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Cathy Venkatesh

Catherine Venkatesh is an Episcopal priest who has served congregations in Michigan and Massachusetts. Presently taking time to be home with her young daughter, she also volunteers at a local Episcopal retreat center. A graduate of Williams College and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, she has completed additional degrees in Development Economics and Forestry. Prior to entering the ordained ministry, she worked in environmental research and policy. She lives with her family outside Boston and travels regularly to India, where her husband?s extended family resides.
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Commentary

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Welcoming stress -- Isaiah 5:1-7, Hebrews 11:29--12:2, Luke 12:49-56 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 15 | Ordinary Time 20 - C -- 2016
In this week’s gospel passage Jesus says, “What stress I am under!” How often do we make this claim,
Looking back, looking forward, resting where we are -- Exodus 34:29-35, 2 Corinthians 3:12--4:2, Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a) -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Transfiguration Sunday - C -- 2016
Today’s story of the Transfiguration, heard each year on the Last Sunday of Epiphany, invites deep r
Transformed lives -- Acts 5:27-32, Revelation 1:4b-8, John 20:19-31, Revelation 1:4-8 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Second Sunday of Easter - C -- 2016
For me, the deepest proof of Jesus’ resurrection comes from the transformed lives of his followers.
Saved by faith -- 1 Kings 21:1-10 (11-14) 15-21a, Galatians 2:15-21, Luke 7:36--8:3 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 6 | Ordinary Time 11 - C -- 2016
Our readings this week draw us into the tricky territory of works righteousness and the eternal temp
Who's in? Who's out? -- Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7, 2 Timothy 2:8-15, Luke 17:11-19 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 23 | Ordinary Time 28 - C -- 2016
Today’s readings introduce us to three groups of outcast people: the exiles in Babylon, Paul in pris
Easter in Advent -- Isaiah 35:1-10, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Third Sunday of Advent - A -- 2016
The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally one that emphasizes joy.
Healed for service -- Isaiah 40:21-31, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - B -- 2015
When I was in seminary, I spent a summer working as a chaplain in a Roman Catholic hospital.
New Creations -- Exodus 20:1-17, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, John 2:13-22 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Third Sunday in Lent - B -- 2015
In each of our lessons today, we encounter God’s people starting over and finding their way into
A commandment to love -- Acts 10:44-48, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2015
“Love one another” sounds so simple, but can be so hard.
Taking and offering -- 2 Samuel 11:1-15, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6:1-21 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 12 | Ordinary Time 17 - B -- 2015
When do we have enough?
Wisdom and folly -- 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14, Ephesians 5:15-20, John 6:51-58 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 15 | Ordinary Time 20 - B -- 2015
Are we to be fools for Christ, or wise as serpents (and innocent as doves)?
Climbing in the light -- Isaiah 52:13--53:12, Hebrews 10:16-25, John 18:1--19:42 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Good Friday - B -- 2015
The story of God's love in the Bible focuses on Jesus. But Jesus did not appear in a vacuum.
Recognizing the kingdom of God -- 1 Samuel 15:34--16:13, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (11-13) 14-17, Mark 4:26-34 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 6 | Ordinary Time 11 - B -- 2015
God does not judge by appearances, but by the heart.
Wisdom's gifts, God's embrace -- Proverbs 31:10-31, James 3:13--4:3, 7-8a, Mark 9:30-37 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - B -- 2015
We are blessed today with inspiring words from the Wisdom tradition in both the Hebrew and Christian
Making sense of suffering -- Job 38:1-7 (34-41), Hebrews 5:1-10, Mark 10:35-45 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 24 | Ordinary Time 29 - B -- 2015
All of our lessons today address suffering -- of humans and of Jesus in his passion and death.
The end... and the beginning -- 1 Samuel 1:4-20, Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25, Mark 13:1-8 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 28 | Ordinary Time 33 - B -- 2015
Advent is a season of anticipation, but as we near the end of the season of Pentecost our readings a
It's judgment day -- rejoice! -- Zephaniah 3:14-20, Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 3:7-18 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Third Sunday of Advent - C -- 2015
Messages of God’s judgment can be hard to hear, and feel at odds with the fast-approaching celebrati
Family wounds and God's grace -- Genesis 21:8-21, Romans 6:1b-11, Matthew 10:24-39 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 7 | Ordinary Time 12 - A -- 2014
In one of my former parishes, the wife of retired pastor led us in a Bible study of the book of Gene
Choosing to love -- Deuteronomy 30:15-20, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, Matthew 5:21-37 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6 - A -- 2014
Here we are, the Sunday after the sentimentality and excesses of Valentine's Day.
A holy Lent -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:20b--6:10, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Ash Wednesday - A -- 2014
Imagine life in a northern farming community a couple of centuries ago. It's early March.
Which parade? -- Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 26:14--27:66 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Passion Sunday - A -- 2014
This Palm Sunday afternoon, I will be joining a festive Walk for Affordable Housing organized by a l
Lives transformed -- Acts 17:22-31, 1 Peter 3:13-22, John 14:15-21 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2014
What if the resurrection happened and no one told anyone about it?
The power of names -- Exodus 1:8--2:10, Romans 12:1-8, Matthew 16:13-20 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 16 | Ordinary Time 21 - A -- 2014
"What's in a name?
Getting what we (don't) deserve -- Exodus 16:2-15, Philippians 1:21-30, Matthew 20:1-16 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - A -- 2014
God is not just by our human ways of accounting.
Law and life -- Joshua 3:7-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13, Matthew 23:1-12 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 - A -- 2014
God gives the law to the Israelites as a blessing and guidance for new life after generations of pro
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Each of our lectionary readings for today reminds us that we have forgotten who we are. It may well be that we have offended God, but God is big enough to be able to handle it. What is more important is that we have offended ourselves. We have lost touch with our place in the house of God. We need a high priest who can help us find our way back home.
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This account of the giving of the Ten Commandments prompted John Wesley to comment on the meaning of the first commandment. Apply it with me now to your own life and to the political climate in which we are electing a new president and new congress. The Methodist founder wrote:

