The Peace Pulpit

To heal, we must reach out in love and forgiveness


We are all very much aware, of course, that today is the 10th anniversary of the terrible act of terrorism perpetrated against us 10 years ago. Isn't it very challenging to try to hear what God is speaking to us today?

In fact, I think we might be most surprised by the passage from the Book of Sirach because don't we often think of the Old Testament as a testament where God is revealed as being a very harsh God almost, a warrior God. He acts against enemies and allows the Chosen People to do that.

Love fulfills the whole law


In order to draw deeply from the Scriptures today, especially the Gospel, it's important for us to connect it with what we've heard in the Gospel on the last couple of Sundays, and I think you'll remember very readily a couple of Sundays ago when Jesus challenged his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" They were fumbling around until Peter stepped up and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Jesus praises him.

Two extraordinary witnesses, real disciples of Jesus


I’m sure we remember last Sunday’s gospel because it was so dramatic, where Jesus had asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” and they were fumbling around trying to come up with an answer. They said, well, one of the prophets, maybe Jeremiah, Elijah. Then Peter steps up and says, “You are the Christ, the son of the Living God.” Jesus was very excited about that, that Peter recognized who he was, but then at the end of the gospel, Jesus says something quite strange for the disciples -- and for all of us -- because he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Keeping your focus on Jesus


In order to listen deeply and carefully to the lesson of this Liturgy of the Word, it's important for us to remind ourselves of the context in which these three lessons are provided for us today.

It goes back a number of Sundays where Jesus first began his public life and proclaimed the Good News. "The Reign of God is at hand. Change your lives. Something new and important is going to happen."

The reign of God is a treasure


As we begin to listen carefully to our Scriptures of today, it’s important to remind ourselves what we mean by this Reign of God. Sometimes it’s called the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven, but the Reign of God is really the best terminology because when you say Kingdom of God or Kingdom or Heaven, you think of a place. That isn’t what Jesus is talking about. When He began His public life, He said, “The Reign of God is at hand. Change your lives.” It’s something that we can enter into, a relationship, if we change our lives. One Scripture commentator has described the Reign of God as the dynamic rule of God’s saving or healing love, that which makes us whole and all that we can be. That’s the Reign of God.


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In This Issue

June 16-29, 2017