Saturday, October 27, 2012


Green ….
There are shades and shades
of green - from light to dark
and variations on the theme
of green and in between.
Asparagus. broccoli, peas....
A million, million, billion leaves ....
New - alive - fresh - sap rising -
enjoying the tip of morning mist
and morning light, then the day,
then the cool and chill of dark night.
Lord, keep me green, work
with me to become supple,
alive, long before my autumn
bursts of color - before the Fall …
before I fall - long before
they put a green carpet over me -
over my box - over my dirt grave. 

© Reflections 2012

Painting no top: "Terre Verde" by Valerie Anne Kelly


Quote for Today - October 27, 2012

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come.” 

Ancient Chinese Proverb

Friday, October 26, 2012


A day on Mykonos,
one of those beautiful
Greek vacation islands,
blue skies, blue water,
blue shutters, blue doors,
blue window frames,
blue railings, steps and stairs,
gift shops with blue and white
postcards and paintings - as well
as small blue and white Greek flags ....
Now, even though I turned
a hundred corners and
twisted up and down
thirty seven streets and alleys,
I didn't see one paint store - 
not one. Please notice
I didn’t say I felt blue without you. 
No! I kept wondering:
where do they get
all this rich blue, blue paint?
You never know 
what other people are
talking to themselves about?

© Reflections 2012


Quote for Today

"Blue color is everlastingly appointed by the Deity to be a source of delight."

John Ruskin [1819-1900], Lectures on Architecture and Painting [1853], I

Abstract Painting, Blue [1953] by Ad Reinhardt [ 1913-1967]. Christies Web site: estimate A$1,200,000 - $1,800,000.  Price Realized: $2,393,000.

Thursday, October 25, 2012



The title of my homily is, “What Color Is Passion? Obvious Answer: Red.”

When I read today’s gospel - Luke 12:49-53 - where Jesus is saying he has come to bring fire to the earth - and it’s going to blaze. When I hear Jesus saying he’s going to light a fire under people which will get them moving, I can hear Jesus’ passion. I can picture his face getting red. Why?

What color is passion? What is the color of fire? Red. Obviously.



When I read today’s gospel I think back to times I’ve read about Lenin - Vladimir Illich Ulyahov. His brother Alexander was executed - hung -  in 1887 being part of a plot to overthrow the Tsar in Russia. Vladimir became one of many people who were part of the same hopes to overthrow the government. He was exiled to Siberia for 3 years - not in prison - but in a small town. He was able to leave - after his times was up - but he could not return home. So he went  to the West. In his exile in Germany, Lenin was part of a newspaper called The Spark - Iskra in Russian. It had its best results when smuggled back into Russia. It’s motto was, “From a spark a fire will flare up.” Other issues were written in Munich and also London. He came back to Russia after the February 1917 revolution which overthrew the Tsar. His name became Lenin along this journey. He became leader of the Soviets after the October 1917 revolution.

Lenin died in 1924 - and slowly was followed by Stalin.  Blood flowed - and the color of blood is red.

The color of the Soviet Flag from 1923 till 1991 was red.

The center of Moscow was Red Square.

Red is the color of revolution and passion.

Red was the color of Mao’s revolution in China as well. The Chinese flag was red. It still is. The color of Mao’s Little Book of Maxims was red.

Red it the color of passion and revolution and change. Red is the color of  courage to change and the willingness to lay down one’s life for a cause.

The color of the French revolution in both 1792-93 and also 1848 was red. Guillotines were painted red or made of red wood. Women who came to cheer the executions - to see heads chopped off and roll - wore red caps - called “Phrygian Caps” - or red liberty caps.

Red is the color of blood and fire.

I read the Koran quite a bit - and it’s often talking about fire - burning opposition.

Red is the color of passion - being on fire.


