Word Among Us

When you hold a banquet, invite the poor

When you hold a banquet, invite the poor. When the time came for Chuck and Linda to celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary, they decided to do things a little differently.   Instead of the usual big party, they invited their family and friends to the Catholic Charities soup kitchen in their city.   They had arranged for all their guests to join them in preparing and serving hot lunches to the homeless and needy in the area.   Rather than...

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Fear the Lord, your God

Fear the Lord, your God. What does it mean to fear the Lord?   Should we really be afraid of him?   Well, we should never minimize these words since they appear more than three hundred times in Scripture.   But fearing God is not the same as living in terror of him.   It’s more about having a proper reverence for him. As with so many other truths in the Bible, fearing the Lord is a different thing than the earthly kind of fear we are all...

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For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.

For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.  What would you do if a dear elderly aunt called to tell you she had decided to name you as the sole beneficiary in her will?   While you certainly would want her to live as long as possible, you would also realize that many of your worries will melt away.   The thought of an upcoming inheritance would raise your confidence and sustain your spirits through any financial struggles you might have.   It...

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Yet is their hope full of immortality

Yet is their hope full of immortality.  Candy skulls, graves blanketed with flowers, and offerings of favorite foods:   the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) might seem confusing at first glance.   Is it a spooky holiday full of skeletons, or is it a heartwarming tribute to family members who have gone before us? It’s no coincidence that the Day of the Dead culminates on November 2.   It has a lot in common with...

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I had a vision of a great multitude

I had a vision of a great multitude.  What does it take to become a saint?   The Church does a thorough examination before declaring that a person is definitively in heaven and is worthy of universal honor.   They comb through the person’s writings.   They look for miracles. They take testimony from friends, family members, and other witnesses.   They even appoint a “devil’s advocate” whose job is to argue against canonization—just to be sure. ...

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Stop bullying, knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven and that with him there is no partiality

Stop bullying, knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven and that with him there is no partiality. The Letter to the Ephesians was written during a period when at least one out of every three people in the Roman Empire was a slave.   Slavery was an accepted institution that supported the social and economic structures of the culture.   Sadly, slaves were considered tools of their masters and had few personal rights.   Since slave...

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