Spiritual Reflections

With and within us

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During that period of church history when believers found the interim between Jesus' advents stretching into months, then years, then decades, they knew they had to deal with the facts. The apostolic eyewitnesses to Jesus were already dead, or soon would be. The movement was growing beyond Judah and Samaria unto the "ends of the earth." Heresies and false teachers threatened the unity of the community and the integrity of the deposit of the faith.

Jesus lives!

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During this season of Easter, we celebrate the essence of our faith: Jesus lives! Without this truth, faith falls apart and we, as church, become a colossal joke. But we believe! Jesus lives! And it is our privilege and responsibility to witness to the truth of Resurrection.

Real change

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Our Easter Gospel readings may leave us surprisingly disappointed. As we go to the garden to celebrate the first day of the new creation, these narratives leave us disoriented in the ambiguous land of an open tomb.

Our path to follow

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Passion (Palm) Sunday is one of the all-out favorite celebrations of the church year. Following Christmas and Easter, Palm Sunday ranks with Ash Wednesday -- all days made special because people leave the celebration with a tangible reminder of the experience.

Be merciful as God is merciful

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When St. John* XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council almost 54 years ago, he set the tone for that great gathering with these words: "Now the Bride of Christ wishes to use the medicine of mercy rather than taking up the arms of security. ... The Catholic Church ... wants to show herself a loving mother to all; patient, kind, moved by compassion and goodness."

Welcome home

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Dutch theologian and Scripture scholar Henri Nouwen first encountered Rembrandt van Rijn's "The Return of the Prodigal Son" on a poster on the door of an office at the L'Arche community in France. That encounter prompted Nouwen to go to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, in order to see the original.

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In This Issue

December 2-15, 2016

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