Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Poem for Ash Wednesday - March 5, 2014


Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?
Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again
Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice
And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us
Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree
In the cool of the day, having fed to satiety
On my legs my heart my liver and that which had been contained
In the hollow round of my skull. And God said
Shall these bones live? shall these
Bones live? And that which had been contained
In the bones (which were already dry) said chirping:
Because of the goodness of this Lady
And because of her loveliness, and because
She honours the Virgin in meditation,
We shine with brightness. And I who am here dissembled
Proffer my deeds to oblivion, and my love
To the posterity of the desert and the fruit of the gourd.
It is this which recovers
My guts the strings of my eyes and the indigestible portions
Which the leopards reject. The Lady is withdrawn
In a white gown, to contemplation, in a white gown.
Let the whiteness of bones atone to forgetfulness.
There is no life in them. As I am forgotten
And would be forgotten, so I would forget
Thus devoted, concentrated in purpose. And God said
Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only
The wind will listen. And the bones sang chirping
With the burden of the grasshopper, saying
Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Is inconclusible
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.
Under a juniper-tree the bones sang, scattered and shining
We are glad to be scattered, we did little good to each other,
Under a tree in the cool of the day, with the blessing of sand,
Forgetting themselves and each other, united
In the quiet of the desert. This is the land which ye
Shall divide by lot. And neither division nor unity
Matters. This is the land. We have our inheritance.
At the first turning of the second stair
I turned and saw below
The same shape twisted on the banister
Under the vapour in the fetid air
Struggling with the devil of the stairs who wears
The deceitul face of hope and of despair.
At the second turning of the second stair
I left them twisting, turning below;
There were no more faces and the stair was dark,
Damp, jagged, like an old man's mouth drivelling, beyond repair,
Or the toothed gullet of an aged shark.
At the first turning of the third stair
Was a slotted window bellied like the figs's fruit
And beyond the hawthorn blossom and a pasture scene
The broadbacked figure drest in blue and green
Enchanted the maytime with an antique flute.
Blown hair is sweet, brown hair over the mouth blown,
Lilac and brown hair;
Distraction, music of the flute, stops and steps of the mind over the third stair,
Fading, fading; strength beyond hope and despair
Climbing the third stair.
Lord, I am not worthy
Lord, I am not worthy
but speak the word only.
Who walked between the violet and the violet
Who walked between
The various ranks of varied green
Going in white and blue, in Mary's colour,
Talking of trivial things
In ignorance and knowledge of eternal dolour
Who moved among the others as they walked,
Who then made strong the fountains and made fresh the springs
Made cool the dry rock and made firm the sand
In blue of larkspur, blue of Mary's colour,
Sovegna vos
Here are the years that walk between, bearing
Away the fiddles and the flutes, restoring
One who moves in the time between sleep and waking, wearing
White light folded, sheathing about her, folded.
The new years walk, restoring
Through a bright cloud of tears, the years, restoring
With a new verse the ancient rhyme. Redeem
The time. Redeem
The unread vision in the higher dream
While jewelled unicorns draw by the gilded hearse.
The silent sister veiled in white and blue
Between the yews, behind the garden god,
Whose flute is breathless, bent her head and signed but spoke no word
But the fountain sprang up and the bird sang down
Redeem the time, redeem the dream
The token of the word unheard, unspoken
Till the wind shake a thousand whispers from the yew
And after this our exile
If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.
O my people, what have I done unto thee.
Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice
Will the veiled sister pray for
Those who walk in darkness, who chose thee and oppose thee,
Those who are torn on the horn between season and season, time and time, between
Hour and hour, word and word, power and power, those who wait
In darkness? Will the veiled sister pray
For children at the gate
Who will not go away and cannot pray:
Pray for those who chose and oppose
O my people, what have I done unto thee.
Will the veiled sister between the slender
Yew trees pray for those who offend her
And are terrified and cannot surrender
And affirm before the world and deny between the rocks
In the last desert before the last blue rocks
The desert in the garden the garden in the desert
Of drouth, spitting from the mouth the withered apple-seed.
O my people.
Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn
Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things
From the wide window towards the granite shore
The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
Unbroken wings
And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth This is the time of tension between dying and birth The place of solitude where three dreams cross Between blue rocks But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away Let the other yew be shaken and reply.
Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated
And let my cry come unto Thee.



