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"Love your neighbor as yourself."

God taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Do we really understand what this entails?

Let's start with today's first reading, from Leviticus, chapter 19 (verses 1-2, 11-18). Here we find the injunction…

The LORD said to Moses,
"Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

"We know what's best for you..."

A post of mine from three years ago reminded me of the insidious nature of "progressive" political strategy, in particular, "nudge" theory. (See Nudge theory.) In particular, this theory (advocated by Thaler and Sunstein in "Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness") was the foundation of President Obama's approach to "transforming America" in general, and the nation's healthcare system in particular.

IHS

I was raised as a Roman Catholic from birth. I remember seeing these letters on the altar in church. Much later in life, years after I returned to the Church, I assumed that they stood for the Latin "in hoc signo" which means "in this sign." "In hoc signo vinces." was a revelation to the Roman Emperor Constantine in his conflict with his principal rival, Licinius, for the throne. A natural conclusion, but an incorrect one.

When it must get there overnight...

A long time ago, in a land far, far away, Santa Claus was just starting his Christmas ministry. He was looking for animals that could fly, and pull his sleigh. Such animals are rare, indeed, because they have magical powers. Some animals, like birds, of course, fly under natural power, but unless you go back to primordial times, you won't find birds big enough to pull a sleigh loaded with toys.

"Who are you?" "Why do you baptize?"

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In today's Gospel reading [John 1:6-8,19-2], priests [in the line of Aaron] and Levites [i.e., of the tribe of animal sacrifice ministers in the temple] come to John the Baptist [who is preaching a baptism of repentance in the River Jordan] to ask him "who" questions. He was not sent by them, but by God, so their "who" questions are aimed at how he is connected with scriptural prophesy. Each "who" question asks whether he is someone identified in that prophesy as one who is to come.

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