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Scripture Reflections - August 7
19th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Wisdom 18:6-9
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

How exciting it was as children when we heard that our favorite uncle and aunt were coming for a visit. How did we know? Our mother told us about the letter she had received. In it, they had promised her that they would be here two weeks from Monday. Everything was more exciting during those weeks of waiting. Nothing was too hard. We had cleaned up our rooms and did extra polishing, making sure that everything was in order for their visit. On the day they were to arrive, we were ready! We couldn't wait for their car to pull into the driveway. And, of course, our uncle and aunt always had gifts for us.

Our readings this week are all about being prepared for the Lord's coming! The reading from Hebrews says it all: “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for – and evidence of things not seen.” If our faith is strong, we will endure anything rather than miss out on the day of the Lord's coming. To journey in faith and trust in God always leads to life, not death.

The first reading from wisdom recalls the night before the flight of the Hebrew people into the desert. Faith alone in what God had promised could give them courage to actually flee into the unknown. And, of course, God rewarded their courage and dramatically helped them to escape. 14 other models of faith are mentioned in the second reading.

To those who have faith, all things are possible. Faith helps us to rely on God's power not on our own. As the gospel points out, we are to live in this world as strangers who are on the way home. People who move from one place to another, get rid of all they can from their old house and focus on furnishing the new house. They joyfully give away what they once cherished. Jesus said: “…for where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."

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