No one who lights a lamp conceals it

No one who lights a lamp conceals it.  It’s not uncommon to read this passage and see ourselves as the lamp set on a lamp stand, shining for all to see.   But what if we thought about Jesus himself being the brightly shining light?   After all, he called himself the “light of the world”.   He is not trying to hide from us or make us jump through all kinds of hoops before we discover him.   No, Jesus wants to reveal himself to us.   What a...

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I did not come to call the righteous but sinners

I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.  Despised as a collaborator with the Romans,  Matthew knew that his job as a tax collector was nothing to be proud of.   Or at least he shouldn’t have been proud to be a tax collector. His hard-earned wealth only brought him contempt and rejection from his own people.   He probably endured snide remarks from his townspeople, and it’s possible that he had begun to believe them.   Whatever he...

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But by the grace of God I am what I am

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective.  Like a river, God’s grace is constantly flowing.   It flows from heaven into our hearts, and smooths out the sharp edges over time.   It’s the same grace that flowed into Paul’s heart when he saw the Lord on the road to Damascus.   Paul responded to this grace, and he discovered that it was not “ineffective”.   Once a persecutor of Christians, he became a...

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Quote of the Week – September 24, 2018

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” –Pope John XXIII

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Love never fails

Love never fails. Paul’s beautiful hymn of charity, as this passage is often called, paints the picture of a mature love filled with spiritual vitality.   It’s not the textbook definition of love that we find in a dictionary, but a soaring hymn that expresses what Christian love looks like as it is lived out day by day.   This love is patient and kind rather than irritable; it serves the needs of others and does not insist on its own way;   it...

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Sing joyfully to the Lord

Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song.  Every weekend, hundreds of millions of Catholics around the world gather to celebrate Mass.   They come from different backgrounds and ages, and they bring countless gifts, burdens, hopes, and needs with them.   Together they form the body of Christ that Paul describes in the first reading.   And together they embrace the call to worship...

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They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come

They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come. One of Scripture’s best-known stories about the power of intercessory prayer:  Jesus heals an unseen servant with only the power of his word.   It’s an inspiring story, but take a look at how it all began.   People came to Jesus and urged him, begged him, to come.   They weren’t asking on behalf of a family member or a friend or even another Jew.   They were asking him to come heal a pagan...

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