lord is near to all who call upon him." What a simple and stunning truth! These are living words that should inspire us again and again. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2666) we read, "To pray 'Jesus' is to invoke him and call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies.

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