The title of my homily for this 8th Tuesday in Ordinary Time is, “Whatcha Get?”

I found out that “Whatcha” can be spelled, “WHATCHA” or ‘WHATJA”.  Whatcha….


Whatcha get? Is that the life time question - or is it something else?

How many times have we looked at a babies skull or head or into their eyes and said, “I wonder what you are thinking about in there?”

How many times have we looked at a babies hand and we noticed it’s closed - like a fist - and we open up his or her fingers - only to discover there is nothing in there. They are holding onto nothing as if it is something.

What we don’t know - because we forgot -  is that God asks each baby in a mother’s womb from time to time, “Whatcha Get” and the baby says, “I don’t know yet, God. It’s dark and squirmy and liquidy in here. I hear sounds and I feel taps from the outside at times so I kick back and sometimes I hear ‘Ouch!’ or sometimes I hear prayers, ‘Wow! Praise God! New life.’”  That’s what I get.

What we forget is that at our first and second birthday we get all kinds of cute gifts from grandmas and aunts and uncles and cousins - and God asks us before we fall asleep, “Whatcha Get?”

And we tell God about Rubber Duckies and toys and shoes and a teddy bear and a neat hat - but we don’t want a new blanky. The one I got - I don’t want to ever forget.

Then time moves on and we forget about that inner conversation God has with all of us from time to time and now when we get home from school our mom and dad ask us, “Whatcha get in school today?”

And we tell about learning colors or letters or numbers or a neat picture book - or this new friend whom we met in the playground.

Time moves on and start getting report cards and our mom and dad ask us, “Whatcha Get?” If it’s a good mark, we’re happy to report - if its really bad - the temptation to forgery becomes every kid’s temptation.

We go to camp. We go to go on vacation. We go to a new school. We play a basketball or a Little League game. Then when we get home from time to time we still hear the question: “Whatcha Get?”

Whatcha Get? It’s the question of a lifetime.

It’s great when we hit 70 and we look back and we realize we got a lot - good kids - but especially the best husband or wife possible. It’s a bummer when life doesn’t work out - and things fall apart - and we didn’t get what we wanted.

It’s sad when the answer to “Whatcha Get?” is:  “Too many disappointments - too many hurts - too many failures.”


Then the day comes - hopefully long before we die - when Christ says, “I’ve been with you all these days - Whatcha Get from me? Whatja think I was saying and teaching and doing for you?”

And it’s great when we can answer: “It took some time, but I got you Lord Jesus. I got you. You are my first and you are my last.”

It’s sad when we have to say, “Well, I tried to be first and I ended up stuck in the middle or last every time. Bummer!”

Jesus laughs when we say that - because that could be the beginning of his  wisdom - especially as we heard it in today’s gospel.

It’s only when we put everyone else ahead of us - that we begin to see - first of all - that we are part of the whole human family - part of everyone else as Jesus is saying in today’s gospel. It’s a grace and a gift when we say, “When I gave up wanting everything - I got everything.” It’s then I see that everyone is my brother and sister - and we’re all children of God - and we then get Jesus on the cross. We look at his hands and we see they are empty and it’s then we realize he got the whole world. [Cf. Mark 10:28-31]


Surprise! When we die - when we’re standing on line to meet and greet God, we hear  God saying to some, "Whatcha get?" and to others, “Whatcha give?”

We step back and ask ourselves,   “I wonder which question I’m going to get.”

Poem for Today - March 4, 2014

What Harbinger?

Glitter of grey
oarstrokes over
the waveless, dark,
secretive water.
A boat is moving
toward me
slowly, but who
is rowing and what
it brings I can’t
yet see.

