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The Peace Pulpit

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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The scripture readings today are very inspiring and also extraordinarily challenging.


When we look at the gospel lesson first of all, it's amazing, isn't it, the courage and the faith and the love of this woman? A Canaanite -- not only a Gentile, not a Jew, but also from the very people who were the first enemies of the Jewish people when they were freed from slavery in Egypt and came into the promised land. This is a Canaanite. They'd been hostile to the Jews for centuries, yet she has the courage to come forward, to cry after Jesus. This is a woman in a very patriarchal society. According to the custom, she should not have been in the street by herself. She should not approach a man as she did. But her love for her daughter was so strong and she wanted so much to get what was good for her daughter, that she had the courage to push beyond the boundaries that were supposed to hold her back.

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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As I mentioned in introducing the gospel, this is the third Sunday that we have been listening to parables by Jesus, and all of them, seven in total, are connected with the kingdom of heaven. Jesus wants us to understand what he means by the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps you reviewed this last week or the week before, but it's important to do it once more, to review what Jesus meant when he said "The kingdom of heaven."

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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As I mentioned in introducing the Gospel, Jesus is instructing us, and has instructed us last week and now today and next week, through parables. He's trying to teach us about what is really the meaning of his mission - why he came into the world, why he gathered a community of disciples, and then at the end of his life, sent them out to continue his work. It's all about the reign of God. That's why Jesus came.

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

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Editor’s Note: Bishop Gumbleton preached this homily at Ss. Peter & Paul Church in Detroit, Michigan at the celebration of the 160th anniversary of the parish. It is a Jesuit parish in downtown Detroit.

First of all, I express profound thanks to Fr. [Carl] Bonk [S.J.] and to all of you, who are the community of this parish at Ss. Peter & Paul, for the opportunity to be the main celebrant today on this very important occasion when you celebrate and remember 160 years of the presence of this parish community here in the city of Detroit. It truly is a privilege to be among you and to experience your faith and your joy as this celebration takes place.

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

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I thought that we could best understand and reflect on today's scriptures if I shared with you an article that I read just a day or so ago in the Michigan Catholic of this week. The headline of the article is "Professor Stunned by Refusal of Communion." The article goes on to speak about the "Pepperdine law professor Douglas Kmiec, a constitutional lawyer who often writes on religion in the public square."


But this time when he had given a speech in which according to the article, he told how he supported one of the Presidential candidates, Obama, he said, because of his "remarkable 'love thy neighbor' style of campaigning, his expressed desire to transcend partisan divide, and specifically, his appreciation for faith."

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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When we begin now to reflect on these scripture lessons this morning, we have to adjust our thinking somewhat in order to be aware of why the Pharisees, the religious leaders, were so shocked and upset because Jesus was eating, having a meal, in the house of Matthew, a tax collector. The Pharisees, these religious leaders, described Matthew, a tax collector, a public sinner and he's eating with other sinners.

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April 11-24, 2014

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