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Sunday Scripture Readings for Aug. 31, 2014 Print E-mail
Written by Jean Denton   
Scripture Readings
Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014
Twenty-second Sunday
in Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 20:7-9
Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9
Romans 12:1-2
Matthew 16:21-27

When my younger son was in grade school, he had a lazy approach to his homework assignments. Making sentences using his spelling words was a case in point.

Say the week's list had the words "dancer," "think," and "summer." His sentences would be: "She is a dancer." "I can think." "It is summer."

This happened every week, and every week exasperated, I'd admonish him, "Your sentences have to show you know what the word means."

"It's too hard," he would whine. "It'll take too long."

Then I'd pull out the adage, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right."

This didn't instantly stop the whining, but the idea eventually got through to him. It's a great adage about putting necessary effort into worthwhile tasks in order to achieve something of value.

The important matter at hand in this weekend's Scriptures -- eternal life with God -- involves some worthwhile tasks. A certain amount of effort, including struggle and sacrifice, will be necessary.

In the Gospel, Peter, like a schoolboy disinclined toward anything too hard, balks at the idea that his beloved friend should have to suffer.

In response, Jesus seems somewhat annoyed by Peter's desire for an easier way. He suggests that his task is too important not to be worth doing right: "You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

Peter's initial attitude reminds us of our own tendency to find an easy way.

The way to salvation isn't easy. It involves conscientious effort. In the first reading, Jeremiah points out that following God's path resulted in his being mocked, derided, and reproached, and he whines that he didn't want the aggravation.

But then he admits that what he is striving for is too important to ignore. "It becomes like fire burning in my heart. . . . I grow weary holding it in," he says.

It is worth doing, and he is compelled to do it right.

God's way is not easy, but it is more than worth our human effort. Jesus already has given all that is necessary for us to live with him in eternity, and he will strengthen us for our part -- following his example.


This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

 

 
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Scripture readings from the United States Conference
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Pope's Prayer Intentions: August Print E-mail
August General Intention

Refugees. That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.

August Mission Intention
Oceania. That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.
 
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The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2014.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Wednesday, January 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 29
Ascension Thursday
Friday, August 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Saturday, November 1
All Saints (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Monday, December 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
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Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.

Amen.

 
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