A while back, I went for a retreat with the Sisters of Bethlehem in Livingston Manor in Upper New York state. These sisters are cloistered, living in hermitages. The hermitage is a place where these sisters live in seclusion from the world for religious reasons. They have hardly any interaction with the outside world … but I would say they are the center of the world through the power of prayer!
Shakespeare’s Hamlet says, "the time is out of joint" (Act I, scene 5) expressing his idea that his world is not sane and that things are not as they should be. And he continues with “I was born to set it right!"
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There’s a great new film out called Fatima that is a beautiful retelling of the events of the apparitions in Portugal in 1917. It is very realistic and brings alive the historical and social context in which Our Lady appeared to the three shepherd children.
Jesus was saying some things that were so amazing, the group was left speechless. Maybe they couldn’t believe they were hearing words that would have been so blasphemous to their ears!
Today, influenced by Christ’s love and mercy, we would not use such blunt language, especially in a worship place. Sadly, at that time, that was the only kind of language that could get the attention of the Israelites.
Did you notice as the Gospel was read today that the word ‘life’ appeared four times? That number struck me as I was preparing for today’s Mass. Four times! Why four times? It doesn’t have a different meaning each time. The point is that we can use our lives differently.