Jesus is called a revolutionary at times. In today’s gospel - Luke 12:49-53 -  we hear about fire and division. Yet we know from several other texts that he didn’t want to kill others. We know that at other times he says to put away the swords - to cool it - to calm down - to eliminate anger and hostility and rage - and to be at peace.

He said if my mission was to shed blood - to kill - to start and army - my father would have sent me angels and angels. [Cf. Matthew 26: 47-56; Luke 22: 47-53; John 18: 1-11]

This revolutionary called Jesus came to change the world a different way. In fact, it looks like he lost - becoming a martyr - whose color is red - when he was executed on the cross - and his blow flowed.

Red is not the only color. There’s also blue - and other colors.

Peace is more blue - like the blue waters - which can cool us down.

Jesus is often dressed in different colors: red, while and blue - sometimes all at once like an American flag - but not arranged like an American flag.


Some people find it difficult to hear Jesus say in today’s gospel that if you follow him  you run the risk of being ostracized by one’s own family. I wince when I read that. Yet as I think about it I get it.  If any of us went home and told our folks we were going to become Scientologists or Muslims or Jehovah Witnesses - we would understand today’s gospel clearly. So those who followed Jesus ran the risk of being alienated from their family.

Question: are we so passionate about Jesus Christ - that others will avoid us - or ostracize us. “Here comes the nut”?

Today’s first reading from Ephesians 3:  14-21 tells what a relationship with Jesus is like. Ephesians announces the call to experience the love of Jesus Christ  - its breadth, its length, its height, its depth. It’s a love that surpasses knowledge.

Paul experienced that love. It energized him. It fired him up. He because passionate about it. How about us?

When people heard Paul speak, they saw red and wanted to get rid o him. When people saw Paul preach, they saw him fired up, all red with passion, on fire for Christ.

Jesus was his passion.

Red is the color of passion.


The title of my homily is, “What Color Is Passion? Obvious Answer: Red.”

When we read the life of Jesus - we come into the presence of a Man of Passion - a Man on Fire with the love of God our Father.  Do we see and feel that passion in us?


Abstract Painting Red - on top [1952] by Ad Reinhard (1913-1967) 


Quote for Today - October 25, 2012

"so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
the white

William Carlos Williams [1883-1963]

P.S. Life is filled with many, "it all depends" - many if's and's and but's. What are yours? Have you ever sat down and made your list - like choosing this school over that school and that meant I met .... Or if I had taken that road home or took that job or walked into that store at that particular time and on that specific date ....

Picture on top: Samuel Webster

Wednesday, October 24, 2012



The title of my homily for this 29 Wednesday in Ordinary Time is, “What Do You See?”

Yesterday I went to the MVA - the Motor Vehicle Administration - off Truman Parkway to get a new driver’s license. Mine is about to expire. It was a long wait. While waiting I was seeing all that I could see - how the operation worked. After running out of seeing, I began wondering what the tough part was. There wasn’t any. I forgot if I had to answer those 10 or so questions about signs and stopping distances and school buses. Nope. But there was the eye test. I looked into machine and the lady asked me 4 times, “What do you see?” I read all the letters correctly on the bottom line and I spotted the lights along the side. Piece of cake.

The title of my homily is, “What Do You See?”


In today’s first reading from Ephesians 3: 2-12, Paul tells us what he sees. He writes,  “When you read this you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to human beings in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit, that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same Body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.”  Paul tells us he was next to receive that revelation.

What is Paul’s insight? Answer: there are many. It all depends on what letter you’re reading - and what section of Paul one is going through at the time.

In 1 Corinthians 12: 4-30 Paul tells us that we all have different gifts and we are called to work together - just like the different parts of the human body have to work together member with member. So too the Body of Christ.

In Romans 7: 14-25 Paul talks about the very human dilemma: we tell ourselves we’re going to do one thing and then we do the opposite. Then he asks who is going to solve this human dilemma. Who is going to help our contradictory self? Answer: Jesus Christ.

Well today he tells us that he experienced, “the inscrutable riches of Christ.”  

