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Sunday Soundbites
Sunday Soundbites is a weekly, 90-second radio homily based on the Sunday readings, written and read by Franciscan Father Greg Friedman. Sunday Soundbites is also heard on Catholic radio stations around the country.

Program for Sunday, August 30, 2015
(Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time)





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Hello, I'm Franciscan Father Greg Friedman, with the Sunday Soundbite for the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Many years ago I took part in a group dynamics exercise. We were told to stand in a circle, join hands, and prevent Joe--outside the group--from breaking into the circle. We did that task well. So well that when Mary--also outside the circle--tried to break in, we kept her out too.

The group leader processed the experience for us, reminding us that he’d told us only to keep Joe out. The leader explained that human beings sometimes get so caught up in the details of a system of behavior that they forget its original purpose.

The same thing often can be said for religion. The laws and structures of our religious life, as noted in today’s first reading, are an important way we relate to God. But as Jesus points out in the Gospel, when human beings go beyond the original purpose, and burden others with practices the law never intended, then the connection with God is severed. Lip service to external structures and laws can replace a commitment of the heart.

There is a place for law and for structure within our lives as Christians. But we must always keep the purpose in mind. If we center on the person of Jesus Christ, and his law of love, we should have no trouble doing just that.

I’m Fr. Greg Friedman with the Sunday Soundbite for St. Anthony Messenger Press, on the web at FranciscanRadio.org.

Meet Father Greg Friedman
Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M. Franciscan Father Greg Friedman is the former creative director of the Media Productions Team at Franciscan Media, and former host of American Catholic Radio. During his years at St. Anthony Messenger Press/Franciscan Media, Father Greg wrote and directed Assisi Pilgrimage: Walking in Faith with Francis and Clare, which appeared on ABC-TV stations nationwide, and received a 2008 Telly Award for Excellence. He also produced the popular faith-formation series Catholic Update Video, used in parishes around the U.S. For four years he served as pastor of St. Francis Seraph Parish, located in the inner-city neighborhood of "Over-the-Rhine" in Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently, Father Greg is stationed at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, D.C.
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