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Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
ThursdaySeptember 29, 2016
"Why, oh God, do we suffer and witness such violence?", Habakuk asks. The answer is not entirely clear but if we examine the Scriptures, we are given several insights that become part of the means by which God responds to him, and to us, as we ask the same questions. First, God tells Habakuk to write down what he sees and trust that he who submits, who yields, who walks in faith will live (Hab 1:2-3; 2:2-4)! When the apostles question Jesus on forgiveness, Jesus says most simply, forgiveness is the natural path, the expected behavior, without question (Lk 17:5-10). Paul reminds us to draw on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, power, love, and self-control, not to be driven by our emotions, rather by reason and belief, with confidence in Christ and in his redeeming act (2 Tm 1:6-8). The question of the existence of violence is not directly answered, but we are given the tools to walk through what we witness and experience.
These tools are crucial to our journey and the healing of our hearts. If we allow our negative passions, such as anger, to rule our minds, we can be easily led into sin. Conversely when we live in obedience to the Father, we are able to forgive, to understand with compassion that those who commit acts of violence are broken and need healing as much as those who are the victims of that violence. Within the life of loving obedience, we gain power over our negative passions and the self-control that enables us to persevere on the walk of faith, to love those who might be otherwise seen as unloveable. The psalmist shows us a path of prayer, beginning with acknowledging the greatness of God, leading into actively listening and being aware of him who made us (Ps 95:1-9). Through prayer and a life of obedience, we are more and more transformed into the likeness of Christ. Thus, even in the face of the violence around us, we are able to give testimony to Jesus' act of redemption which conquers all violence and death itself!
"Beloved: I remind you, to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands." (2 Timothy 1:6)
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The CrucifixionView additional reflections...
September 29: Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael (Audio Homilies)October 1: Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus (Audio Homilies)October 2: Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (Audio Homilies)
ReflectionContemplation and the Healing of the Heart #2
First ReadingHabakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
PsalmPsalm 95:1-2, 6-67, 8-9
Second Reading2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
ReflectionContemplation and the Healing of the Heart #3
First Reading2 Kings 5:14-17
Second Reading2 Timothy 12:8-13
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