BEFORE THE CROSS | Faithfulness to God ensures stability

This is the last week in Ordinary Time. The first reading each day this week is from the Book of Daniel, and the responsorial psalm for each day is from a hymn in the Book of Daniel. It's as though the Church wants us to learn from the Book of Daniel as we close out the liturgical year.

Daniel is the only "apocalyptic" book in the Old Testament. Two characteristics of apocalyptic books are: 1) they typically came out of times of tribulation, and 2) they addressed current events in symbolic terms.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Restore all things in Christ through faithfulness

Ophelia Wilson, right, a Court 67 Grand Lady of the Ladies of St. Peter Claver Auxiliary, shook hands with Archbishop Robert J. Carlson after the Peace and Justice Mass Aug. 9 at the Cathedral Basilica. The Mass was one of several prayerful events on the anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

As the school year begins for many (welcome back, everyone!) the readings for this week give a brief synopsis of the time of the Judges, the lessons Israel learned from this period in its history and a lesson about what to expect for our faithfulness to God.

There is a clear pattern in the book of Judges:

1) Israel sins -- the people forget the mighty deeds of God and cease to be faithful to their covenant with Him.

2) As a consequence of their sins, the Israelites are conquered by their enemies.

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