Poor banished children

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Jesus warned us that the door to heaven is very narrow.

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.

Luke 13:22-25

I could despair of ever being able to get there!

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Come to my aid!

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There are times when my faith falters.

R. Lord, come to my aid!
The LORD heard my cry.
He drew me out of the pit of destruction,
 out of the mud of the swamp;
he set my feet upon a crag;
 he made firm my steps.
R. Lord, come to my aid!

Psalm 40:14b, 40:3

Certainly there are times when I’m feeling tested by uncertainty and doubts. Perhaps not directly my faith in God, exactly, but more about how much I can trust Him to protect me through my trials.

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The Kingdom

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“Seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Do not be afraid any longer, little flock,
for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.”

Luke 12:31-32

Jesus is speaking here not just to the twelve apostles, but to all His followers. Which means all of us who are working to follow His teachings.

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Our Lord’s prayer

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I love today’s Gospel, because it puts the Lord’s Prayer in context.

He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”

Luke 11:2-4

So often I just fall into thinking of this prayer as a standalone thing. I want to talk to God, but I don’t know quite what to say, so I’ll rely on the formula I’ve been practicing since I was 3.

Or, in Mass, we want to pray together, so we rely on the form given to us by our liturgy.

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Listening to Him speak

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Reading Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed Him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to Him speak.

Luke 10:38-39

It always seemed to me that the Gospel stories have an absolute abundance of Marys! No doubt it was a popular name then as it is now.

Perhaps it’s because Mary can represent all of us, not just the mother of our Lord.

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God’s handiwork

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It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:8-10

This concept gives me pause.

If we are God’s handiwork, then that means that I myself am God’s work. And since God is perfect, then he intentionally created me as I am.

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Lead us not into temptation

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I’ve seen ongoing discussion about this concept of God leading us into temptation. Apparently the Italian Bishops are rewording this part of the Our Father to be something like “do not let us fall/be abandoned to temptation” and received approval from the Pope.

It does seem just a bit cruel to imply that a loving God might lead us into a path which could result in our demise.

Yet.

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Freedom

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This coming week, the US will celebrate its core belief in freedom. But the Christian view isn’t quite the same!

For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters.
But do not use this freedom
as an opportunity for the flesh;
rather, serve one another through love.

Gal 5:13-14
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