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You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me…. (v. 5)

Take a piece of aluminum foil and press down on it with a sharp object, creating letters and words. Make sure you can read it clearly. Then fold the foil in half and in half and in half again. Now use your X-Ray Vision to see through the layers of metal and read the original inscription.

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Object: This message makes a good role play. You will need some cookies, a table, and some play money we will call shekels. Have children play the roles of the seller, a poor person, a woman, a foreigner, and an important, rich person. You just need one seller, and you can use one child for each of the other roles, or if you have the time and children available, you can have as many children play those roles as you like. Split the money among the children playing the non-seller roles.

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Psalm 19 celebrates two different media through which God is revealed: nature and the law.

The first part of the psalm calls our attention to the presence of God in nature -- "The heavens are telling the glory of God." The word "glory" is the Hebrew kabod and literally means weight or heaviness. The derived meaning is something akin to "reputation." God's reputation is evident in the heavens.

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Having heard the gospel this morning let me introduce a word from Paul when he said to the church in Ephesus, "And that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love" (Ephesians 3:17 NRSV).

What Paul is saying here is the more Christians know about Christ; the more amazed we are at Christ's love for us. When Jesus lives in our hearts, we discover a love that goes right down into the soil of God's loving revelation and creation.
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When Neil Armstrong was on the moon, an American flag was planted to signify the accomplishment of his journey. The goal had been established in 1960 to set a man on the moon before the end of the decade. In 1969, that goal was achieved in a most dramatic way.
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These are Ten Commandments that little children know to be true:


1. When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair.

2. No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.

3. You can't trust dogs to watch your food.

4. Never hold a dustbuster and a cat at the same time.

5. You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.

6. Puppies still have bad breath even after eating a tic-tac.

7. When your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.

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