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Sunday Reflection for August 30, 2015
Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Sunday Summary

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8  Moses lays before the community the statutes and decrees that will set them apart.
Psalm 15:2-3, 3-4, 4-5  The one who lives without blame and for justice will stand in God’s presence.
James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27  Pure religion is marked by defense of the poor and avoidance of worldly ways.
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23  Jesus leapfrogs a discussion on ritual observances to propose a greater standard.

22nd Sunday
in Ordinary Time

PDF - AUGUST -  Text
Exploring the Word
Blessed are the pure of heart
Don’t worry, there’s no mistake: This is not the Beatitudes weekend! But in another way it is. This is the weekend Jesus unpacks one of the ignored beatitudes, the one about purity of heart. Most of us go on autopilot at the mention of purity, presume it’s about sexual sin, custody of the eyes, modest dress, not watching movies lower than PG-13. Those things do figure in the moral life and are not passé considerations. That’s not what Jesus means when he talks about the vital stewardship of our hearts, however. To appreciate that, let's start ...
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Weekday Homily Reflection for August 29, 2015
Truth or silence?

What kind of person sees the brokenness of human relationships and refuses to remain silent confronted by the alienation of sin? Someone, perhaps, who is “holy and upright” and who speaks truth that is rooted in God. Thus it was with John the Baptist, who spoke truth to power even though it cost him his life. Refusing the path of silence, the preacher and prophet John prepared the way for the one who is the “truth and the light.” We who accept God’s call to follow are equally “obliged to honor and bear witness to truth,” as the Catechism of the Catholic Church says. Speak truth with kindness throughout this day.

Today's readings:1 Thessalonians 4:9-11 (430); Mark 6:17-29 (634). 
It is not right for you to live with your brother’s wife.”

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World news in light of the Good News
for Sunday, August 30, 2015

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Preaching the News
» When the punishment is a crime – This Sunday’s readings focus on questions of justice and its wise application. There is no more timely theme for the U.S. justice system, which has the largest level of incarceration . . . More...
» Justice is served ethically – The psalmist offers sound advice on how to live blamelessly before the Lord, doing no harm to others. Sadly, not all follow this advice. This week a judge in Colorado sentenced movie theater gunman James Holmes to 12 life sentences and the maximum . . . More...
» Martin Luther now welcome in Rome – Authentic religion is marked by avoidance of worldly ways, says Alice Camille in Exploring the Word for this Sunday. Martin Luther, the church reformer excommunicated nearly 500 years ago, in retrospect had legitimate grievances about the worldly ways of the church of his age. With time, reconciliation has begun. The Vatican has given its backing . . . More...
» Muslim woman to lead pro-Israel organization – Jesus upends expectations and criticizes those who focus on outward signs of religiosity, who “disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” Defying expectations and traditions, a young Muslim woman has been elected . . . More...
Quote of the Week

“The degree of civilization in a society can by judged by entering its prisons.”

—Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Fact of the Week

By some estimates, the coffee beans required to create a typical cup of coffee need 140 liters of water to grow.

Pastoral Trends
Participation is more than a laughing matter
A rabbi, minister, and a priest went into bar . . . we know a joke is going to follow, don’t we? We even get ready to laugh a little and reset our tension and stress a bit. That is what both good ecumenism and interfaith dialogue are also about. It can only happen when we know and are comfortable in our identity as Catholics . . .  Read more...