I understand the word “riches.” I didn’t get what the word “inscrutable” meant. So I checked out the Greek and I checked out other translations - and what I got was this:  having an experience of Christ is filled with riches - and then what adjective to use. It’s indescribable. It’s can’t be explained. We also say words like, “mysterious” -  “complex” - “hard to get at”.

The title of my homily is, “What Do You See?”

When you see Christ what is the one rich thing about him that grabs you. What insight has Paul given you?

What insight about life, what insight about Christ, what insight about people have you received from Paul?

Today Paul says the gift - the insight he got - the insight that was revealed to him is that committing myself to Christ, entering into Christ, I enter into God’s plan - God’s purpose - and I’m one with God. That should make me feel very rich - inscrutably rich.

If someone asks me, “What’s your plan?” I can answer: “I have a plan! It’s Christ.”


Take a few moments at this mass - take a few moments today - and ask yourself: what difference does Christ make in m life? What gift does he bring me? What insight does he give me? How am I inscrutably richer because of him?


Painting on Top: San Pablo (c.1630) by Jose de Ribera [1591-1652] in Museo de Arte Ponce - Ponce Puerto Rico.

Painting in middle of the painting: San Pablo - also by Jose de Ribera

Quote for Today - October 24, 2012

"The love of our neighbor is the only door out of the dungeon of self."

George MacDonald [1824-1905]

Tuesday, October 23, 2012



The title of my homily for this 29th Tuesday in Ordinary Time is, “Walls”.

Walls are a favorite theme and image of poets and song writers - down through the years. We can say that because security, safety, containing, protecting are basic human needs - down through history. Doors, fences, locks, castles, forts, city walls, the Great Wall of China, the Iron Curtain - made mostly with guns, barbed wire, soldiers, and check points, the Berlin Wall - are all walls. So too gated communities and I noticed just the other day a chain link fence around the big garbage container towards the back of the Royal Farms small convenience store in Eastport just down from the bridge. And St. Mary’s has that back fence - which is usually left open - and the long brick wall just outside down to the end of Duke of Gloucester Street. Then there are those invisible walls we put up between ourselves and others.

I’ve been writing a book on “Walls” for a good twenty five years now. Some day the barriers of time and laziness will fall down and I’ll finish it  - unless the great wall of death gets in the way.


Walls: here is the image  loud and clear in today’s first reading.

Paul describes Christ as the one who breaks down the walls that separates us from God and ourselves. Walls go up when we are our worst self enemy - when we are living a life of wall keeping and law keeping - and we’re not free in Christ. This is the great message of Paul - as well as the great ongoing fight between Jesus and the Pharisees and the Scribes.

The date for the Letter to the Ephesians - AD 80 to 100 - is later than the other Pauline Letters. It’s closer to the time of the date for St. John’s Gospel - around AD 100 - so I wonder if Paul is reflecting on the Gospel texts where and when The Risen Lord Jesus came into the Upper Room - through the walls. That  gospel text says, “Though the doors were locked” Jesus came into their midst and said, “Peace!” [Cf. John 20:19-29]

Thanks to cell phones we can reach people who are locked in and who are locking us out and we can say, “Peace!” or if they see the call is from us - and won’t answer - we can at least leave a message of Peace - unless it would make things worse. By faith we can also try to break through barriers by praying and praying and praying for that person. I’ve been praying for “Peace” with a family member who split from us - a good 20 plus years now.



Of course some walls are good - necessary - for privacy and peace as well.

Robert Frost said it succinctly in his poem: Mending Wall. He begins his poem with the words, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” Down into the poem he talks about his neighbor and their meeting each other from time to time to mend that wall. The neighbor says, “Good fences make good neighbors.”  Yet Frost wonders if that is really true because he has apples and his neighbor has pine trees.

