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From the category archives: Word Made Flesh

Word Made Flesh

God's vineyard demands righteous tending

Ralph Himsl

September 26, 2011
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 5, 2011

The English language and no doubt many languages have an expression that covers the trap implied in the words, "I don't mean to criticize, but . . ." The use of these words seeks forgiveness of those listening for what follows. I find myself about to step into that trap.

Today's Gospel plunges us into a serious discussion between Jesus and some Temple bigwigs, the chief priests and elders.

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Pray with the heart of Jesus for renewal

John Connelly

 

September 19, 2011
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 25, 2011

In this week's Gospel Jesus says to the chief priests and elders of the people, "Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of heaven before you" (Matthew 21.31).

This was a shocking thing to say to the devout religious people of his day. Imagine Jesus telling these leaders that the people they considered the dregs of society were getting into the kingdom of heaven before them.

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God's point of view can be life changing

Kathleen Giffin

September 12, 2011
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 18, 2011

There are singular events in every person's life that serve as both watersheds and points of reference in the years that follow. One such event for me was the birth of my daughter Ange. On the day she was born she was diagnosed with both a congenital heart defect and Down Syndrome.

My response, in the succeeding days and weeks, exposed the best and the worst in me. The best was that I did everything that I could to make sure that she was loved, nurtured and received the best medical care and early intervention. The worst was what I thought and felt about this event that had "happened to me."

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Heartfelt forgiveness trumps vengeance

Maria Kozakiewicz

September 5, 2011
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 11, 2011

All of this Sunday's readings are about one of the most important aspects of human life, the healing of the soul through God's forgiveness and what follows as natural consequence of it — our forgiveness of others.

While we all, consciously or not, crave God's mercy and annihilation of our sins, it is not always easy to forgive the other.

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Acquire the wisdom of humility in daily life

Ralph Himsl

August 29, 2011
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 4, 2011

In an earlier column on these pages, it proved desirable to refer to the work of the Anglo-American poet and 1948 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature T.S. Eliot, specifically, his words in Four Quartets, "The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless."

Those words read well and lofty. While I often measure the thought they express and admire the insight, my own day to day encounter with humility and wisdom has a simple, homely form.

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Call out to Jesus, welcome him into your life

John Connelly

 

July 25, 2011
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 7, 2011

The one thing I have come to know about Jesus is that he is faithful. He is faithful in revealing to us love and compassion even when we are inconsistent, foolish and proud. Jesus is truly the Compassionate One. He sees our weakness and struggles and he comes to us to transform our broken lives by his power and love.

In this week's psalm we read the words, "The Lord is near to all who call upon him." What a simple and stunning truth! These are living words that should inspire us again and again. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2666) we read, "To pray 'Jesus' is to invoke him and call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies.

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Surrender and God's life moves through us

Kathleen Giffin

July 18, 2011
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time — July 24, 2011

Thirty years ago, having recently returned to my faith and the Church, my mother asked me to choose a favourite Scripture passage for her to stitch on a wall hanging for me. I don't remember the process I went through in choosing the reading, but the end result still hangs on my wall, "God makes all things work for good for those who love him."

That Scripture, over the intervening years, has anchored me in hope, courage and trust in a way that no other passage has done. I think I am not alone in my esteem for those words and that truth, for it is a Scripture that nourishes the faith of many people.

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Keep praying . . . even when God seems silent

 Lasha Morningstar

July 11, 2011
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 17,2011

Prayer comforts — sometimes. It can be an entreaty, murmured in despair, sometimes riddled with tears. Or a memorized string of words, said in monotone rote. Or a whispered "Thank you" to God. So many variations, the variety intoned according to the mood or occasion of the moment.

Often, prayer is not valued, thought to be the refuge of the weak. One cleric, describing a problem, laughed at a reception, asking, "Are we so desperate we've turned to prayer?"

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Nature is full of the love of God

Maria Kozakiewicz

July 4, 2011
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time - July 10, 2011

Is there anything more wonderful than spring in our part of the world? If we had "eyes that see and ears that hear," we would be in the state of perpetual thanksgiving to God for all the beauty around us - the lush blooming of lilacs, the swelling buds of roses, the scent of mayday flowers that carries through whole neighbourhoods, trees robed in all shades of green.

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Reading the Bible inspires, reveals treasures

Ralph Himsl

July 4, 2011
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time - July 3, 2011

Readers may remember when last fall, Pope Benedict encouraged us to read the Bible. As I remarked then on these pages, his urging came timely on for me and happily as I had not more than a month before started on that very mission.

Even so, it embarrassed me, because I should have done such reading long ago. I can almost hear a reproach - "And he calls himself a Catholic!"

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