failure to plan is planning to fail

Eliezer ben Hurcanus was a first and second century rabbi who was known to tell his disciples “Repent one day before your death.” And when asked, “How will we know when that day is?” he would reply, “All the more reason to repent today, lest you die tomorrow.”

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is the only way up

At times it seems nearly impossible to discern whether we are going up, down, or sideways. We look for guidance but wonder whom to believe, whom to trust. Much of our misgivings rests in the abundance of hypocrisy that we encounter from our leaders, secular and religious.

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by our deeds he will know us

What more, can be said of love? Can but one exist who has no passing thought of it? Mere words fail, for all the ink and paper consumed have yet to fully measure it. What verb toils with such resolve; what noun evokes such passion; what word but love means too much and too little?

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the coin of the realm

Have you ever wondered why we do certain things a certain way? So much of what we do in life, it seems to me, we do without ever asking why. We do them … out of habit or just because: just because that’s the way we have always done them, or just because that was what we were taught to do, or well, just because. We never stop to question why. Or have you ever considered just how much of something is enough? At what point does a thing become too much? And when it becomes too much, what, if anything, should we do about it? Or have you ever had someone respond to a question with a question? Frustrating, isn’t it? And yet, we often hear Jesus respond to those who sought to test him with a question, just as he does today.

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Rich food and choice wines

Today’s readings invite us to great feasts. In the first reading, from Isaiah, we hear, “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.” In the Gospel we hear Jesus liken the kingdom of heaven to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He reminds those invited, “I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”

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We are stewards of his vineyard

I am once again reminded of a sentiment penned by Khalil Gibran: “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.” I must confess, when I read those words I always think of God and how he loves us so; he loves us so much that he is willing to let us go, in the hope we will return to him.

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words are not enough

This parable for most of us, has a familiar ring to it. At some point in our lives, we can usually recall saying one thing and doing another. Most, I imagine, have been like the son who said “yes” but then refused to act upon their assent; fewer are like the one who said “no” but then acted to the contrary.

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The Kingdom is one of Justice

Today’s Gospel tugs at our sense of “fair play.” We are all familiar with the concept of fairness. From an early age, we learn what “fairness” is all about. Soon after the words “No!” and “Mine!” we all learn that marvelous phrase, “It’s not fair!” As parents, we have all heard it from our children, I heard it frequently from my own daughters even though they knew what I would say to them in response, “Life’s not fair, so deal with it.

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Forgiveness entails sacrifice

Alexander Pope, in his poem An Essay on Criticism wrote, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” With these few words, Pope managed to convey the essential message of the readings today.

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Of whom do we love?

There  is something to be said for neighbors. Some we know well and some we know not at all. Some we like and some…well, not so much. Some we trust and some we attempt to avoid like a plague. Some are always willing and eager to help when you are in need and others quickly find themselves too busy to lend a hand. Some will do for you before you ask of them.

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