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Spiritual Reflections

Experiences of God

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When I began studying Scripture years ago, I also began giving some scriptural confessional penances. But I'd always first inquire, "Do you have a Bible?"

If there was any hesitancy in the response, I'd relieve the tension by lightheartedly suggesting, "Maybe, as a birthday gift next year, you could buy yourself a Bible. But in the meantime ..."

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Heart disease

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As I consider today's story about Lazarus, I recall chauffeuring a visitor from our sister parish in El Salvador through Kansas City, Mo. The quiet, the order, the lack of people walking in the neighborhoods were all part of the cultural puzzle he was trying to piece together. But perhaps more than anything, he was astounded at the large homes we passed in a nice area of town.

Embracing humility

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Today, God’s word speaks to us through Sirach and the Lucan Jesus -- and the theme of this word is humility. “Humility” is derived from the Latin word humus or earth; the humble person has his or her feet on the ground. Levelheaded and truthful, those with humility are not the center of their own universe. Rather, they are centered on God and on others.

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Everything is sacred

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Most of us dread hearing the central words of today’s Hebrews pericope: “Do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines, he scourges every [child] he acknowledges. ... At times, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.”

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Real prophets

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Immediately after Paul’s oft-quoted 1 Corinthians 13 pericope on the importance of integrating love into every gift of the Spirit, he encourages his community, “Strive eagerly for the spiritual gifts, above all that you may prophesy” (14:1).

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In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

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