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These reflections are a result of more than 40 years of ministry as a Roman Catholic priest. Most of these years I spent in the Diocese of Charlotte which covers Western North Carolina. Now I am retired, and live in Medellín, Colombia where I continue to serve as a priest in the Archdiocese of Medellín.

Saturday, 30 October 2021 00:00

Saturday of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary

Brothers and sisters:
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? 
Of course not!
For I too am a child of Israel, a descendant of Abraham,
of the tribe of Benjamin.
God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.
For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. (Rom 11:1-2a,11-12,25-29)

How hard it is for some folks to accept the clear teaching of Saint Paul about the Jewish people . . . and of the Second Vatican Council in NOSTRA AETATE (1965)

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Friday, 29 October 2021 00:00

Friday, Week XXX, Ordinary Time

Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 147)
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
 praise your God, O Zion.
 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; 
he has blessed your children within you.R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. He has granted peace in your borders; 
with the best of wheat he fills you. 
He sends forth his command to the earth;
 swiftly runs his word!
 R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Peaceful borders. Finest wheat in abundance. Gates strengthened. God’s word freely given. Children blessed, precious in God’s eyes. And so our hearts are moved to praise: glorify the Lord with me, together let us bless God’s name!

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Thursday, 28 October 2021 00:00

Saints Simon & Jude, apostles, October 28

Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.
When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,
Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot,
and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Lk 6:12-16)

Lots of folks have always felt sorry for Saint Jude (really Judas) for being stuck with the same name as the traitor, Judas. Perhaps that’s why he became the patron saint of hopeless causes. On top of that, they called Saint Simon “the Zealot”(really the Fanatic!). It’s great to know that despite our names, our race, our country of birth, the language we speak, or our family of origin, we are all called to be a “dwelling place of God in the Spirit,” and we are all sent out to proclaim the message of the Lord “through all the earth.”

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Wednesday, 27 October 2021 00:00

Wednesday, Week XXX, Ordinary Time

And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God. (Lk 13:22-30).

Those who want a smaller, purer church are bound to be disappointed with Jesus who invites just anyone to sit at table in the Kingdom of God.

I’m not from here... I’m not from there
I have neither past nor future.
and being happy is the color of my identity.
No Soy de Aquí, ni soy de allá--Facundo Cabral, 1970.

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Tuesday, 26 October 2021 00:00

Tuesday, Week XXX, Ordinary Time

Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.” (Lk 13:18-21)

When we remember that Israel’s image of itself was as tall as the cedars of Lebanon (the Roman Empire had an even taller image of itself!), we begin to see how radical Jesus is—the Kingdom of God is against nationalism in all its forms. Today's photo is of the cedars of Lebanon (certainly larger than a bush!).

Monday, 25 October 2021 00:00

Monday, Week XXX, Ordinary Time

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption,
through which we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. (Rom 8:12-17)

How important is the gift of the Spirit—for the Spirit is the proof that we are children of God! So we do not live in fear . . . rather, we live in the knowledge that we are truly children of God and heirs with Christ. For we too can say with confidence, “Abba, Father!”

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Sunday, 24 October 2021 00:00

XXX ORDINARY SUNDAY

Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 126)
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
    like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
    shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Joy is the proper response to the gift of salvation . . . and of course, as Bartimaeus discovered when he had an encounter with our great high priest and received his sight . . . not only joy, but he followed Christ on The Way.

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