Sunday, June 1, 2008

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven"

Dear Friends,

We start our journey this week with Discussion Questions on the Sunday Readings for use by discussion groups, prayer groups, or for individual prayer.

In this Sunday's Readings, Jesus concludes his long Sermon on the Mount. Fr. John Foley says Jesus is arguing here for the entire, strong Sermon On The Mount, not just on what we hear this Sunday. From this famous Sermon came the Beatitudes, the new law of Christ, the Lord’s prayer, instructions on praying, attitudes about money, and the warnings about hypocrisy. And Fr. Alex McAllister SDS explains that we shouldn't be surprised that this Sunday's Readings comes with an allusion to the Last Day. He explains this in "When that day comes."

The parable of the wise man and the fool is what Jesus preaches this Sunday. We are presented with a choice: Will we follow Him and found our lives on His teachings? Or will we choose a weaker foundation for our lives? Fr. Clyde A. Bonar, Ph.D. preaches that "The Wise Man Builds His House On Rock." And we build this house by coming to Mass, with the bricks of prayers, and simple acts of kindness. While Demetrius R. Dumm, OSB says the house built on sand by the fool aptly illustrates the sad situation of a person who never really lives in accordance with the wisdom of God as revealed in Jesus. Fr. Philip Merdinger also illustrates this well in his podcast titled "There are before us two paths."

Fr. Romy Seleccion, MS reminds us that service brings out the heart of faith in our Christian life. And it is through our faith and genuine service that Jesus will allow us to enter the kingdom of heaven. While Fr. Joseph Pellegrino tells us that our very way of life is built on the rock of the Lord’s love. When we care about others, "we all belong to the Lord."

So, what's more important, Faith or Works? We also decided to bring you a Burning Question that loudly calls out this mission of service to all of us: "Do you invite the poor to your banquet?" Think about it. When was the last time you've done it? Check out this burning question, add your own stories and see what others are saying. Plus, we have another strongly related article to share with you all, "The Virtuous Life: How to practice humility."

LIVING IN TODAY'S WORLD. blogger Lenora Grimaud delivers an insightful reflection on relationships from a Christian point of view. She calls is "ATTRACTION: Ordered and Disordered." And Brent Kallmer's "The Glamour of Evil" delves into the secular choices women make in pursuit of the glamorous life and how hard it is to escape the intuition that, "God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion."

MORE CATHOLIC RENAISSANCE. We continue to purvey the good news that a Catholic Renaissance is indeed blooming today beginning with a report that "About 17% of World Is Catholic." Catholics still make up almost a fifth of the world's population, a ratio that has stayed steady with the start of the new millennium. Also, Scotland is reporting that it has now officially become more Roman Catholic than Protestant, with its congregations now outnumbering the Kirk for the first time since records began. From Korea, we are told that the number of Catholic priests and seminarians are increasing. While in Vietnam, Catholics are said to be more openly coming out in mass public movements - armed with crosses and crucifixes. Even famous actors like Martin Sheen are now openly admitting their Catholic faith. He did this in a recent magazine interview that we share with you here.

STORIES OF HOPE. Bo Sanchez is back this week with "Learn To Say No…So You Can Say A Bigger Yes To Life!" He explains how difficult people will teach you how to build your boundaries. And a dying writer's introspective on life's choices is the topic of this moving story, "If God granted me a little bit more of life.." Read it and share it with all of your friends.

CHRISTIAN MUSIC PLUS OUR INTERNET POPE. What’s in a lyric? Our article opines that it doesn’t have to be ‘Christian music’ to be Christian music. From James Taylor, to the Beatles, to U2 and Bruce Springsteen, check out the "Christian" in our pop songs and how they can also be pleasing to God. And finally see the latest internet project involving Pope Benedict's visit to World Youth Day.

Another exciting week in our Catholic world. Have a great and blessed coming new week.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

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