Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Quote for Today - October 11, 2013

“She had once been a Catholic, but discovering that priests were infinitely more attentive when she was in process of losing or regaining faith in Mother Church, she maintained an enchantingly wavering attitude.” 

F. Scott Fitzgerald [1896-1940], This Side of Paradise (1921), Book 1, Chapter 1.


Quote for Today - October 10, 2013

“As regards plots I find real life no help at all.  Real life seems to have no plots.”

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett [1844-1969] In R. Lehmann et. al. Orion I (1945) page 25.

Quote for Today - October 9, 2013

“After the first death, there is no other.”

Dylan Thomas [1914-1953] Deaths and Entrances (1946) “A Refusal to Mourn the Death by Fire, of a Child in London.”


Quote for Today - October 8, 2013

“Curate de la affeccion de preocuparte como aparezias a los demas.  Cuidate solo de como aparezias Dios, cuidate de la idea que de ti Dios tenga.”

“Cure yourself of the condition of bothering about how you look to other people.  Concern yourself only with how you appear to God, with the idea that God has of you.”

Miguel de Unamuno [1864-1937],  Vida de Don Quixote y Sancho (Life of Don Quixote and Sancho, 1905) part 1


Quote for Today - October 7, 2013

“Someone has somewhere commented on the fact that millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.”

Susan Ertz [1894-1985], Anger in the Sky (1943), page 137


The title of my homily for this 27 Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, is, "Faith: All of the Above."


Once upon a time at a convention of leaders of spirituality from all over the world, a panel of 5 wise people were asked this basic question, “When you hear the word `faith’, what does it mean to you? In other words, how would you describe faith?”

The audience of about 1,000 people sat back and began to wonder and reflect on just what these wise persons would say about faith.

The wise man from the north began, “Faith is a vision. It’s a clear point like a compass point. The person of faith knows where he or she is headed. The person of faith knows where to put the next foot. It’s like knowing what harbor one is headed for. As we go across the sea of life, we run into storms from time to time. Accidents happen. People hurt us or we hurt people. Relationships crumble. People die. Well, the person of faith makes it through these storms, precisely because they have faith. The person of faith can deal with the ups and downs of life, because he or she has a confidence and a clarity on just where they are headed. The person of faith might make mistakes, might get lost at times, but they keep on trying to get back on course because they know where they are headed. And as they get older and wiser they make many more efforts to prevent things from throwing them off course or have their vision blurred.”

The wise man from the south spoke next, “I see faith a little bit differently. I see faith as something delicate. It’s a gift that we get from God and family and Church and others. It’s like someone handing us a lighted candle, so that it will be much easier for us as we make our way down the dark corridor of life. We need light, otherwise we’re going to crash into the wall. However, we must remember that we can lose faith. There is no guarantee that the flame won’t go out. We have to bring extra candles, extra matches, or to go with others who know the way. We have to watch out for the rain or winds and sudden drafts. So when it comes to faith, one has to be very careful. A person can lose their faith. So I see faith as the gift of a lighted candle handed to us to help guide us through the dark moments of life.”

The wise person from the west spoke next. She said, “I see faith not as something delicate, but as something very strong and very basic. Faith is the very ground we stand on. Faith is the bed rock of all of life. Faith is like a rich deposit of gold buried beneath the earth that we are standing on. Without faith one can’t get out of bed in the morning.”

She paused for a moment of silence to let that sink in. Then she went on, “Faith then is the very ground we are standing on. It’s holy ground. Most of the time it’s so secure that we don’t even notice it. We don’t stop and think that this earth is actually spinning. Everything looks still. Earthquakes are rare. We don’t stop to reflect on the many things we take for granted. We trust. We have faith in the people we live with - most of the time. We have faith in the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, that is, till there is a food tampering or someone poisons the well or blows up a 757 airplane.”

The audience became quieter. The wise person from the West went on, “We already are people of faith. We are people of trust. We go through life trusting much more than we realize. We’re standing on the shoulders of our parents and our ancestors. They have given us so much: language, inventions, customs, culture, values, etc. We grow up trusting that the electricity is there when we turn on the light in the night and that the alarm will wake us up in the morning. Without realizing it then, we are standing on our past. We’re standing on a rich deposit of faith that has taken millions of years to evolve. Right now this planet is somewhat safe, provided our generation or future generations give it a rest and don’t further destroy it. And I’m not just talking about destroying the ecology. I’m also talking about destroying people. Each of us needs to ask, `Am I contributing to the good of all or to the destruction of it all? And I building faith or destroying faith - faith in God, neighbor, self, creation?” Or as the question was phrased in the 1960’s, `Am I part of the problem or part of the solution?’” 

