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GETTING IT RIGHT, BUT MISSING THE POINT!

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22nd Sunday Year A August 31, 2014
GETTING IT RIGHT, BUT MISSING THE POINT!
Jeremiah was a curious fellow … He was, well … like you and me! We all get some things right, but we also miss the whole point at times! I get it, for one, that life is difficult, as good, old Scott Peck told us years ago. We also know that life is complex, beyond merely being difficult. We get it, don’t we?
But of course, getting things right is no guarantee we get the whole point … at least not that soon. Jeremiah got it. And he complained big time! “You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me and you triumphed.”
I, too, rant and rave big time. For many reasons, reasonable or otherwise. I do right here, right now. Do I deserve to be suffering so much for trying to solve problems I did not create? Should I just accept blindly my lot to be now at the receiving end of so much dissatisfaction, even hatred, for trying to fix things for the ultimate good of the institution I work for?
“Y…

INSCRUTABLE AND UNSEARCHABLE ARE HIS WAYS!

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A August 24, 2014
INSCRUTABLE AND UNSEARCHABLE WAYS OF GOD!
Life is full of mysteries. They say that life in its totality is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved. Indeed … There comes a time in one’s life when one has to accept the wisdom behind seemingly senseless and meaningless things and events. One such reality that begs for acceptance, not resistance, is the mystery of whatever our status in life is. Some get more keys than others (read: more responsibilities). Some get the most coveted key (read: the choicest appointive position). Still others get no keys whatsoever (read: they are just part of the hoi polloi – the many and the unknown; the plebeian foot-soldiers who soldier on without much fanfare and recognition). And then some are left with the task of holding the door for other people, and not much else!
Eliakim was one such individual whom the Lord saw as worthy enough to be given the “key of the House of David,” a foreshadowing…

HAVE PITY ON ME, LORD!

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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A August 17, 2014
HAVE PITY ON ME, LORD, SON OF DAVID!
Isaiah gives a piece of advice so clear and unmistakable; so straightforward and so irreproachable: “Observe what is right, do what is just.”
Well, let us start with something not so right … Yes … not so right for purists then who knew their boundaries, and who knew better than to mess up with women like that one derisively referred to as “Canaanite,” who lived in the district of Tyre and Sidon.
She deserved nothing from any self-respecting man and from a Jew, for that matter. She was totally out of bounds. And she did something totally expected, but totally uncalled for … In her extreme need, born of remarkable faith, she did the unthinkable (though expected!) … She approached the Lord and pleaded with Him in faith: “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!”
But the Lord, it must be said, also did the unthinkable. He, it must be further said, took the first step and opened Himself to being vulnerable … “…

WHISPERING HOPE!

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--> 19th Sunday Year A
August 10, 2014


WHISPERING HOPE


One old, old Christmas song goes by the title “Whispering Hope.” I am sure everyone knows it by heart. It has to do basically with “rumors of angels,” giving hope to a world enslaved to sin, and its most disastrous effect – hopelessness.


I love nature. I have climbed dozens of mountains and forded countless rivers and have swum in many seas, both here (where I am) and abroad. Noisy and thunderous rivers there are that give a mighty roar offer a frightening message: “Don’t mess up with me if you are not prepared and ready to risk life and limb.” Three years ago, I, and some young priests I was giving a seminar to, discovered that first hand. Lucky me, I did not join them that time. Their boat capsized towards the end of their white water rafting adventure.


I love dogs. There are dogs that give such a row and rousing cacophony of snarls and growls and menacing barks. But experience tells me that for many dogs with such garrulo…

BEING FED AND FULL VERSUS BEING VACUOUS AND VAIN

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18th Sunday Year A August 3, 2014
BEING FED & FULL VERSUS BEING VACUOUS AND VAIN
Everyone loves a good, succulent and tasty meal. Everyone loves to eat, plain and simple … The pleasure attached to eating is a gift from the Creator, and is part of the legitimate natural pleasures that assure the continuance of life – our own, and of everybody else.
The same principle is true for every natural human activity connected with life and its preservation and transmission, and that includes … yes … sexual activity within the right bounds.
But let me get back to food … Food was a major part of what the Jewish exiles in Babylon longed for more than anything else. They missed their spices and home cooking. They missed the sights, sounds and smells of home while exiled in foreign territory. But food was not the only thing they missed. Food was not the only thing they hankered for. Food may have been important for them as it is for us here and now, but we certainly don’t think of ourselves thinkin…