Posts made in August, 2019

Can anything good come from Nazareth?

Can anything good come from Nazareth? Saint Bartholomew, Apostle (Feast) How easy it is to judge people and situations only based on “earthly” assumptions!   That’s what Nathanael did when he first heard about Jesus. Nathanael, who is thought to be the same person as Bartholomew, saw only a carpenter’s son, a man from a small town in Galilee.   But when Jesus told him, “I saw you under the fig tree,” Nathanael’s eyes were opened (John 1:48). ...

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You shall love the Lord, your God

You shall love the Lord, your God. . . . [And] your neighbor as yourself.  Saint Rose of Lima, Virgin (Optional Memorial) Songwriters have long proclaimed that what the world needs is love.   But that lofty sentiment is a little vague on what love looks like or what it means to love someone.   By contrast, Jesus had the weight of a thousand-plus years of revelation from God backing him up when he told some Pharisees that the greatest...

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Whoever comes out of

Whoever comes out of . . . my house to meet me . . . I shall offer him up as a burnt offering. The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Memorial) What a horrifying story!   Jephthah makes a vow that, if he is victorious, he will sacrifice the first person who greets him when he returns home from battle.   And who comes running out of the house to celebrate the victory?   His only child!   That hasty vow ended up costing him the life of his...

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Reign over us

Reign over us.  Saint Pius X, Pope (Memorial) The parable in our first reading (Judges 9:8) today might seem hard to decode, but like Aesop’s fables, it contains a universal lesson about human beings and their ways.   In this case, the people of Israel who want a king are represented by trees.   The “buckthorn” who agrees to be their king is a man named Abimelech, who is as unfit to rule as a buckthorn is to provide shade from the sun.   Yet...

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Be calm, do not fear. You shall not die.

Be calm, do not fear. You shall not die.  Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church (Memorial) How about looking at Gideon’s story from a different perspective today?   Let’s take it as a sort of case study in dealing with anxiety. Gideon was probably no stranger to worry.   After all, he lived in enemy-occupied territory.   He wasn’t a prominent member of his tribe either.   Just an ordinary man trying to eke out a living.   In fact,...

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