© Denis Levertov
in Sands of the Well,
New Directions, 1996

Painting: The Red Rowboat
by Patricia Ackor
Early Morning Mist 
and a single boater
on Hungry Mother Lake,

Monday, March 3, 2014


Frozen like a photograph,
looking at a picture 
for just one brief moment,
shadows on snow …
but like our words
snow melts into the ground,
shadows move into corners
of the garden and then disappear
into the night. What remains?
What remains is the earthen clay
God sculpted us from and
from which we rose
and now stand on and
like trees of life we are branching
up and out for sky and space
and each other and this chance
to celebrate - to enjoy these 
moments here in our small space
of earth, in our garden, till we melt,
till we break, till our short time
on earth is up and hopefully
someone saw our presence.
someone saw our shadow,
someone forgave us,
and someone loved us
rib to rib - in our turn to play
our part in life's big play:
Everyman - as Adam, 
Everywoman - as Eve.

© Andy Costello, Reflections, 2014

Cf. Genesis 2: 5 to 3: 24


my nose is running.
Slow sliding stuff,
sliding like Vesuvius -
down from my left nostril.
Uuuuuh! I assume it’s ugly -
like some of my life.
I can feel it  - but I can’t see it -
like so much of my life.
Forgot my handkerchief.
Can’t find a tissue.
Now what, Lord? Now what?
Oh my God, I’m 74 -
yet I’m hoping for more.
No - not the leakage or its
opposite - a clogged nose
or a clogged life - but to
breathe freely a lot more life.
Death? - Lord.  - Nope.  - Not yet.
Lord, my nose is running
and I’m still running and
I thank you for that and 
for a lot more than that. Amen.

© Andy Costello, Prayers, 2014

This is my 3000 piece on this Blog. I noticed # 1000 was also a prayer, so I’m happy to do the same for #3000. This prayer I thought should be more humbling. Notice I didn’t use the word “snot, ” but I was tempted. Never saw a prayer yet with that word in it.


The title of my homily is, “Katherine Drexel: She Slipped Through the Eye of the Needle.”


In today’s gospel - Mark 10: 17-27 - we have the famous biblical metaphor of squeezing or slipping or passing through the eye of a needle.

The man in the gospel asks Jesus the big question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

After finding out that he keeps the commandments Jesus asks the man to let go of everything he has and give it to the poor and then come follow me. 

Mark tells us that he walked away sad.

It’s after he leaves and his disciples are talking to Jesus, that Jesus makes reference how difficult it is to let go of everything so as to fit through the eye of the needle.

I heard that a hundred times as a kid - and in the seminary - and heard various explanations about the camel and the eye of the needle. However, once I saw a poetic type movie on the Sermon on the Mount and got the best take for me of what Jesus was getting at. A man is walking down the street with two big leather suitcases - a back pack on his back - and a shoulder bag on one shoulder. He stops on the street - when he sees a half open door - in a narrow doorway. Without letting go of any of his bags - he tries to fit through the narrow doorway. No go. No luck. No fit.

So he steps back and the camera pans back and the viewer sees him continuing down the street.  Just then a little boy - with not bags or baggage comes running down that same street in that same direction. He comes to the same doorway and runs right inside without any effort.

That spelled out for me lots of Jesus’ messages. Unless you are like a little child - you won’t fit into the kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven. Unless you let go of too much stuff, you won’t fit through the doorway - or the eye of the needle - and get inside of Christ’s way of doing life.


Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Katherine Drexel of Philadelphia.

She had lots of stuff - and lots of money - as a result she got to travel - and as a result she saw the plight of Native Americans as well as African Americans.

Like the man in today’s gospel she asked a question - he to Jesus - she to Pope Leo XIII - how about some missionaries for Native Americans. Well, the pope surprised her - like Jesus surprised the man in the gospel - when he said, “How about you doing it?”

Growing up, she had seen her step mom and dad being very generous to the poor and the hungry - so that helped her to make the squeeze through the eye of the needle. In time she started her own community to help the poor and the oppressed.

We can all picture the headline of the Philadelphia newspaper, The Philadelphia Public Ledger that said:  “Miss Drexel Enters a Catholic Convent — Gives Up Seven Million"


She died this day - in our lifetime -  at the age of 96, - March 3, 1955.

