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Does God Harden Human Hearts?

July 24, 2017 3 Comments
Does God Harden Human Hearts?

One of the more difficult biblical themes to understand is that of God hardening the hearts and minds of certain people. The most memorable case is that of Pharaoh. Before sending Moses to him, God said that He would “harden Pharaoh’s heart” (Ex 4:21). There are other instances in which biblical texts speak of God […]

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On Trust and Foolishness as Seen in the Exodus

July 23, 2017 1 Comment
On Trust and Foolishness as Seen in the Exodus

In daily Masses this week we are reading largely from the Book of Exodus, specifically the familiar story of the parting of the Red Sea by God, working through Moses. Unfortunately, Tuesday’s Feast of the St. James, good though it is, interrupts the story and we miss the critical passage in which the water is […]

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Saint or Ain’t? A Homily for the 16th Sunday of the Year

July 22, 2017 10 Comments
Saint or Ain’t? A Homily for the 16th Sunday of the Year

We live in difficult times for the Church; from many sectors the very legitimate cry for reform goes up frequently. Beyond the sexual abuse scandal there are also deep concerns regarding the uncertain trumpet of Catholic preaching, lukewarm and nominal Catholics, an overall lack of self-discipline among Catholics, and a lack of disciplining by the […]

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Dreaming of the Day, as Demonstrated by an Old Commercial

July 21, 2017 4 Comments
Dreaming of the Day, as Demonstrated by an Old Commercial

The commercial below from 1949 seems astonishing to us today. We often look back on the days when just about everyone smoked and wonder how we could have been so foolish as to fill our lungs with smoke. That a commercial should actually feature doctors smoking and report that they prefer a particular brand of […]

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Greed: A Meditation on an Underreported Sin

July 20, 2017 10 Comments
Greed: A Meditation on an Underreported Sin

One of the more underreported sins is greed. It is easy to conclude that greed is something manifested by “that other person,” who has more than I do. Yes, that rich guy over there, the one who earns a dollar more per hour than I do; he’s greedy, but I’m not. But honestly, does any one […]

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Time to Decide – A Reflection on a Question from Elijah

July 19, 2017 18 Comments
Time to Decide – A Reflection on a Question from Elijah

In this week’s Office of Readings comes a crucial question from Elijah. It came at a time of widespread apostasy among the Jewish people. Elijah summoned a multitude to Mt. Carmel in the far north of Israel: Elijah appealed to all the people and said, “How long will you straddle the issue? If the Lord […]

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On the Necessity of Friendship and the Loss of It In Our Times

July 18, 2017 10 Comments
On the Necessity of Friendship and the Loss of It In Our Times

One of the many troublesome aspects of the modern age is the demise of friendship. While the terms “friend” and “friendship” might be bandied about rather easily today, they do not usually mean friendship in its deeper and original sense. Rather, we use the terms to refer to acquaintances rather than friends. True friendship has […]

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Why Would God Sow Seed He Knows Will Bear Little or No Fruit?

July 17, 2017 6 Comments
Why Would God Sow Seed He Knows Will Bear Little or No Fruit?

At Sunday Mass we heard the parable of the sower.  Afterward, someone asked me the following question: “Since the sower is the Son of Man, Jesus Himself, why would He, who knows everything ahead of time, sow seed He knew would not bear fruit?” First, let’s review the text: A sower went out to sow. […]

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