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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.

Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died]. (Jn 11:19-27)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/072922.cfm
The home at Bethany was dear to the heart of Jesus. Martha, Mary and Lazarus were the Lord’s closest friends. And so the sisters send word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is ill.” Perhaps, it is Lazarus who is the Beloved Disciple. The Good News is that we are all invited into friendship with Jesus, to be the Beloved Disciple. The home at Bethany is our home.

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Thursday, 28 July 2022 00:00

Thursday, Week XVII, Ordinary Time

Then the word of the LORD came to me: Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done? says the LORD. Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel. (Jer 18:1-6)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/072822.cfm
The Potter’s House is a beautiful image of God’s patient, merciful love, forming and re-forming. So we are the clay in God’s hands.

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Wednesday, 27 July 2022 00:00

Wednesday, Week XVII, Ordinary Time

Jesus said to his disciples: Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it." (Mt 13:44-46)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/072722.cfm
The Pearl of Great Price is a very short parable that is exceedingly difficult to understand. If the merchant sells “all that he has” in order to buy that valuable pearl . . . where will he live or how will he eat? In his desire to possess the pearl the merchant loses all reason. And as Jeremiah, the prophet, says to the Lord: “You have indeed become for me a treacherous brook.”

Responsorial Psalm        (Ps 79)
R.  For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
through all generations we will declare your praise.

R.  For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/072622.cfm
The World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly is always close to the feast of the parents of the Virgin Mary. Although their names come to us only from early Christian legends, the truth is that the Lord did have grandparents. And that’s a comforting thought. And so, we give thanks and continue to declare God’s praise through all generations.

Monday, 25 July 2022 00:00

Saint James, apostle, July 25

Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mt 20:20-28)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/072522.cfm
To serve and not be served is the hallmark of Christian ministry according to Jesus. Maybe one day as a church we will learn the lesson Jesus teaches. As the song says, Poder es servir, porque Dios es Amor (Power is to serve, because God is Love.)

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Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.” (Lk 11:1-13)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/072422.cfm
Lord, teach us to pray . . . Pope Francis in his message for the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly says: “We are called to be artisans of the revolution of tenderness in our world! Let us do so by learning to make ever more frequent and better use of the most valuable instrument at our disposal and, indeed, the one best suited to our age: prayer. “Let us too become, as it were, poets of prayer.” Pope Francis encourages us to be "poets of prayer" and to find our own words as well as to take up again the words of Scripture. I think of my grandmother and all the wonderful seniors who have been a part of my life and who have taught me to find my own words and to pray.

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Responsorial Psalm       (Ps 84)
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young—Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my king and my God!

R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/072322.cfm
As the prophet Jeremiah reminds us, if we want to be the dwelling place of God, then we must thoroughly reform our ways and our deeds: to act with justice, to not oppress aliens nor widows and orphans, and to not shed innocent blood. We remember today the Virgin Mary, who sings the praises of God of justice who feeds the hungry and raises up the lowly.

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