The wise person from the east waited a while and then said, “I see faith as a seed, that is, good seed as opposed to bad seed. Faith needs to be planted in the soil of a person early on and at the right time. If we are lazy or not careful, many other things can start to take root and begin to grow in our souls. So it’s important that we have good family life. Each generation needs to pass on to the next generation the deepest values of life: that God creates us and sustains us, that God loves us and calls us to love one another and that we are called to be one people. Faith then is good seed. It needs to be nurtured. So we need good homes, good friends, good places of worship. Each of us needs to be a good farmer. We need to keep an eye on what’s growing in our soil and the people around us. A farmer needs to cooperate with the soil and the weather and the land, trusting that God will give the increase.”

The last wise person was from the center. She said, “I see faith as all of the above. But I would add that faith is only real when it shows up in service, that is, in love of our neighbor. Faith without works is dead. Talk is cheap. We vote with our feet. So servants, put on your aprons and start preparing meals for other people, especially the poor.”


Today’s readings contain all of the above. If you read them carefully, you’ll see those 5 basic ideas about faith that I mentioned in the opening story:

     1) Faith as Vision
     2) Faith as Light
     3) Faith as a Rich Deposit 
     4) Faith as a Seed
     5) Faith as Service

In today’s first reading Habakkuk talks about faith as a vision. We don’t know the date of the book of Habakkuk. Some date it around 600 B.C. But if we look at today’s first reading reflectively, we can see that it touches on feelings that we all have. We are going along smoothly through life and then things turn nasty. We become miserable and sometimes violent. We cry out in prayer for help and the Lord doesn’t seem to be listening. Habakkuk felt that, but it seems that the Lord eventually did answer. Habakkuk was given a vision. He wrote it down. And he tells us to learn how to wait. The vision will come. It’s presence will not disappoint us. If there is a delay, wait. It will arrive and we will then know what our life is all about and what we should do. The vision is the gift of faith. And today’s first reading from Habakkuk ends with one of the most frequently quoted verses from the Bible, “The just man (person), because of his faith, shall live.”

The reading from 2 Timothy gives us the second and third ideas of faith that we heard in the opening story: Faith as Light and Faith as a Rich Deposit. Paul writing from prison urges Timothy and us not only to keep the light of faith burning, but to stir it into a flame. The Greek word for “stir into flame” could also be translated as, “to rekindle” or “to agitate” or “to fan the flame”. The key idea then is to realize that faith is a gift, a rich deposit that has been handed down to us. Moreover, we need to guard it, keep it burning, and what’s more, to “fan its flame.”

The gospel gives us the last two ideas about faith from the opening story: Faith as a Seed and Faith as Service. The gospel begins with the apostles asking the Lord, “Increase our faith.” And Jesus tells them that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed they can work wonders. Here in Luke 17 Jesus says you would be able to move a sycamore tree. In Matthew 17 Jesus says they would be able to move a mountain. Whatever it is that we want to move, we must begin with a prayer for faith and then the faith to make the move.

Today’s gospel then looks at the question of being a servant. This message has a bite to it. We rather not hear it. We prefer Jesus’ words from John, “I no longer call you servants, but friends.” (Jn. 15:15) We rather have him wash our feet or at least sit us at table with him. In a restaurant, wouldn’t we rather be the one being served than the one serving? (Lk. 22:27) Yet service is what it’s all about. Jesus ends today’s gospel with these words, “When you have done all you have been commanded to do, say, `We are useless servants. We have done no more than our duty.’” How many of us can say that we have even got to the stage of doing all that we have been commanded to do? 


The practical applications from all this are many, but let us limit ourselves to three points put in the form of three questions:

     1) What is my faith?
     2) Have I ever prayed for more faith?
     3) Where do I need more faith in my life?


When we go to the hospital or when we have to fill out forms, sometimes we are asked, “What is your faith?” And we answer, “Catholic” or “Roman Catholic.”

Sometimes it’s good when we come to church or when we are alone, for example, going to and from work, to take some time out to examine “What is my faith?”

