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Untangling Twisted Tongues

Sunday, May 19, 2013 — Day of Pentecost — Acts 2:1-21 / Genesis 11:1-9

Sometimes people within our own country can hardly understand one another. The Norwegian farmer from North Dakota and the southern belle from Georgia, middle aged suburban couple and the brothers from the hood all supposedly speak English. However, they speak it so differently that they can hardly understand one another. The barriers to communication are enormous. Our tongues seem tangled and twisted. Sometimes it seems that it is a miracle that we can understand another person at all.

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Payback Time

Sunday, May 12, 2013 — Easter 7 C — Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21

It’s the last few minutes of a lopsided game. The coach of the winning team decides to rest his starters and clear the bench. He does not want to run-up the score and give the opposing team an incentive for the next time they meet. He does not want to make the next game . . . payback time. Coaches often warn their players to be careful what they say to the media. They do not want some inflammatory quote ending up in the headlines, aggravating their opponents’ anger and turning an ordinary game into payback time.

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Seeing the Face of God

Sunday, May 5, 2013 — Easter 6 C — Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5

When our world is falling apart, when we are lost in a strange city, when we have lost a big game, been rejected by someone we thought we could trust or suddenly received the diagnosis we feared, we long to see the faces of the ones we love. The face of our parent, our friend, our spouse, bring the comfort we so desperately need. It is to that kind of situation that today’s Second Reading speaks. Written in secret code language to comfort suffering and persecuted Christians at the end of the first century, Revelation assures its readers that even though their end is near, even though they feel frightened and alone, their future is in God’s hands.

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Revealing the Secret

Sunday, April 28, 2013 — 5th Sunday of Easter C — Revelation 21:1-6

It is a familiar Hollywood formula. The hero is unjustly imprisoned. Depressed and dejected he is certain that he will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Until one day, someone reveals a secret to him. It changes his life. Another inmate tells him that the prisoners are planning an escape. Those strange clanking sounds on the water pipes in the middle of the night are secret signals. Those spoons tapping on the plates at dinner are not random noise but the Morse Code of a developing conspiracy. That door left ajar. The stones arranged in odd shapes in the recreation yard. They are no longer haphazard occurrences but . . . a secret code revealing the plot to escape.

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Do You Believe in Miracles?

Sunday, April 21, 2013 — Easter 4 C — Acts 9:36-43

Did you ever feel like your family needs a miracle? Do ever feel so desperate and doomed that you need someone or something to reverse the inevitable? I remember some years ago when I received a panicked phone call from one of my brothers frantically reporting that he had just rushed his wife to the hospital . . . with a brain tumor. He said to me with sense of desperation in his voice, “We need a miracle!”

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