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 A Word That Changed Lives
Faith must go beyond just seeing and touching with our physical senses.  Thomas is a reminder today that our journey of faith includes doubt and brokenness.  Thomas also reminds us that it was through his wounds, not in spite of them, that Jesus was identifiable to the disciples. It was through these same wounds that we receive our life. Our wounds – whatever they might be - do not set us apart from Jesus. Rather, they are signs of our union with him.  And his wounds assure us that we will never be defeated by all that assails us. 

 Living Holy Week Every Day...
Holy Week allows us to discover that despite appearances, God does listen to us and can reverse tragedy; that we can forgive those who do us harm and that we can entrust ourselves totally to the Father. We can affirm the victory of a different kind of king, who has overcome the world.
And we will see that suffering and evil have no power over him, or over us whom he has called to Himself.

 Change and Conflict
The Transfiguration story is not about a moment of spiritual illumination - but rather a story where we see Christ's attempt to rehabilitate and re-energize his disciples. Prior to this scene, the disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest in the kingdom; they tried to persuade Jesus NOT to go to Jerusalem - to suffer, die and rise.  They had their own idea of what Jesus was about and what he should be doing.  Yet the whole point of the story was not to go up the mountain and bask in God's glory, but to go back down the mountain and do what Jesus does.

 What Child is This?
It is this God-With-Us who stirs the profound longings in all of our hearts for true freedom, justice and peace, for ourselves, and for all of our brothers and sisters across the world. This is the real meaning of Christmas. We celebrate not just a past event, but a present reality. Christmas reminds us that we are called to continue the presence and the mission of Jesus in our world - to bring His love and forgiveness to our relationships - to bring His patience and courage to our sufferings and trials - to bring His compassion to the poor and the hungry and the homeless - to bring His total trust in God the Father to the dark moments when we feel abandoned or overwhelmed.

 Christmas Angels
If we don't take hold of our time and attitude, even the holy can pass us by.  We can miss the true message of what we confront in the stable at Bethlehem.  The spirit of Advent and Christmas is a mirror in which we see reflected the very best that life can become. Through our faith and courage, we can help each other to put away our fears, to move from darkness to light, to begin to hear again the words of life. We can reach out to support  those whose hands are feeble; whose knees are weak. Through our witness to God's love, so many who are crippled by doubt and despair might be able to walk again with courage and energy and new life.

 A Prayer for the Times
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, So that you may live deep within your heart.
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
To shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war.  So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them And to turn their pain into JOY.
And may God bless you WITH ENOUGH FOOLISHNESS... To believe that you can make a difference in this world, So that you can DO what others claim cannot be done. Amen
 - Benedictine Sr. Ruth Fox

 "As For You..."
Hypocrisy didn’t die out with the some of the Pharisees; it is always around.  And it can be present in a "pastoral" approach to religion, as well.  When Jesus turns to his disciples and says, “As for you....” he is looking at us as we profess our faith today.  The way we live and how we treat others will either support or undermine the message we are trying to communicate.  Actions really do speak louder than words.

 My Yoke is Easy...
Religion can sometimes be a terrible burden. There seems to be so much to know and, so little leisure time to learn.  For those who are burdened by the guilt that comes with violations of religious law (the “yoke”), Jesus offers his own “yoke.”  But his yoke is rest and welcome for the outsider. The very ones religion considers unworthy of God are the ones Jesus is reaching out to welcome, “Come to me all who labor and are burdened... Take my yoke...”

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