Everyone has a faith. Everyone has a religion. Everyone, those who go to church and those who say they believe in nothing, have basic deep down beliefs. No one is an atheist. Either God is their God or they or something or someone else is their god - the core belief around which we wrap our life.

What are the guiding assumptions of our life? Who comes first?  Do we watch out for the other guy? When the platter of roast beef is passed to us, do we take the best piece or do we think of the next person? What are we after?

In his book, Diary of a Country Priest, George Bernanos wrote, “Faith is not a thing one `loses’; we merely cease to shape our lives by it.” So it is a good idea to ask, “What are the forces and the values that are shaping my life? What is my faith?”


Today’s gospel begins with a great prayer for faith, “Increase our faith.”  Have you ever gone to the Lord and made a prayer like that? When you are going home from work or when you’re walking the dog, take your rosary and say on each bead, “Lord, increase our faith.”


What are the trees in your life that need to be uprooted? What are the mountains that need to be moved? Where do you feel that you have hit a dead end or a wall without a door? That’s where you need faith. That’s where you need a vision, because there are people on the other side of that wall that need your service. There are people on the other side of that mountain that need your love. Isn’t service the reason why we need faith? Isn’t service the reason why God created us? Jesus came not to be served but to serve. Isn’t that the vision and the calling of every person?


Someone once said, “We need an abounding faith that will cut all the t’s off all those `Can’ts’ and make them into `Can’s’”

I can do it. I can serve. I can be a person of faith. I can do all of the above.

* This is a Homily I wrote years ago for Markings, a homilectic service that from the Thomas More Association. I'm on vacation, but I wanted to put a Sunday Homily on my blog. 

Quote for Today - October 6, 2013

“The best number for a dinner party is two - myself and dam’ good head waiter.”

Nubar Gulbenkian [1896-1972] in the Daily Telegram (U.K,), January 14, 1965

Quote for Today - October 5, 2013

“Aristotle maintained that women had fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives’ mouth.”

Bertrand Russell [1872-1970] Impact of Science on Society, (1952) Chapter 1.

Quote for Today - October 4, 2013

“Boredom is therefore a vital problem for the moralist, since half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.”

Bertrand Russell [1872-1970], Conquest of Happiness (1930), chapter 4

Quote for Today - October 3, 2013

“Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly often attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.”

Thomas Szasz  [1920-2012 ]  The Second Sin [1973] “Emotions”


The title of my homily for this feast of The Holy Guardian Angels is, “Angels: Messages and Messengers.”

This morning I would  like to preach about angels. I don’t take them lightly - in spite of G. K. Chesterton’s cute remark: “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” [Orthodoxy (1908) Chapter 7]

I like the nuance in Alan Watts comment better: “We do not realize that, as Chesterton reminded us, angels fly because they take themselves so lightly.” [The Way of Liberation, 1983]

Our church teaching - coming out of our scriptures - and our traditions -  is that God sends his angels as messengers as well as to watch over us - to guard and guide us.

Today’s feast proclaims that God sends each of us a guardian angel to guide us.

Angels are not a topic we hear about that often. We have trouble enough - to get people to believe in God.

Once more the title of my homily is, “Angels: Messages and Messengers.”


The most basic meaning of what an angel is, is, “A Messenger.”

In the Bible, in our scriptures, angels bring messages.

The Bible has various stories about angels who show up to help people in trouble - in difficult times - people in need help to solve a problem - as well as angels who show up to give people a call - a vocation - a mission.

Angels are invisible - therefore maybe millions of them can sit on the head of pin. Angels in the Bible are given names: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael. Notice the EL at the end of those names - EL a Hebrew word for “God”.

The Bible tells us about two types of angels: good angels and bad angels. The Devil is the Prince of the Bad Angels. They are also called “Demons” at times.


This is a thing called “ear buds”. You plug it a receiver of various sorts - and one hears - messages of sorts - through these ear phones.

I was just down in Philadelphia for the past two days to see one of my sisters who is dying. I drove to my other sister and the two of us took the train Monday and then yesterday, Tuesday, to the University of Penn hospital.

I began noticing on the train - and on the stations - and in the hospital - one million people with these in their ears - or they had cell phones or their equivalents - in hand - everywhere.

It seems that everyone is reading, listening, texting messages - all day long.

