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The Peace Pulpit

We must understand what causes injustice and have the courage to change the world

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We've heard that parable many times, and I'm sure many times we've interpreted it for ourselves or heard someone explain it as a parable about receiving gifts from God -- talents, abilities -- and how important it is to use them. Not to waste them, not to let them be dormant, but to be energetic in using what God has given to us, using all our talents for good purposes so that we will hear God say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Come enjoy the blessings of God's kingdom."

We must exercise our prophetic role, which can mean challenging our leaders

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And now, my brothers and sisters, this is just the beginning of Chapter 23, and as you can tell, it's a very harsh judgment on the part of Jesus against the religious leaders -- the scribes, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians -- all of them. And as you go through the chapter, it becomes even more critical and harsh.

Like Malala, we need to reach out and enter the kingdom of God

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You are aware, I'm sure, of the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded this past Friday. It was a joint award, two people got it, but most extraordinary, part of it, is the teenage girl from Pakistan -- 17 years old, the youngest Nobel laureate since the prize began to be given out in 1901. The paper wrote about her, and the article that I read, it started with, "Who is Malala [Yousafzai]?" And some of us may wonder that, but in this instance, it wasn't just trying to find out, out of curiosity, who Malala is.

Each of us is called to be a prophet and share Jesus' message

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Our first lesson today from the prophet Ezekiel reminds us of the role of prophecy within the Jewish community, but also a role that continued on among Christians. Jesus was a prophet; John the Baptist was a prophet. The disciples were called to be prophets. Most of us probably do not think of ourselves as prophets. Even the role of the prophet that Ezekiel speaks about -- comparing the prophet to a watchman for Israel -- that has no relevance for us with our super-sophisticated radar systems, our U-2 planes that oversee the Earth at all the time.

Power, violence, hatred are not the way of Christ; peace, forgiveness, love are

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You may remember over the past few weeks, two or three times, the Scripture readings have kind of led us into reflection about who Jesus really is -- that Jesus is son of man, son of Mary, fully human, like us in every way except sin. Totally human with all the emotions, all the need to develop and grow that every human being has. But also that Jesus is son of God raised up in power, the very maker of all the heavens and the earth. Jesus, son of Mary, son of God, profound mystery, and yet this is the very foundation of our whole faith life: Jesus, son of God and son of Mary.

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In This Issue

November 21-December 5, 2014

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