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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foundation or stumbling block?

Sometimes, we simply fail to see the forest for the tree. Too often we see only ourselves, thinking only of our needs, our desires, our wants. We look inside ourselves for the answers and when the answers elude us, we blame others, we blame God, but never once do we find fault within our own self.

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behind the wheel

There are some things that will never change. Parents know this to be true, especially when “that” day arrives. You know of course to what I am speaking, that magical, marvelous, wonderful, stupendous, awesome day (according to your child;) that utterly appalling, frightening, unbelievable, anxious, not ready to admit sixteenth birthday. The angst you experience is not so much from the realization that time has flown so fast your mind has not thought past that day when you became a parent. No, that sudden sinking feeling comes when your wee one, now suddenly grown so tall, asks to borrow the car!

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but then I found myself

Some years ago, during a weekend visit to the Lake Tahoe area, my wife went for a walk, an “into the woods” hike. As the afternoon wore on and she did not return, I began to be concerned; not overly much, as she often would take such treks to unwind and rid herself of the daily stresses that inevitably tend to overwhelm.

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Sinking like a stone

What is faith? Faith isn’t something you ever achieve. It is not something that you ever nail down as a fait accompli. Faith works this way: Some days you walk on water and other days you sink like a stone. Faith invariably gives way to doubt before it again recovers its confidence, then it loses it again.

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Ineffable lightness of being

Our imaginations are capable of and do, quite frequently, conjure up improbable visions, impossible realities, and as often as not are accompanied by inexpressible emotions. In the dark of night, we sleep—and we dream; fantasies are born on wisps, incandescent tendrils which quickly pass, slip away, and fast forgotten. Comes the dawn and dreams are but a distant memory, fading with the rising and the glory of the light.

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The wisdom to know the difference

The Kingdom of God. Jesus speaks of it so often and yet, we cannot resist asking: “what and where is the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of heaven?” Not surprisingly, there are in all 122 occurrences of these words in the New Testament, 99 in the three Synoptic Gospels and 90 on the lips of Jesus himself. Matthew refers to the “Kingdom of heaven” following the Jewish linguistic rule of never using the Name of God out of reverence for the greatness of his Holy Name. Mark and Luke use “Kingdom of God.”1 In either case, the meaning is the same.

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