The obvious message that hit me is this: the air is filled with messages and messengers.

If we look out our eyes and if tune up our ears - we still can’t see or hear the many cell phone voices and invisible inaudible sounds and messages that  are shooting through our air - could a million of these messages sit on the head of a pin? -  but stick one of these ear buds in one’s ears and one hears all kinds of sounds and songs - or open up one’s iPhones or Droid or cell phone and surprise - there are lots of messages flying through our space.

Keep that in mind - when thinking of the world and atmosphere of angels and devils, spirits and demons.

Up till Modern Times - up till the Enlightenment - people thought of the world filled with spirits - voices. They were often called, “Angels and Demons.”  Isn’t that the title of a book by Dan Brown?

When you are in college, take a course in anthropology.  Learn about the mind set of  Aborigine People - or ancient peoples. They will tell a student how some people see the world filled with voices - spirits - demons.

Has this changed? In a way yes and in a way, no.

Listen to folks and you’ll discover that people today - are unconsciously aware of positive and negative forces, energies, voices, strengths and weaknesses.

You’ve heard, I’m sure, the Native American story of the two dogs.

Every person has inside of them two dogs: the good dog and the bad dog. The good dog is a “nice dog”. Everyone loves a nice dog. Pet him or her. She or he is nice to have around. They guard us. They protect us. The bad dog is the one who growls - is a b….. - bites and annoys us. And the Native American teacher - teaches the young one about those 2 dogs. And the teacher tells the kids that they are always fighting. And a kid asks, “Which one wins?” And the teacher loves to give the moral of the story: “The one we feed.”


In this homily I’d stress take off your ear buds and listen to the voices inside your head.

What are your voices this morning.  Are you saying, “What am I doing here?” Or, “How long is this going to last?”  “What’s happening?” Or, “Will my dad find a job?” Or “What’s for lunch?” Or “Cool!”

What are your voices?

Which voices are the loudest?

Which voices are winning?

We can be perfectly quiet and drums are beating loudly into our brains - by iTunes.

Today I would stress listening to your angels. Listen to your Guardian Angel - telling you, yelling to you, voicing to you - messages of care, hope, love.

What do you sound like inside your ears - inside your brain?

I was sitting on two train platforms the last 2 days - and various trains - and I could hear people talking to other people. I could hear voices. I couldn’t see what people were texting.

A major message from this homily is to listen to your voices.

Are those voices good angels or bad angels - good messages or bad messages - good messenger or bad messengers.


I was reading in the paper about the Pittsburgh Pirates getting into the baseball playoffs. I was reading that Clint Hurdle - the manager of the Pirates - was sick and tired of the Loser Culture in the Pittsburgh Pirates mind set. Think Win. Each day Clint Hurdle voiced positive messages. He called in team leaders and urged that they voice positive leadership messages.

What are you telling yourself each day?

What have your parents - teachers - been saying of you - all these years?  If they are negative messages, if they are negative messengers, change the messages and change the messengers.

I want to thank you for the prayers for my sister Peggy - who is quite sick. She told me in the hospital that a doctor in Scranton said directly and indirectly, “Call hospice. You’re going to die.”  She screamed, “I want a second opinion.”

She got out of that system - away from that doctor - and got into a teaching hospital - down to the University of Penn Hospital and they are trying to make a profound diagnosis - so they can come up with a prognosis to giver her more life. It looks like she’s going to need to take oxygen for the rest of her life - but as for time - more - more - more life.


I remember the first time we went backpacking in the Rocky Mountains. 4 of us drove across the country to Colorado from New York City. I was driving and one of the guys in the back seat was reading out loud stuff to keep in mind with backpacking and camping. One of the things he read out loud was this: “Keep in mind the # 1 rule for backpacking in the wilderness is: Don’t panic!”

I asked out loud, “Number 1?”

Back came the answer a second time: “Yes - # 1 rule - Don’t panic.”

Well a few days later I’m going across a tree trunk to get to the other side of a mountain stream. The water below me is flowing really loud and deep. I started to slip and I caught myself saying to myself: “Don’t panic!” It worked. I braced myself - caught my almost falling - breathed - stopped - and then slowly and calmly walked to the other side.

That voice - that message - was installed in my brain - in that car - and I called upon it - while on that tree trunk - going over that flowing mountain stream.

Angels give those kinds of voices.