You might remember the song by Peter, Paul and Mary called, Some Walls. The lyrics were written by Mary Ann Kennedy,  Pamela Rose, and Randy Sharp.

Some walls are made of stone
Sometimes we build our own
Some walls stand for years
And some wash away with tears

Some walls
Some walls

The song goes on to say the obvious, “Some walls must fall.”

That’s the dilemma. Which ones? And how difficult it is to breach a wall.


So the one wall that we need to at least leave the door open through is the one for the Lord Jesus to enter into.  And sometimes he comes right through into our walls and our lives with challenge and a call for conversion and change.

That’s the message loud and clear in today’s Gospel. Those servants who wait for the Lord - the Lord will come - and knock on our door and bring peace.  Not only will he bring peace, he will sit us down and serve us.

It hit me last night as I was putting this homily together that’s exactly what Jesus does at Mass. He serves himself to us at this meal - this Mass - this Eucharist.

The call to us is to do likewise - obviously.


Paul tells us in today’s first reading that the call is to be peacemakers - to build up the household of God - so we are no longer strangers or sojourners - but we’re  the house, the temple of God - which has the Apostles and prophets as our foundation and Jesus as our capstone.  Translation: all are welcome. Translation: once everyone is in the house - once all of us are the temple - then all the curtains in that temple are ripped and all the walls have disappeared - and we’re one.


Quote for Today - October 23,  2012

"Helen could not contradict them, for, once at all events, she had felt the same, and had seen the reliable walls of youth collapse.  Panic and emptiness! The goblins were right."

E.M. Foster [1879-1970], Howards End (1910), Chapter 5.


Looking back to when you were a youth, what were your reliable walls?

What were your goblins? [A goblin, according to the dictionary, is an ugly or grotesque sprite [ghost or soul or elfish person] that is mischievous and sometimes evil and malicious.]

Have you come up with any new reliable walls?

Monday, October 22, 2012



The title of my homily for this 29th Monday in Ordinary Time is, “A Strange Fantasy.”

Ever since I was a teenager I had this strange fantasy of what would it be like if I could jump up in the air and stay there. “Wouldn’t that be great?” I thought?

I could be playing basketball and drive towards the basket and then jump up in the air and when everyone defending me came down I would simply be still up in the air and drop the basketball into the hoop and net with ease.

On defense I could jump up in the air and when the ball was heading towards the rim I would just swat it away - avoiding goal tending of course.

And I wasn’t even 6 foot yet. And when I did play a lot of basketball I was very poor as a jumper.


Without knowing it, that fantasy has helped me with the question of death. I understand the following very, very clearly, but I might not be able to convey my thoughts today that clearly.  Yet, let me try.

Just as I cannot not jump up in the air and stay there - so too when I die - whatever happens is totally out of my control.

So if I rise from the dead after I die, that’s a gift from God - the God who gave me life with a lot of help from my parents. I had no choice in being alive in this life - starting as a seed, an egg, a womb and a mom and a dad. So too after this life, if there is life after death, and my hope is that that there will be and my faith says there will be - it will be totally gift - because it will be out of my hands.


Today’s readings - trigger these thoughts for me once more.

Today’s Gospel from Luke 1: 13-21 talks about death. Jesus says that a man was going to die that night - but it was totally off his radar screen. All he could think of was building bigger and bigger barns.

In today’s first reading from Ephesians 2:1-10, Paul says, “It’s all gift.”

In today’s first reading from Ephesians Paul says “God, who is rich in mercy, because the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ.”

In our text there are brackets that add: “by grace you have been saved.”  I fool around with that word “grace” all the time.  Today I’m hearing “gift - gift - gift - all is gift”.

So when I die - if there is another life - eternal life with God - it will be “gift, gift, gift,” because of Jesus Christ.

The Scriptures like to picture Jesus going up in the air at his ascension - and moving out of our - earthly space. There it is that jumping up into the air fantasy and staying there. Impossible - but possible because of Jesus Christ. That’s what Paul is saying.


