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Scripture Reflection

  • Called to blind trust in God’s power and love

    The Book of Job is about the problem of suffering: How can the goodness and power of God be reconciled with the reality of suffering in the world? Where is God in my suffering? How can God expect me to be a disciple and a believer with such anguish in my heart, with such pain in my life?
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  • The veiled language of parables

    In the Disney film, “Mary Poppins,” one of the more aggravating qualities of the magical nanny, to Mr. George Banks, is that he cannot understand her eccentric ways that seem to energize his children as he never could.
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  • Preparing to enter God’s presence at Mass

    Mark’s Gospel is terribly brief. In fact, it is often tagged “The Passion with an Introduction.” Given that fact, why would the inspired writer take time to talk about how the Apostles prepared for the first Mass?
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  • Celebrating the birthday of God’s new presence

    In today’s Gospel reading, we are presented with a picture of a city deeply divided by hatred and fear.
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  • Called to witness, to the ends of the earth

    Disheartened, the abbot of a renowned monastery consults with a holy man living in the mountains about steeply declining numbers of his monks. He wonders what sin might have led to this situation.
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  • What it means to truly love

    Even though it came out a while ago, I recently found myself watching the very popular movie called “The Hunger Games.”
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  • Grafted to the true vine

    All the religious traditions of history except the Abrahamic traditions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) have maintained that the heart of reality is mankind’s quest for the divine, for God. What sets the Abrahamic traditions apart from the others is that they insist that things work the other way round, namely, that the heart of things is God’s quest for us.
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  • The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep

    The figure of the Good Shepherd has captivated the Christian imagination from the earliest days of the church.
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  • Christ’s revolutionary message

    Often I am stuck thinking that in order to meet God I must set out on the road. Instead, I am shocked to find he’s coming to meet me. But like Aslan, he is not a tame lion. He often walks through walls, minds and hearts to reach me where I am.
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  • Pay it forward

    “Pay It Forward,” a movie which came out several years ago, tells the story of a seventh grader who receives the unusual assignment to go out and change the world.
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  • Walking with hope toward the new risen life

    A few years ago, there was a popular card that carried the greeting, “May you spend the rest of your life walking away from empty tombs.” At first glance, it may seem like an odd message, but on closer examination, we see that it is really a message of powerful significance.
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  • Entering the mystery of Jesus’ suffering and death

    In his influential book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Viktor Frankl speaks about an older doctor who approached him on account of his depression.
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  • God’s dreams for us far exceed our own

    The West has not lost religion; it has just changed religions, progressively eschewing Christianity as it embraces what University of Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith has termed Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.
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  • The cleansing of the temple

    St. Augustine tells us that there are in the world two fundamental and opposing ways of living our lives and ordering our loves, two “cities”: “Two loves formed two cities: the love of self, reaching even to contempt of God, an earthly city; and the love of God, reaching to contempt of self, a heavenly one.”
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  • A quick, staggering glimpse of heaven

    As I reread Mark’s account of the Transfiguration, I’m reminded of the multiple times God reveals himself so intimately to select individuals in Scripture.
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  • The gift of touch

    We are fascinated with our skin. We’ll do anything to enhance its appearance. We use makeup to cover its imperfections.
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  • Follow the Lord’s lead

    An old monk had prayed all his life for a vision from God. Finally God appeared to him in his cell.
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  • Home to heaven

    In his story “The Great Divorce” 20th-century English scholar and Christian apologist C. S. Lewis vividly describes the struggle we face in accepting the invitation into heaven.
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  • With the Apostles on Galilee’s shore

    It is a beautiful nuance among the fourfold Gospel of Jesus Christ that Matthew, Mark, and Luke, after the Lord’s Baptism, relate only events from the final year of Our Lord’s earthly life, whereas John relates many events and teachings between the Baptism of the Lord and the imprisonment of John the baptist related here.
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  • Seeing the one who rescues us from ourselves

    At first blush this scenario seems insignificant. Fellow Hebrews are beginning to notice Jesus as a rabbi who teaches with authority. Before we quickly move on we might think: Jesus is beginning to establish his posse of followers, but that’s it.
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Catholic San Francisco
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