Posts made in March, 2019

Hear the statutes and decrees

Hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live.  The model for becoming physically healthy is more or less clear.   Eat well—take in good nutrients, and avoid processed foods.   And exercise—train your muscles and heart through regular activity.   Of course, reality can be a little more complicated.   And clear doesn’t always mean easy!   But at least understanding the theory is a good start. In today’s...

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How often must I forgive him?

If my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?  So many important elements in life depend on a person’s point of view, don’t they?   When Peter approached Jesus with a question about forgiving a particularly difficult brother, his focus was on the proper limits to forgiveness.   Peter sets up the scene to make himself the injured party—how forgiving should I be?   Certainly, mercy has its limits. But Jesus turns the tables on him...

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Here the Word became flesh

May it be done to me according to your word The Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth is built over the site of what is believed to be the home of the Virgin Mary.   In the lower level of the church is an altar with the Latin inscription Verbum caro hic factum est:   “Here the Word became flesh.” Here. The Incarnation happened here, in a small town in Galilee.   That inscription tells us that God became a man at a specific moment in time.   He...

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I have witnessed the affliction

I have witnessed the affliction of my people On Ash Wednesday, we began Lent with the age-old call to repentance:   “Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning” (Joel 2:12).   That theme continues in today’s second reading and Gospel (Exodus 3:7).   But the first reading is something different.   It’s not about our need to repent;   it’s about God’s free, overflowing mercy. For the children of Abraham, God’s...

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The parable of the prodigal son

He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him If you had to use only ten words to describe the whole message of Christianity, you would be hard pressed to do better than this single sentence from the parable of the prodigal son. Like the father in the parable, God brought us into existence;   he has provided for us and given us his inheritance.   Straying sons?   Sadly, you don’t have to look far in the Bible for stories of God’s people...

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