Just as voices urge us to make fun of others - be nasty with a put down about others - to others, so messages - like the theme for this year, “Every Person Matters” - challenge us to hear that message and put it into practice.


The title of my homily is, “Angels: Messages and Messengers”

I’ve been saying that there are positive and negative messages and messengers in the air and in the ear - listen to  - and incorporate - make flesh - make them your own - the positive messages and messengers - and dis the negative.

This is St. Mary’s Church - and the great message about Mary is that an angel came to her and said, “Hail full of grace, the Lord is with you.”

Each time to come to church - each time you start a day - hear your guardian angel say to you, “The Lord be with you!” and voice back to him or her, “And with your spirit. Amen.”

Quote for Today - October 2, 2013 - Feast of the Guardian Angels

"It's easy to be an angel when nobody ruffles our feathers."


Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Quote for Today - October 1, 2013

"Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."

Thomas Alva Edison, Life


Quote for the Day - Monday September 30, 2013

"A genius is the one who has two great ideas."

Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

Question: Well what are your two great ideas?

Sunday, September 29, 2013



The title of my homily for this 26 Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, is, “He Descended Into Hell.”


Someone recently called the rectory. I was on duty and they asked, “What does it mean in the Apostles Creed when it says about Jesus, “He descended into hell.”

I gave the Caller the Catechism answer that it means that Jesus after he died - descended into the place of the dead - the state of the dead - the abode of the dead - the below, the under the earth, Sheol in Hebrew, Hades in Greek, Hell in English for some -  and Jesus then proclaimed to those there - who longed for God - longed for a, or the, Redeemer, the Good News of Salvation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church words it carefully this way -“to free the just who went before him.” [page 164]  Basically it’s saying that Christ went to the dead who had lead a good life and died before him - and lead them to paradise.

I don’t know whether that answer satisfied that Caller. Probably not.

In the Nicene Creed it doesn’t say that he descended into hell. It says, “He suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day.”

We’ve been saying the Nicene Creed at Sunday Masses most of our lives - so lately - I’ve been saying the Apostles Creed - page 10 in our Missalette. The changes in the Liturgy of 2 years ago  said we can do that. The Apostles Creed is the one we begin the rosary with.

If we say the Nicene creed we hear the complaint that they used the word “consubstantial” as the new English replacement for the words we were used to saying,  “one in being with the Father.”

“One in being with the Father” - “consubstantial” - as if we could understand or grasp the Trinity. “Hell” or “was buried” - as if we grasped the mystery of Salvation, Redemption, and what happens to us after we die.

So whatever we use - the Nicene Creed or the Apostles Creed  in the Sunday Liturgy,  people wonder about the words we use - and the words we say.

If that is true, that’s good. If that’s true,  then what’s your take on today’s gospel - this powerful story about a Rich Man and a Poor Man - and what happens to them after they die?  One descended - one ascended.


Today’s gospel talks about the great divide after death.

I don’t know about you, but it scares, I hope, the hell out of me.

Jesus, here in Luke, tells us the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

Meow, meow! Woof. Woof. In this life the Rich Man is a fat cat - “Meow. Meow!” and the Poor Man has dogs “Woof. Woof!” coming to lick his sores - while like a dog he longs for scraps that fall from the Rich Man’s table.

In the next life, tables are reversed. The Rich Man sees Lazarus - now he knows his name - in the bosom of Abraham - the dream of every Jew. The Rich Man screams out in torment, “Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.”

Father Abraham tells the Rich Man, “Sorry! You had it good when you were on earth and Lazarus had it bad. Sorry! Now there’s this great divide - this great chasm - and you can’t switch sides.”

I see hope for the Rich Man in the next part of the parable. He thinks about others - his 5 brothers - and asks Father Abraham to send Lazarus to warn them about not ending up like me.”

And Abraham says, “Sorry.”  “They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them!”

And the Rich Man - perhaps realizing he himself didn’t listen to the prophets  - but maybe his brothers would listen to someone who came back from the dead.

And Abraham replies with the harsh conclusion to today’s gospel, “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.”


If there is one thing I learned from the New Testament it’s this: Luke’s Church and Paul’s Churches aren’t that different from our churches.

Down through the years, what happened in the Christian communities in Antioch and Corinth, Thessalonica and Ephesus, also happen in Annapolis and Indianapolis, Rome, New York and Rome, Italy.

