Langlois: Isolation has opened me to God’s gifts through the kindness of others

When I disclose that I teach in a junior high school, it’s not unusual for me to receive clucks of sympathy or kind words of appreciation; I suppose there are many people who don’t look back on their middle school years too fondly.  While it’s true that teenagers are not always angels, they do often offer a lot of wonderful surprises.

One of my classes especially warmed my heart.  In self-isolation due to close contact with a student who tested positive for Covid-19, I was teaching virtually from home with a slightly dry throat.

I ended up coughing a few times and was the recipient of some very sweet expressions of concern: “Sister, are you all right?”, and “You should take some tea with lemon and honey,” and “Make sure you rest after class is over.”

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Rolheiser: God cannot tell a lie

Lying is the most pernicious of evils, the most dangerous of sins, the worst of blasphemes, and the one sin that can be unforgivable. Perhaps we need to be reminded of that today, given our present culture where we are in danger of losing the very idea of reality and truth. Nothing is more dangerous.

There’s a line buried deep in scripture that is too seldom quoted. The Letter to the Hebrews states simply: It is impossible for God to lie. (Hebrews 6, 18) It could not be otherwise. God is Truth, so how could God lie?

For God to lie would be a denial of God’s very nature. Consequently, for us to lie is to go directly against God. Lying is the definition of irreverence and blasphemy. It is an affront to the nature of God.

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The Year of Mark: The Evangelist’s Literary Techniques

A sense of urgency

It is useful and edifying to read a Gospel continuously, from start to finish. It allows us to notice details that we miss by hearing it presented piecemeal at Sunday Mass. With the Gospel of Mark several things immediately catch our attention, one being the word “immediately.” There is a feverish quality to the events that Mark recounts. Merely glance through the opening chapter of the Gospel, beginning with verse nine:

Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened. (v. 10)

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