In preaching I like to stress the here more than the hereafter - because the here  I know - the hereafter I don’t. It’s all fantasy. It’s all imagination.

Yet it’s good to be reminded about the hereafter - especially as we heard in today’s powerful parable in today’s gospel - that you can’t take it with you - and you never know - where the hereafter for us will start.

Just as our start was out of our control, so too our ending is out of our control. Of course we can exercise, get checkups, eat right, and work at staying alive, but we know down deep, it’s still out of our control.

We can fantasy it’s in our control, but just like my fantasy of jumping into the air and staying there is just that - a fantasy. Unlike the birds of the air we can’t fly. We always have to come back down to earth - every time we jump - every time we get in a plane - every time we come down the stairs.

So the opening line of today’s gospel with a tiny revision is a great prayer. “Lord, tell my brother Jesus to share the inheritance of resurrection with me.”

Quote for Today - October 22, 2012

"Let us pray to God
to root out of our hearts
everything of our own planting
and put in there,
with God's own hand,
the tree of life
bearing all manner of fruits."

Francois de Salignac de La Mothe Fenelon [1651-1715]

P.S. If you want to read about a very interesting another, check out "Fenelon" in Google. He was a teacher, an Archbishop, an influence, on the history of France. He was involved in Quietism a bit - but was able to back off when challenged. What grabbed me was his international outlook - trying to teach a future king and others - about human rights being a concern not just for family, not just for country, but for the whole human race. He urged all to have a sentiment for humanity - not just for self and one's own little circles. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

TABLE 4,567,371,594,303


The title of my homily is, “Table 4,567,371,594.303.”

When we go to a wedding reception we stand there outside the dining room or somewhere there and we spot the tiny table that has the little tent cards - with our name on it - we hope - and we pick the one up - with our name and the number of our table on it.

It’s a relief when we spot our name on a tiny folded card:  Table 17 or 13 - and if we’re old,  we hope our table is far from the music maker.

It’s a bummer when there is no card there for us. We go, “Uh oh. Oh no! I sent my ‘Yes’ in to the R.S.V.P., so it should be here. We know we checked off,  “Crab cakes”.  Then “Phew” our spouse or someone says, “Oh there you are. I picked up your card for you. Here!”


When we die and when we wake up R.S.V.P.,  there we are in the vestibule of somewhere. And we’re standing there will all kinds of people of all kinds of sizes, shapes, colors and looks - and we don’t know anyone. And there’s the table - with all the little cards - with the names of the recently deceased.

We stand there - hoping to see our name. We look. Someone sneaks in underneath us. Another person comes in from our left; another from our right. Everyone hopes their name is there.  They are looking for their card and name as well. They are muttering in languages we don’t have any clue about - yet.

Then we spot our name. Our name. I made it. I made it. I made it. Phew. We take the card. We look at the writing. Ours is in English. That’s thoughtful - because most of the others aren’t - but most have numbers on them. Ours says, “Table 4,567,371,594.303.”

We hear music coming from somewhere.

We spot someone at a big entrance door - in a robe.  We wonder if that’s St. Peter. We think to ourselves: it’s a door, with deep red fabric panels - no golden gates. Where am I? I hope this is heaven.

We breathe in - in our Risen Body - we pinch ourselves - we’re young again. We stop for a moment. We think, “This isn’t real.” We pinch ourselves again. As we get to that big door, we show the possible St. Peter our card. He saying something in some foreign language. We don’t understand anything, but his smile and his pointing is telling us to go in and around to the right of whatever is behind the big, big door.

We walk in sheepishly. We hear our name and a great welcome cheering. We stand there stunned. We look around at the biggest banquet hall - in the world - ooops we say to ourselves, “The Universe” - ooops we say, “Heaven.” 

No they didn’t play, “When the saints come marching in” but right now I’m with their number.

We see zillions of people sitting at many, many, many tables.

