Again Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
Loving Father, on this weekend, when we rest from our usual labors, we pray for all who shoulder the tasks of human labor— in the marketplace, in factories and offices, in the professions, and in family living.
We thank you, Lord, for the gift and opportunity of work; may our efforts always be pure of heart, for the good of others and the glory of your name.
We lift up to you all who long for just employment and those who work to defend the rights and needs of workers everywhere.
May those of us who are now retired always remember the valuable contribution we make to our Church and our world by our prayers and deeds of charity.
May our working and our resting give you praise until the day we share together in eternal rest with all our departed in your kingdom as you live and reign Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
What is absent from all this is any concept of life in Christ as relationship. All you get are rules, written on a card and magnetized to the refrigerator. Break rules on Card A and the Divine Administrator puts in the record that you are slated for Hell. Break rules on Card B and the Divine Administrator marks down the infraction and gives you a warning. Earn enough infractions and the Sin Monitor Task Force transfers your name to the “Go to Hell” file. However, if you do the theological equivalent of filling out a waiver by going to Confession, the Divine Administrator will, for inscrutable reasons, round file your sin folder and let you start over.
From Mark Shea’s “We Are Saved by Christ, Not By Rules” in the National Catholic Register. To read Shea’s full article click here.
Join us in an Interfaith Candlelight Vigil to Promote Campaign Nonviolence.
1 hour = the spread of peace in our community.
7pm September 22nd – Peace Pole on Beverly Common (across from the main entrance of the public library; bring your own chair)
Campaign Nonviolence Week of Action II – September 20-27, 2015 (www.pacebene.org)
Practice nonviolence toward: ourselves, all others, and a world longing for peace, economic justice, environmental healing, and effective nonviolent solutions.
Explore, study and unleash the principles and methods of nonviolence in our lives and our community and our societies.
Connect the dots and join forces in the long-term struggle to abolish war, end poverty, reverse the climate crisis and take a stand against all violence including the structural violence of racism, sexism, homophobia, economic inequality and all forms of oppression.
Discover and deepen the power of nonviolence, including the vision and tools for nonviolent change that Mohandas Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many other people and moments have activated for social and personal transformation.
Pax Christi – Beverly MA, email@example.com, 978-524-0029.
Dearest brothers and sisters:
All good giving and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.
He willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.
Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
From James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27
Today is the conclusion of the readings from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of St John, with the discourse on the “Bread of Life,” proclaimed by Jesus on the day after the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. At the end of that discourse, the great enthusiasm of the day before faded, because Jesus had said He was the Bread come down from heaven, and that He would give His Flesh as food and His Blood as drink, clearly alluding to the sacrifice of His very life. These words provoked disappointment in the people, who considered them unworthy of the Messiah, not “winning.” That’s how some saw Jesus: as a Messiah who ought to speak and act in such a way that His mission would be successful, immediately! But they erred precisely in this: in manner of understanding the mission of the Messiah! Even the disciples failed to accept that language, that disturbing language of the Master. And today’s passage refers to their discomfort: “This saying is hard,” they said, “Who can accept it?” (John 6:60).
To read Pope Francis’ complete talk please click here.