If you get a chance, take one of those bus tours and fit through the doors to Bishop John Neumann’s Shrine in Philadelphia and Mother Katherine Drexel’s Shrine in Bensalem.

Both will inspire and challenge us to diet regarding stuff, let go, and squeeze through the eye of the needle into the Kingdom of God. Amen.

Poem for Today - March 3, 2014

The Tree Is Here,
Still, In Pure Stone

The tree is here, still, in pure stone,
in deep evidence, in solid beauty,
layered, through a hundred million years.
Agate, cornelian, gemstone
transmuted the timber and sap
until damp corruptions
fissured the giant's trunk
fusing a parallel being:
the living leaves unmade themselves
and when the pillar was overthrown
fire in the forest, blaze of the dust-cloud,
celestial ashes mantled it round,
until time, and the lava, created
this gift, of translucent stone. 

© Pablo Neruda


The title of my homily for this 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A -  is: “We Can Be In Two Places At The Same Time.”

We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t be in two places at the same time.”

Someone wants us at their house - and someone else wants us at their place at the same time. Help. And we want to say, “Hey, I can’t bi-locate.”  Or we want to say, “I’m sorry.  Life - for me - is too often a tug-of-war between time and effort - pulls and pushes.”

Well, I’ll be saying in this homily, “We can be in two places at the same time.”


Sometimes it can be a plus. Sometimes it can be our loss.

It’s a plus,  it can be to our benefit - when we use it as a skill when we are at a boring homily or a boring class or meeting. We can go elsewhere in our mind and our imagination. In our present space - we can escape to another place.

So yes, we can be in two places at one time.

I remember hearing a story about a meeting. The boss was running it. The participants around the table found it  boring, boring, boring.

People started shuffling their coffee cups and computers and paper clips and pads. They started looking at their watches - coughing - moving back in their chairs. Scratching. Itching.  Rubbing their neck. Well, the boss didn’t get the message.

Later on - well after the meeting - and a safe distance from the boss, a guy says to this other guy, “That was the worst meeting I was ever at - but you seemed so calm and cool and present.”  The other guy said, “Well, to be honest, after about 10 minutes, I was fishing up on this lake in Minnesota. You should have seen the trout I caught. It was one perfect day.”

So yes, we can be in two places at the same time.

It can be a minus when we are pulling ourselves apart because of choices we make in the actual situations of life.

For example, we can’t be in High School A and High School B at the same time. Pick and choose. Choose you win and choose you lose.

We  can’t be in the band and be on the football team at the same time. Chose one.

In football, sometimes when the game comes down to whether a kicker can make a field goal or not, sometimes the opposing team call “Time Out!” to maybe make the kicker start worrying about past misses.

So yes, we can be in two places at the same time, but at the same time, we need to build skills how to deal with this skill we have.

We’ve all seen people spaced out. We put out hand out and wave to them and they don’t see our hand. They are out in left field. So we say, “Hello! You hoo, where are you?”


One of main themes of Jesus is: “What’s going on in your heart?”  In other words, “Where are you?”

In today’s gospel, for example, Jesus wants us to see what we worry about. Is it clothes, food, drink, the look? Is it worry about the future?

So today’s gospel begins with Jesus, “We can’t serve 2 masters. We will either hate one and love the other or be attentive to one despise the other.”

So the question is: What’s going on in our heart? Who’s running our show? Who’s in charge of our life?

To find answers to this question we need to watch ourselves for a month. Maybe a year would be better – and to monitor first of all what we are doing, where we spend out time, where we rather be at times, etc. This should lead us to our motivations. This should lead us into our heart. That’s where Jesus is always trying to get people to go. Go into your heart. Find out what’s going on there.

What I’m getting at is Jesus’ theme of the divided heart. It’s his call for self unity.

Jesus is aware that people can be divided. People can try to go it with two bosses in their heart. People invite both the devil and God to eat with them every day - and as a result they eaten up by too many inner desires and fires - fires that need to be attended to.

What’s in your heart?


I’m sure everyone has seen state lines - as they drive along the highways of life. Welcome to Maryland. Welcome to Delaware. Welcome to Virginia.

I’m sure some of us have stood on actual state lines.

