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THE FOLLY OF SECURITY AND VAIN CONFIDENCE

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26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C September 29, 2013
THE FOLLY OF SECURITY AND VAIN CONFIDENCE!
The words of Amos are a stunner: “Woe to the complacent in Zion!” I am not a biblical scholar, nor do I intend to pretend to be one today, but there is surely something everyone can say about this stunning statement solely from its face value. One does not need to be a genetic scientist to confidently say this … “All you who feel so secure and vainly feel overconfident, take care!”
Well, truth be told, Amos was talking to a very precise group of people who probably were getting it so good then in life: people who were “lying upon beds of ivory and stretched comfortably in their couches.”
Was he taking potshots at the filthy rich of his times? Was he condemning those who wallowed in “brilliance and splendor” just because they could afford to? I have no answer for this.
But I do have something to say about the rantings of Amos when pitted against the two other readings. Paul was writing to Tim…

WISDOM IN CRISIS; PRUDENCE IN MOMENTS OF CHOICE

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--> 25th Sunday Year C September 22, 2013
WISDOM IN TIMES OF CRISIS; PRUDENCE IN MOMENTS OF CHOICE


The parable in today’s gospel passage definitely sounds weird to modern ears. What is the point of the story? Is it OK to spend what is not yours to get yourself off the hook, just as the steward (manager) did? Is it OK to bribe everyone with your fake generosity in order to earn friends just in case you end up being jobless? These are just two of the many possible questions we can ask about the strange story that only Luke reports.


Let me premise my reflection by reminding you all of something we all know already … God can write straight with crooked lines. God’s ways are not man’s ways, and His teaching comes to us in a multiplicity of guises and a variety of packages, but the basic teaching is what we all need to understand, not the details, not the hows or the wherefores, but essentially the what.


I am sure you have experienced the like. One day, you find yourself all of a su…

SELFISH, SELFIES, GENEROUSLY, GODLY!

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24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C September 15, 2013
SELFISH, SELFIES, GENEROUSLY, GODLY!
You know the type. They are everywhere … at churches, malls, planes, airports, restos … why, even rest rooms! They take countless pics of themselves in various poses and facial expressions, with matching hand gestures for accent. And they post them via social networking sites for the world to “like” rant and rave on!
Psychotherapists now are almost one in claiming that the internet has been steadily churning out narcissists one facebook or twitter pic or instagram post at a time. There is even a new term for all this … “impression management.” Narcissists spend a mighty long time each day “managing” one’s posts and pics in order to give the best impression of oneself as possible.
Selfies, they are now called. Incidentally, it is no accident of linguistics that it happens to rhyme with selfish, which in plain language, narcissism is all about – being focused on one self and not much else besides.
To…

MORE THAN A SLAVE, A BROTHER!

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--> 23rd Sunday Year C September 8, 2013
MORE THAN A SLAVE, A BROTHER!


Today is a day of contrasts, tenderness, generosity, and mercy. The Book of Wisdom (first reading) contrasts the ways of the Lord and the ways of man. While we can fathom the “timid deliberations” of man, we cannot that easily “conceive what the Lord intends.”


But although God’s ways are indeed, not like man’s ways, we proclaimed the conviction of our faith together with tenderness right after the first reading: “In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.”


But what does the conviction of faith in a God of mystery and tenderness lead us to, we might ask? Let the second reading show us in concrete … There goes Paul writing to Philemon, interceding with the same tenderness of Christian charity, on behalf of Onesimus, once a slave, but now a brother in the Lord.


I write from a place where I spent a great part of my younger years, both as formand and formator, accompanying the young postulants in their journ…