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Everything the Lord does is great.  Today in the first reading from the Prophet Jeremiah, the Lord reveals his greatness in the form of his anger at the sins of the people.  When he looks at our sins, he does so with a great anger and sorrow.  His justice is great.  When he shows mercy, his mercy is great.  In the Gospel today, everything that occurs has a greatness about it.  The waves, the wind, the storm have a quality of greatness.  The fear of the apostles is great.  The exuberance of Peter climbing into the water is great.  His fear is great, his lack of faith is great, his rescue is great. 

Everything about life with Christ should have a greatness about it.  Our faith, our prayer, our liturgy, our sorrow for sin, our joy, our love, our hope, our witness to the world should all be marked by a depth, a profundity, and a greatness worthy of the One who has called us.

The Gospel reading is included on the Podcast itself.  This is the reading from Jeremiah.

God Bless.

The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.

For thus says the LORD: Incurable is your wound, grievous your bruise; There is none to plead your cause, no remedy for your running sore, no healing for you. All your lovers have forgotten you, they do not seek you. I struck you as an enemy would strike, punished you cruelly; Why cry out over your wound? your pain is without relief. Because of your great guilt, your numerous sins, I have done this to you.

Thus says the LORD: See! I will restore the tents of Jacob, his dwellings I will pity; City shall be rebuilt upon hill, and palace restored as it was. From them will resound songs of praise, the laughter of happy men. I will make them not few, but many; they will not be tiny, for I will glorify them. His sons shall be as of old, his assembly before me shall stand firm; I will punish all his oppressors. His leader shall be one of his own, and his rulers shall come from his kin. When I summon him, he shall approach me; how else should one take the deadly risk of approaching me? says the LORD. You shall be my people, and I will be your God.

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Jesus doesn't say if you believed in me and came to me then everything will be great.  He says that whoever comes to him and believes in him will have eternl life and will never hunger or thirst again.  We have to keep coming and keep beleiving.  Otherwise, we fall back into the old life of sin and corruption.  What's true for the Ephesians is just as true for us.

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When I woke up this morning, I was reminded that August 2nd is the day on which the Portiuncula Indulgence can be obtained.  What the heck is an indulgence?  Does the Church still have indulgences?  Why?  More importantly, how do I get the indulgence? 

As a parish priest, I've discovered that Indulgences actually get people motivated who might not otherwise be so motivated.  In other words, Indulgences accomplish exactly what the Church would hope they'd accomplish.  People turn away from sin, repent, pray, confess, receive the Eucharist, and start anew on their journey with Christ.  Indulgences encourage people who like to "know what's in it for me," to do something great in the spiritual life.

This podcast gives a brief--and, I hope somewhat theological accurate--teaching on indulgences.  There are all sorts of indulgences, but the one for August 2nd is kind of neat.  So, listen to this today!!

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A few years ago, a young soldier from Beverly was killed in Afghanastan and his Funeral Mass was offered at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Beverly.  This podcast is the homily given at his funeral.  I often think of that young man because every Sunday I greet his grandmother on the steps of the church as she arrives for Mass.  She is a remarkable woman with a great deal of faith and devotion.

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St. Paul is a model for today's Christian.  We are called to bear witness to Christ no matter what the cost.  Faith means that we find our sufficiency in Christ and not in the things that pass.

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