Mother Teresa once said: "I do own things, but they do not own me." In the Gospel passage today, Jesus proposes his manifesto for being his authentic disciples. Humanly speaking, the task assigned to the twelve sounds impossible: cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leper, and expel demons. What makes it more impossible is that they were told to go penniless and wallet-less, depending on God and the people they were serving.
Today’s readings should shock us! First we hear of Sarah doing something unjust and downright nasty. Then we hear Matthew's version of Jesus' encounter with the demonic on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
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I enjoyed the dialogue that Abraham and God had in Genesis, where God spells out some common rules, assuring Abraham that God would never abandon him. God even tells Abraham that his wife would conceive in old age! Abraham laughed. We were not told how God reacted, but Abraham certainly thought God had a sense of humor...
I had an opportunity to visit Newport, R.I. a city on the Atlantic coast, known for its summer residences for the rich and famous. The city has opulent mansions some of which are still inhabited while others are managed by the Preservation Society which collects tourist admissions and funds from other sources. Newport, Rhode Island once had 24 light houses that provided mariners a beacon of light warning them of danger.
In today’s reading from Corinthians, Saint Paul mentions ‘encouragement’ 10 times. Yesterday, I found myself to be quite encouraged by an eye-witness account of a Patrick Peyton Rosary Rally in the Philippines. This account was from decades ago, and is still very powerful today. Let me share a part of that witness with you…
In the United States, we have a tradition of visiting our deceased relatives and friends each May 31st, on which we celebrate Memorial Day. As we stand at their graves, there are those we knew well who touched our lives and those we know only by name and family stories. For each of them, we stand and say a prayer of thanksgiving to God and pray that they are joyfully in Heaven.