People are people. There are millions and millions of Bibles with the Prophet’s warnings in them - in hotel rooms and bedrooms and living room book shelves around the world. And people around the world in churches this Sunday heard the prophet Amos talking about people just like the Rich Man and the Poor Man in today’s gospel. Who listens?  And Jesus rose from the dead. Is anyone listening to him - the One who came back from the dead?

Will anyone who goes to church this weekend change as a result of the readings for this Sunday?  The readings we heard are being spoken not only in Catholic Churches - but many Protestant Churches as well.

The Pope and his new Super 8 Group of Cardinals - the “Ad Hoc Group” - will be meeting in Rome this week to take a look at and discuss our Church. Will anyone mention this Sunday’s readings - as a call to our church to make sure we’re not in the same position as the Rich Man - and there is this gigantic chasm between us and so many people in our world?

The title of my homily is: “He Descended Into Hell.”


What’s your take on that part of the Apostles Creed?

What’s your take on today’s first reading from Amos about Fat Cats eating lambs and partying and listening to music while others starve and are gypped - as well as your take on today’s gospel about the Rich Man and Lazarus?

Using today’s gospel,  what scares me is not only the after death scare of what’s going to happen, but the here and now of hell in our midst.  Why wait till eternity to be scared?

I see the Gospel of Luke as one very scary gospel - and if we ate it - chewed on it - we would find some of it very hard to accept and digest.  Luke is the gospel for this year - Cycle C. It’s the gospel of the poor - and for the poor - and we all know that’s a button pusher.

I live in a very comfortable house on Duke of Gloucester Street in downtown Annapolis - over looking Spa Creek. We have plenty of food. Last Monday night and last Wednesday afternoon the rectory corridor was crowded with the poor at our door - and I want to publically say I’m moved by those men and women in our parish who work listening, screening, and trying to help the poor of Annapolis. I want to thank everyone who gives to the poor box - serve at the Light House - and help big time with the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals - for which lots and lots and lots of folks were signing up for at St. Mary’s this past week. The economy is not doing well for lots of folks - so thank you for your sacrifices and your generosity.


In the meanwhile - today’s gospel triggers for me - the reality that hell is also now. There are great chasms separating people from people. I’ve never been to India - where they still have the Caste System - but I’m reading that its walls between people are slowly crumbling.

The United States is still seen by many as “The Great Melting Pot.”  I lived in New York City - and saw what that meant  - especially on the Subway. I’ve been to Toronto - and saw the blending of people and colors - even more. Hang around till 2213 - and you’ll see surprise.

I see Jesus as the one who knocked on doors and tried to knock down walls that separate people from people.

But why not look right into our everyday lives right now! Are we living in heaven or hell?  Do we ascend into heaven every day or descend into hell every day?

There are people in our lives - right in our own families - right at our own desk or doorstep - maybe in our own bed - whom we ignore - don’t see - and don’t want to see. The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus can be happening at our doorstep or gate each day.

Haven’t we experienced descending into hell. Haven’t we experienced being ignored or not noticed. Haven’t we all started to say something - and another cuts us off - as if we don’t exist - and it feels like hell? Aren’t their old people in nursing homes - and children in our homes and our schools and our playgrounds - who long for scraps of affection that fall from our tables? Aren’t there people in our lives whose opinion we never ask - or we just assume they are dumb - and unimportant?

I’ll be dead before the Catholic Church finally sees today’s parable also applies to the people in our parishes - to all our women - to the unnoticed - to those who have dropped out of coming to church - for various reasons - one of which they feel unnoticed and unheard or they are hurting - or feel we have divorced them and not allowed them to eat at our table.

I don’t know about you - but I know I label people - put people in boxes - thinking they have no clue of what I know. I’m the rich one - the smart one. They are the poor slobs - the dumb ones.  


So when I hear the phrase, “He descended into hell” - I think of myself and all people who descend into hell each day - and I thank God the Father for sending Jesus who descended into my hell to reach out for me - and challenge me - and love me into wanting to rise from my deadness - and hell and ascend into heaven each day - and be with all the people I don’t seem to noticed - each modern Lazarus. Amen.  

Quote for Today - September 29, 2013

"The bottom line is in heaven."

Edwin Herbert Land, Shareholders' Meeting, Polaroid Corporation, April 26, 1979