I’ve never been to the Four Corners Monument in the Southwest - where one can stand in 4 states - Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado at the same time.

I noticed in the pictures of the place that they have benches - probably for ceremonies at the spot. I wonder if they let marriages take place on the spot. If yes, how are they registered? I’m sure older folks sit in those benches and watch kids dancing and stepping back and forth in those 4 states - almost at the same time.

I was thinking what a great metaphor - for the power of the human mind to choose.

The first step would be to look at the possible states of the human mind.

·        Worry -            vs. -     Not worrying
·        High Anxiety - vs. -     Calm Peacefulness
·        Sad -               vs. -     Happy
·        Ungrateful -    vs. -    Thankful
·        Lost -              vs. -     Found
·        Bored -           vs. -    Excited

Then to ask: “Hello where am I right now?”


Here are two states of mind to avoid getting stuck in:

1) Resentments
2) Regrets

They overlap, but in general  resentments have to do with others and regrets have to do with ourselves.


Resentments often revolve around fairness issues.

Listen to little kids. They are often screaming inwardly, ‘Unfair!”

All my life I have not forgiven a guy named Walter Eckard who coached our Little League team when we were kids.

I wanted to play first base - for our team - the Bay Ridge Robins - but Walter put his brother at first base - and I only got into one game - for one out - the whole season.


I even got my own brand new first baseball glove - just like the one my brother Billy had - but he was a lefty. I practiced, practiced, practiced. I got the needsfoot oil and broke that glove in - keeping a baseball in the pocket - and rubber bands around it - to make it the perfect glove.


My red Bay Ridge Robins top had number 4 on the back. Hey that’s a starter’s number. That’s a start’s number. But I never got a chance to star or start.


How about you? Do you have a teacher or a coach or a dad named Walter and you have deep resentments against him all these years.

Who are your Walter Ekhards? Everyone has at least 1 of them all their lives.

Resentments: Ongoing “Ugh” Ongoing Mad. Ongoing anger. Fairness, teachers, could be unfair, could be our unfairness. Not studying, teachers. Father Tom in miniature golf. Baseball.

Resentments can be about looks, height, weight, acne, Christmas gifts, skills, studies, marks, what have you.

Resentments can be about relationships - how so and so walked away from us - or how mom and dad treated another in the family better than they treated me - or how so and so got the promotion and I didn’t.

Well, I’m saying here that some people can get stuck in the state of resentment all their lives and then won’t move - or can’t seem to move - out of that state.

Check it out. There are other states - like the state of joy or celebration or being able to humble or laugh at oneself.


I have to think more about this, but I think that regrets have to do more with me - my attitudes, my mistakes, my hurt, because of me, myself and I.

At times I regret that I gave up playing the trombone - and only after two weeks.

I regret a moment in my life - when I chose to play a pick-up game of basketball in Connecticut - instead of driving back to New Jersey and finish a term paper. I got back 4 hours later than I would have - finished the paper - which I got a C in - and ended up with a C in that course - and that dragged down my marks - and they are forever chiseled in stone in the report card in my memory.

I can stay in that state and not remember my A’s and B’s.

If you ever have a chance, read John Updike’s 1960 novel, Run Rabbit Run. It’s a classic story about living in the past. It’s about how Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom gets stuck in what might have been. I have to reread that book, but I assume that he spent the rest of his life rejoicing in his great high school basketball career - but also regretted that he never moved onwards.

Run Rabbit Run.

Move to a new state.

Scratch the surface of any person - and listen carefully - you’ll hear the regrets of a person’s life. They will take up a lot more air time than one’s smart moves.


The title of my homily is, “We Can Be In Two Places At The Same Time.”

It’s good at times - to grab some time - and ask ourselves, “Where am I spending most of my time? What state am I living in? If it’s in the state of resentments or regrets or what have you, at that same time, we can move in our mind and attitude - to a better state of mind.

The next step is to start moving towards a better place to be.

As Lao-Tzu, the Chinese philosopher put it,  “A journey of a 1000 miles begins with that first step.”

As Christ put it: “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Poem for Today - March 2, 2014
March - National Poetry Month

Silent, But ...

