Word Among Us

Grace, mercy, and peace . . .

Grace, mercy, and peace . . . When we write a letter or an email we open with something like  Dear Mary, so good to have seen you yesterday or Hi, Jim!  I hope you’re doing well.   We take a moment to greet the person and offer some expression of goodwill.   This is exactly what Paul did in Scripture:   “To Timothy, my dear child”.   But then he went a little further by offering Timothy God’s “grace, mercy, and peace”. Of course, some openings...

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Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent to Jesus to ensnare him

Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent to Jesus to ensnare him.  In his classic book  How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie offers the following advice on building relationships:   “Become genuinely interested in other people.” The Pharisees and Herodians  may have seemed to have this advice down pat.   They talked to Jesus with great respect, and they appeared to be very interested in his opinion about paying taxes.   But...

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You may come to share in the divine nature

You may come to share in the divine nature.  Share in the divine nature?   Such a promise might seem way beyond us.   We don’t find it hard to believe that Baptism unites us with Christ and gives us the gift of his Holy Spirit.   But to actually share in God’s life?   That seems more a matter for theologians to wrestle with than for us to comprehend, much less experience. But let’s see how this promise plays out in everyday life.   How do you...

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He went over to see if he could find anything on it

He went over to see if he could find anything on it.  Here’s a riddle:  What do fig trees and God’s grace have in common?   If you guessed, “They both bear fruit,” you’re right.   It’s in their natures to be fruitful.   Perhaps this is why, in Scripture, Jesus was looking for figs even though it was out of season.   It might not have made sense to the disciples at first, but over time they understood:  if it’s in your nature to be fruitful,...

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Blessed are you who believed

Blessed are you who believed.  Has this ever happened to you?   You get inspired to help a sick friend, and you head out.   You arrive with a latte, a Rosary, and eager plans to lift his spirits.   But during your visit, you realize that your own heart is feeling lighter.   You came to bless someone, and you ended up being blessed as well! That’s a lot like what Mary experienced at the Visitation.  She sets off to help her elderly pregnant...

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The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life

The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life.  According to an old Chinese proverb,  “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.   If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.   If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.   If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” Similarly, St. Francis of Assisi said that it is in giving that we receive.   Leo Tolstoy said that the sole meaning of life is...

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