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Feast of Mary Magdalene

  Here in the United States, we’re gearing up for the mid-term elections. As the election gets closer, I seem to notice more “smear” advertisements.  If you haven’t heard of smear, it is an effort to damage an individual or a group’s reputation. The purpose is to call into question one’s credibility with unverified rumors, distortions, half-truths, or lies. Yet, smear is not exclusive to elections. Even Western Christianity engaged in such abhorrent practices…

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Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

The events described in our text for today is not for the faint of heart. I mean, let’s be honest, it’s a little gruesome, actually. It might seem more like a tale from a Stephen King novel than from the Bible. It raises a lot of questions for me. Why did Herod like to listen to John? What was the dance Herodias danced, that could sway her step-father so? Why did Herod follow through on his step-daughter’s request? How exactly was John’s head presented to Herod?  Was there decorative lettuce and a tomato cherry next to John’s head?…

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Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

A couple of months ago I watched the documentary “Minimalism” on Netflix. I’m a junky for documentaries, and this one seemed especially interesting. The description caught my eye with its rejection of American consumerism by emphasizing “less is more,” and of course it’s promise that it would bring me happiness. Who doesn’t want to be happier? In the documentary, the people interviewed had given up material possessions to one degree or another. On the extreme end were 2 men who had quit their high-paying jobs in corporate America to live a minimalist lifestyle. One of the men boasted of owning less than 300 items…

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