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Love your enemies

Two thousand years ago, a horribly-abused young man died slowly and painfully on a cross. Above his head hung the sign listing off his crimes, it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

He had been executed by one of the most powerful empires that the world has ever known, and yet from the emperor down to his lowly delegate in Jerusalem, there was a fear.








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Come as you are

There is the joke about the parish priest who was in his office. The assistant priest came in and said to him, “There is a man here who claims he is Jesus Christ. What should I do?” And the parish priest replied, “Look busy.”

Sadly, some people live as if this joke was actually the truth. They put off thinking about their duties as Christians, hoping that they will have a little time before Jesus Christ does come.








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Trust can be difficult

Gradually the rhythm of our year is coming to an end. People are at ease with many different cycles of the year. We can think of the agricultural or lunar new year, beginning with its traditional Spring Festival.
We think of our calendar year, beginning its solar cycle on January 1; our taxation year, ending on a certain date; and even our academic year.
For us as Catholics, an important dimension is our liturgical year, which ends soon. Our new year will start with the First Sunday of Advent, which this year is on November 27.
Our liturgical year gives us a special perspective.








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The mission has a Church

 Mission Sunday  Exodus 22:20-26;  Thessalonians 1:5c-10; Matthew 22:34-40

T

oday, the word mission is used in so many ways that to a certain extent it may have lost its meaning or at least taken on so many meanings that it no longer describes or defines anything clearly.








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Seek out 
what is good

An autobiography published by singer and songwrite, Dion Dimucci, under the title The Wanderer Talks, reveals a very different person from the young man who brought out hit songs like Runaround Sue and The Wanderer back in 1959 and 1961.








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Once upon a time

Jesus was a great story-teller. He often used stories to make his point. “Once upon a time, there was a king…” The story in the liturgy for today helps us to understand God’s plan for us.

The story-image for God’s plan is a wonderful one, the image of a great banquet. The banquet is so big, so generous, that there is room for everyone.








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By your fruit they shall know you

The vineyard of the Lord plays host to the House of Israel in the first reading in today’s liturgy. However, the Lord laments that when he came to the vineyard to look for and find justice, all he discovered was bloodshed, leaving the Lord shouting for justice.

The prophet, Isaiah, describes the successive generations of Israel as called to be the repairers of what is breached, or people cooperating with God to fix what is wrong in the world.








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Are we Catholic or not?

Twenty-sixth Sunday of the Year

Ezekiel 18:25-28;
Philippians 2:1-11; 
Matthew 21:28-32

Recently, a young man challenged me; was I really a Catholic? Or was I just someone wearing a Catholic disguise, but not fully committed to the Catholic faith?








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First do no harm

 

Twenty-fifth Sunday of the Year

 

Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9; Philippians 1:20c-24, 27a; Matthew 20:1-16a

In his letters, St. Paul can suddenly vary. In the midst of an ordinary passage about Christian living, we often find a wonderful hymn of praise. Or, from a reflection on one topic, he will veer onto another topic without warning us what is coming.








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Bless his holy name

Try looking at the world through God’s eyes. Imagine that you are God and that you are seeing the world which you have created, with all its peoples. How do you look at your people, as a stern judge, deciding and prescribing penalties, or as a capricious abuser of power, like the Greek gods, or as a lover?

Jesus has shown us that God looks at all the peoples of the world and each individual as a lover. God loved us so much, that he sent his only son as his loving gift for us.