For freedom Christ set us free

For freedom Christ set us free.  Imagine if every time you got in your car, you consulted a big, heavy book that explained the many rules of the road.   That would make driving pretty difficult, wouldn’t it?   As it is, you already know the traffic laws.   You probably even know the unwritten rules of driving etiquette.   In fact, if you’ve been driving for any length of time, most of these laws have become instinctive. The Galatian Christians...

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This generation is an evil generation

This generation is an evil generation. In Scripture (Luke 11:29),  isn’t Jesus being a little hard on his generation?   But then again, the same thought has probably gone through our minds at some point or another.   It can be overwhelming to look around and see ways that our own generation seems to have rejected God.   Every day we hear news of some new religious or political scandal, some act of hatred or violence, war or immorality.   It can...

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with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come

. . . with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.  Last Week in Rome,   Pope Francis will canonize Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, in addition to Pope Paul VI. Selected as archbishop of San Salvador in 1977,  Romero served during a time of intense political turbulence and religious persecution. Through his homilies, radio sermons, and newspaper articles,  Romero became the voice of his country’s conscience.   Constantly...

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Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.  No wonder this woman is excited.   Jesus has just shown that he has power to cast out evil spirits (Luke 11:14).   That’s pretty impressive!   Still, the woman seems underinformed.   She praises Jesus by remarking how blessed his mother is to have him for a son.   But there is more to Jesus than just the story of a local boy who gains celebrity.   So Jesus responds by asking her to...

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It goes and brings back seven other spirits

It goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself. Whenever a government is overthrown,  there is always a question of what will rise up in its place.   Sometimes, a stable government is established that ushers in a time of peace and justice.   Other times, however, the power vacuum fills with factions and infighting—perhaps even violence. This scenario of a political coup illustrates Jesus’ words in Scripture (Luke 11:26). ...

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Suppose one of you has a friend

Suppose one of you has a friend.  In Scripture (Luke 11:5),  Jesus tells a parable about a man who got out of bed and helped his friend primarily because of the man’s persistence (Luke 11:8).  Pope John XXIII, whose feast we celebrate this week, gave the entire world years of service—but it was not because of our persistence.   It was because John loved people. Fifty-six years ago this week, thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square in...

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