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God's word is never easy

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To understand why Jeremiah is so despondent in today's first reading, it's essential to appreciate the role of biblical prophets in the history of salvation.

Contrary to popular opinion, they normally don't predict the future, certainly not the coming of Jesus. Unfortunately this false notion of their ministry is often reinforced in our liturgies. The Second Advent Preface, in the old translation, stated, "(Jesus') future coming was proclaimed by all the prophets." In the revised translation, it still says, "For all the oracles of the prophets foretold him."

To be a rock of faith, we must let our thinking be changed

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Among the various Gospel readings that we have Sunday after Sunday, I think this particular lesson is one that every one of us probably feels we can easily be drawn into that situation, put ourselves there with the disciples as Jesus says, "Who do people say I am?" And I think it's easy to imagine how they must have kind of chatted with one another, "Well, what have you heard?

Our testimony of Jesus

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Scripture is never simple. Even before we begin to read, we must know who is speaking, and why, and to whom, and with what agenda. To make matters even harder, the events and teachings we read about took place millennia ago in a language, culture and context different from our own. Despite this, we return to the Scriptures again and again to understand what God wants of us. We need to know what God's love is asking of us here and now in our own culture, language and circumstances.

Three o'clock and all is well

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While it may not be completely evident at first glance, there is a remarkable similarity between the situation in which Elijah found himself (first reading) and the disciples' predicament in today's Gospel. Elijah had incurred the wrath of Jezebel, wife of Ahab, king of Israel, and as a result, the prophet had to flee into the desert. There, he began to despair. He sat under a broom tree and prayed for God to take his life.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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