I may be silent, but
I’m thinking.
I may not talk, but
Don’t mistake me for a wall

                   - Tsuboi Shigeji 

Shigeji Tsuboi: ‘Silent, but ...’ from The Penguin Book of Japanese Verse, trans. Geoffrey Bownas and Anthony Thwaite (Penguin Books, 1964). trans. © Geoffrey Bownas and Anthony Twaite, 1964, p. 191. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books. Ltd. 

[Self test # 8]

The title of my homily for this Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A - is, “What’s Important? This Is A Test.” 

Here are 25 questions or statements. The first 10 come out of today’s readings. The other 15 come out of afterthoughts from today’s Biblical readings.

If you want to use these questions or statements for a husband and wife or family discussion, I’ll put these 25 questions on my blog.

Answer [A] for Agree or [D] for Disagree or [U] for Undecided.

Undecided can mean “undecided” or “It all depends” or “I have to think about this.”

If one of these 25 questions grabs you or gets you thinking, or challenges you to consider changing your mind or attitude about something,  this test is a success.  Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

1) Even though today’s first reading says, “Even if a mother forgets her infant, God never forgets us",  well I think God has forgotten me.  Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

2) In the long run “Only in God is my soul at rest” as today’s psalm - Psalm 62 puts it. Agree [   ]  Disagree  [   ]  Undecided [    ]

3) God - as today’s Psalm puts it, is my rock. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

4) Only God - as today’s second reading puts it - knows the motives of the human heart - including my heart as well. Agree [   ]  Disagree  [   ]  Undecided [    ]

5) Forgiveness is more important than being right. Agree [   ]  Disagree  [   ]  Undecided [    ]

6) Being a servant - as Paul puts it in today’s second reading  - or as Jesus puts it - being served is being in the more important position, but here I am in your midst as your servant - so you might do as well. Agree [   ]  Disagree  [   ]  Undecided [    ]

7) “No one can serve two masters", two Gods, as Jesus put it in today’s gospel  or as the Russian proverb goes: “Chase two wolves, you won’t catch either.” Agree [   ]  Disagree  [   ]  Undecided [    ]

8) Life as today’s gospel puts it, is more important than food and drinking. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

9) It’s not spring yet, but the flowers - which sometimes only last a few days - are dressed  better than the kings and queens of fashion. Agree [   ]  Disagree  [   ]  Undecided 

10) There’s nothing wrong with wearing socks that are of different colors or what have you.  Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

11) I have learned lots of other lessons from nature - from creation - like  watching the birds of the air  - they don’t worry - about where their next meal is coming from. They find food to eat - in Ego Alley from little kids tossing pieces of bread to them - as well as from people with bird feeders or near the edge of dumpsters - or they swoop down into fields along the road. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

12) Having another child is more important than having more stuff. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

13) One’s legacy - what one did and tried to do with one’s life - is more important than the will - the money and/or property one leaves to those who come after us. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

14) We vote more with our feet, our eyes and our time, and where we put our energy - than we do with our mouth and our words. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

15) At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of one’s life, what is important is the giving of one’s time and life to others. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

16) When we’re young we’re into different issues and goals than when we are near the end of our life. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

17) Reading to our kids and grand kids is more important than complaining that our kids or grand kids don’t go to Mass. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

18) Respect is more important than recognition. Agree [   ]  Disagree  [   ]  Undecided [    ]

19) A beautiful heart is more important than a beautiful face.  Agree   [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

20) I watch the Oscars to see the outfits - more than seeing which movie wins what. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

21) A meal without cell phones is more important than a meal with cell phones. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

22) Having a picture or a painting of a beautiful sunset is more important than stopping to watch a sunset - without photographing it. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

23) Watching NCIS together is more important than sitting at table eating and drinking and talking to each other - long after the meal is finished. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

24) The hand and heart behind the meal is more important than the meal itself. Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]

25)  “Don’t worry about tomorrow,” as today’s gospel puts it, “tomorrow will take care of itself.” Agree [   ]  Disagree [   ]  Undecided [    ]  But what about the weather report?