We wonder where Table 4,567,371,594.303 is.

We stand there very nervous. I much rather be on a table with someone I know. I much rather be on a table with mom and dad - grandma - my brother who died too early, too soon of cancer.

Now what? We stand there very nervous.

Then we see folks waving at us from here and there in the gigantic hall. We finally see a face we know.

“Wooo!”  We voice that sound loud and clear.

We head over towards our  brother who died in 1986.  He’s running towards us.

It’s heaven. His hug - his embrace - it’s heaven.

He brings us to mom and dad and there are more hugs - more tears - more celebration - and we’re so self centered at first - then we realize this same thing is happening with those who were with us out in the hallway.

Someone up front bangs a glass or  a bell or something and all become silent.

And then someone from somewhere says, “Those who have just arrived, welcome to the Supper of the Lamb.”

We say to our brother and mother and father, “Can I sit at your table?” They say, “Relax - go to the table you’re assigned to. You’ll find out why soon.”

So we uncling and head for Table 4,567,371,594.303.

It takes us about 20 minutes to get there - but we find it.

We know nobody at the table - and nobody at the table knows us or anybody else.

We shake hands with each person or we bow to each other.

It’s a round table - so there’s no top spot on the table.

The food starts to arrive. It’s being served by apostles, kings, maintenance men, plumbers, and nurses.

Slowly in the passing of the food to each other we learn each other’s languages - and we start learning fast. We can’t believe it - we are speaking Chinese, Russian, Arabic, and Slovak words in less than an hour. “This is heaven.”

We find out where each person on our table is from. We’re from all over the world. We have eternity - but somewhere in the middle of all this new reality - it hits us - I’m going to get to know everyone here - from our Table 4,567,371,594.303 back down to Table 1.

After the meal we reconnect with our parents and our close loved ones who have gone before us. We tell them about what had happened since they died - and they are all ears. At times we wonder if they already know - but they are so polite - so perfect - so listening.

We meet neighbors, classmates from grammar school whom we wondered about what ever happened to so and so. people we worked with - people whom we coached with - people we met on trains and planes - from time to time.

It’s heaven. I made it. I can’t believe all of this.

Then we ask a big question: do I get to meet God?

“Yes,” everyone says. The moment is coming.

As we’re waiting on line for our turn, we wonder if there is a desk or a chair? Do I sit on God’s right or God’s left or what?

Is God a Judge? Is God all Mystery? Is this going to be spooky? What? We don’t know. Up till this moment - all has been easy.

We finally go to meet God. There are no chairs - no right - no left.

It’s all awe - mystery - it’s wordless.

Yet, however, because and thanks to God the First Person in the Trinity who sent the Second Person in the Trinity - to earth - to becoming flesh - who became Jesus in Mary’s womb - I was ready. Being persons - we feel the urge for communion and communication - and for us humans we need words - so Jesus described the next moment for me perfectly. God the Father was like the Father in Jesus’ story of the Prodigal Son.  I was home. I felt God’s  Embrace. Let me tell you, The Father is all Embrace. Jesus was there -  all Brother - so unlike the Brother in the Prodigal Son story.  Jesus entered into the gigantic hug and embrace and I was overwhelmed with the Love in the Moment - if one can say moments and time in eternity. Whatever. And there was in all this the Holy Spirit of Love - God the Holy Spirit - filling the situation - and now I know. Now I know. For all eternity I know. Amen. 


This is a homily for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time. I read the readings. I said a prayer. I read several commetaries on today's readings and this is the idea that came up. Amen. 


Once upon a time - well not that long ago a time - the first grade teacher - in a certain school - was going to celebrate her 50th Birthday Party - in her first grade classroom. In her classroom. Imagine that!”

And the kids couldn’t imagine how old 50 years old was. “That is old!”, they said. “Old.”

They tried with their hands. How many fingers would you put up if someone asked Mrs. Teresa Dosomuch - yes that was her real name - if they asked her, “How old are you Mrs. Dosomuch?”

