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That Which Endures

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Does anything last forever? As we approach the end of the liturgical year, the Mass readings prompt us to look ahead to that day when even time itself will end.  What will that be like? Our first reading from Daniel warns us that the days leading up to the end “shall be a time unsurpassed in distress” (Dan 12:1), while our gospel says, “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken” (Mk 13:24-25). Pretty scary stuff.

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God Wants Your Heart

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

This Sunday’s gospel reading has Jesus watching people donate money into the Temple treasury. He sees many rich people put in large sums, but when a poor widow comes by and puts in two small coins, worth just a few cents, Jesus declares that she has put in more than all the others combined. The rich gave from their surplus, but the widow gave from her poverty.

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Is Loving God Enough?

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

In this Sunday’s gospel (Mk 12:28b-34), Jesus reminds us that the greatest commandment of all is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” He is quoting from the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy, from a great prayer called the “Shema Yisrael,” from the first two words in Hebrew meaning “Hear, O Israel.” It is an emphatic reminder of the need to love God above all things. But to this first and greatest of commandments, Jesus adds a second: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 

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Jesus is Calling

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)

“Take courage. Get up. Jesus is calling you.” These are the words spoken to the blind man, Bartemaeus, by Jesus’ disciples in this Sunday’s gospel reading. “Jesus is calling.” We can hear those words as a call to mission or vocational discernment — Jesus is calling you. How will you answer his call? We can ask what is Jesus asking of me? But we can also ask what is Jesus offering me?

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To Serve and to Reign

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Jesus has a way of turning our expectations on their heads. He refuses to conform to the mold we make for him. The people of Israel expected a Messiah who would be a political savior, a warrior, a king. They expected a Messiah who would free them from their suffering.  They didn’t expect one who would suffer.  

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