Would she go, “Five [Gesture], Five [Gesture], Five [Gesture], Five [Gesture], Five [Gesture], Five [Gesture], Five [Gesture], Five [Gesture], Five [Gesture], Five [Gesture]? I am 50 years old. Wow!”

She tried that and the kids were either amazed or confused - depending on their math skills. That many fives, that many fingers, that’s old.

The parents of the First Graders all made cupcakes - cupcakes of all kinds of frosting colors on top - with all kinds of cake mix - brown, stripped and white.

The kids couldn’t take their eyes off all  the cupcakes sitting on a fold up table off to the said  as they sang, “Happy Birthday Mrs. Dosomuch!”

The chairs in the First Grade classroom - for the party were arranged differently that day - in a circle - with Mrs. Dosomuch’s bigger swivel chair up in the front of the classroom in the center.

Then something happened that almost ruined the party. It’s always something! Isn’t it?

Yep sometimes bad things happen - even to kids in the First Grade - even by kids in the First Grade.

It started with two boys. One’s name was John and the other was James. They had a plan. They raised their hands and said, “Mrs. Dosomuch can we sit next to you - one on your right and one on your left.”

When the other kids heard this - they got angry. They got jealous. They got jumpy - and this was even before they got the sugar in all those cup cakes.

“Uh oh,” Mrs. Dosomuch thought. “What do I do now? If I put one on my right and one on my left - these other 21 kids will be jealous - very jealous.”

What to do?  She put up her hands to stop all the hands that were up. She put her finger to her lip as the signal for all to quiet down. She said a prayer inside her mind to God: “Help!”

She remembered this used to happen when she was a kid and grandpa Ed came to Thanksgiving Dinner at their home. He had a great belly and a great white beard - and looked like Santa Claus - and all the kids - including Teresa - would want to sit next to Grandpa Ed for Thanksgiving dinner.

Impossible - because only two could do that: one on his right and one on his left.

The solution was Grandpa Ed would sit at the kids table and after every ten minutes a timer bell  would go off and he would move his seat next to two others - starting with the oldest.

Mrs. Teresa Dosomuch smiled.

Mrs. Teresa Dosomuch came up with a plan. She said to herself, “I’m not that old.”

“Surprise” she said to James and John and the rest of her First Graders, “I’m not going to sit down. I’m going to serve you.”

So she pulled her chair out of the circle - completely surprising the whole class. Next she walked over to the cupcakes - which were on silver trays. 

Next she called James and John over to her and said, “James and John, it’s more important to serve than to be served, so you’re going to help me.”

She handed each of them a tray and with juice in one hand and plastic cups in her other hand, she walked around and served juice to each kid - telling James and John, “Show the kids the cupcakes. Give them their choice.”

So they walked around the circle of chairs and served all the kids.

And what a party. Each kid ate at least 3 cupcakes - each.

Then surprise! Just at the end of the party in that First Grade classroom, the principal and all the teachers in the school came to the First Grade door and opened it and said, “Happy Birthday to Mrs. Do So much.

Then they blindfolded her and led her and her whole class - all 24 of them - to a big hall - in the school. It was filled with the whole school - filled with kids - all of whom loved and missed Mrs. Dosomuch - whom they all had in the first grade. They were silent.

The principal lead the blindfolded Mrs. Dosomuch into the center of the hall - and sat her in a chair. All the kids were standing there surrounding the chair - but they were told to be totally quiet - SILENT. Then they took off her blindfold and she saw all the kids - and all the teachers - and lots of parents - and they all sang as they brought in this gigantic round chocolate covered birthday cake - her favorite - with 50 blazing candles - as everyone sang Happy Birthday to her. Amen.


This is a story I wrote last night for this 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time B.

Quote for Today - Oct. 21, 2012

"Mean to" don't pick no cotton."