Saturday, July 5, 2014


Poem for Today - July 5, 2014

This Is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold 

© William Carlos Williams

Friday, July 4, 2014



The title of my homily for this 13 Friday in Ordinary Time is, “Who Me?”


I’m sure some remember Mad Magazine starting in the 1950’s and their picture of Alfred E. Neuman and his words, “What? Me Worry?”

There he is - this scrawny freckled face kid with big ears – a missing front tooth – and one eye lower than the other eye – but he does have a smile on his face.

What? Me Worry?

I always liked that picture. It was a picture that appeared on greeting cards – t-shirts – cartoons of Alfred up there on Mount Rushmore – or running for president – etc. etc. etc.

I also liked that Mad Magazine character – because I see him representing every person – every me everywhere.


I liked St. Mary’s Parish and Schools' theme and motto for this past year: “Every Person Counts.”

It was a theme found in the comments of Pope Francis.

We got good mileage out of that theme - and I heard from teachers and staff in both our schools - that kids showed more respect to each other this past year.

"Every Person Counts."

Alfred E. Neuman counts. I count. You count.

The title of my homily is, “Who Me?”

Yep, me, I count.

Yes me? 

Little old me.

Who Me? 

Yes me. Well if I count -  then based  on that - should follow the comment, "What Me Worry?


Today’s gospel - Matthew 9: 9-13 - has the famous scene of the call of Matthew.

When I read about  this call in today’s gospel from Matthew - I thought of all kinds of things – starting with the “Who me?” question we all make when we hear someone calling us – followed by Alfred E. Neuman’s “What me? Worry?' slogan.

As I read the gospels, I hear Jesus seeing good in every person – especially people others didn’t think counted – the beggar on the street – the little children – the Alfred E. Neuman’s of the world – as well as the tax collectors – and all those people who tax all the other people in the world – and drain them.

Who counts? 


Who counts? 

Jesus does.  He counted 99 - but wait a mintue - one is missing - so as a Good Shepherd - he went looking for that one lost sheep.

Jesus does. He counted 1 person with leprosy - who was healed - and came back to say, "Thank you!" - but where are the other 9?"

Jesus does. She lost 1 coin - had the other 9 - but went crazy till she found her 1 lost coin.

Jesus does. The Prodigal Son came home - but where is that older brother of mine? Why wouldn't he come to the banquet for his lost brother. He counts. 

Wait a minute.... Which brother are you talking about here?

Both - both count.

I think of a day – just one day in Rome – 2 years ago – and I was with two wonderful old ladies – Winnie and Mary - who were part of the cruise I was on. 

We spotted this Church  - about 2 1/2 streets away from the Piazza Navone with its Fontana dei Quatro Fiumi - the Fountain of the Four Rivers - by Bernini. 

The church we spotted was – San Luigi dei Francesi Church – just one more of the hundreds of churches one counts in Rome.

Surprise! Inside it had 3 Caravaggio’s. I was especially moved by his painting, “The Calling of Saint Matthew.”

There’s Jesus pointing at Matthew – and there’s Matthew at this table in this tavern – pointing at himself – as if to say, “Who Me?” or “What me?”


“Yes” Jesus is pointing at Matthew and calling Matthew.

"You count coins Matthew, well I have a friend who counts fish - and who now counts people. And I'm calling on you. I'm counting on you  - to also stop counting coins and to start reaching out to all sorts of people - and let them know, "They count!"

“Who me?” Isn’t that what all of us would say if we heard Jesus calling us.

“What me? A sinner and a tax collector! You’re calling me a tax collector?”

“Should I worry?”

Matthew stands up – leaves everything – and follows Christ.

In celebration the throws a dinner that night at his house – inviting Jesus and all his friends.

And the self-righteous – can’t believe this. How could Jesus eat with tax collectors and sinners. They don’t count for nothing.

And Jesus makes his famous comment. “Who needs a doctor? Healthy people don’t. It’s the sick ones who count – when it comes to me.”


In this homily I am stressing that every person counts.

In this homily I am stressing that God is aware of every person.

In this homily I am stressing that we should worry about every person – especially the great unwashed and the great unknowns and the ignored and those nobody thinks matters.

An overflow from this type of attitude is that we respect all people. If we have that respect for all folks, we’ll pay attention to the waiter or waitress, the check-out lady at the supermarket – the old person or the little person – the stranger and the strange rangers of our world.


We read out at supper time at St. Mary’s the deceased Redemptorists whose anniversary is the next day.

Today in 1807 a Redemptorist named Thaddeus Hubl died in Warsaw, Poland. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here today. He’s part our story. He and a guy named Clement Hofbauer were studying in Vienna, Austria with the idea of becoming priests.

Well, when the government changed the requirements for students that they needed 6 years of studies, these 2 headed for Rome – with the idea of maybe becoming priests down there. They heard the sound of church bells from San Giuliano’s church in Rome and they went there with the idea of going to Mass. It was simply a call for community prayer.

Well, they were impressed with the priests and brothers and expressed interest in joining. They were handed an application – but only Clement signed immediately. 24 hours later Thaddeus Hubl signed. They made a 5 month novitiate – then they made their vows – and were ordained priests 10 days later and they sent back over the Alps to start the Redemptorists there.

Vienna didn’t work – so they tried Warsaw, Poland – where they had some success – especially at our Redemptorist starting place: St. Benno’s Warsaw.

In time they ran into trouble with the government and hostile forces to what they were doing. In 1807 Thaddeus Hubl was beaten up and died at the age of 47.

I tell this story – because they both matter in my story – also being a Redemptorist. If they hadn’t answered that bell call – if they hadn’t gone down to Rome – if they weren’t ordained – then we would never come to America – because this was the group that sent Redemptorists to America in 1832. .


The moral of the story is that every person counts – every person is called to become a great human being.

Who me? Yes.

What me? Worry – about all this.

Yes – if we answer that call from God.

Poem for Today- July 4, 2014


your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

© Charles Bukowski

Thursday, July 3, 2014


A Poem for Today - July 3, 2014

My child,

When I get old,
I hope you’ll understand
and have patience with me
in case I break the plate,
or spill soup on the table
because I’m losing my eyesight,
I hope you don’t yell at me.

Older people are sensitive,
always having self pity
when you yell.

When my hearing gets worse
and I can’t hear what you’re saying,
I hope you don’t call me ‘Deaf!’
Please repeat what you said
or write it down.

I’m sorry, my child.
I’m getting older.

When my knees get weaker,
I hope you have the patience
to help me get up.
Like how I used to help you
while you were little,
learning how to walk.

Please bear with me,
when I keep repeating myself
like a broken record,
I hope you just keep listening to me.
Please don’t make fun of me,
or get sick of listening to me.

Do you remember
when you were little
and you wanted a ballon?
You repeated yourself over and over
until you get what you wanted.

Please also pardon my smell.
I smell like an old person.
Please don’t force me to shower.
My body is weak.
Old people get sick easily
when they’re cold.
I hope I don’t gross you out.
Do you remember when you were little?
I used to chase you around
because you didn’t want to shower.

I hope you can be patient with me
when I’m always cranky.
 It’s all part of getting old.

You’ll understand when you’re older.

And if you have spare time,
I hope we can talk
even for a few minutes.
I’m always all by myself all the time,
and have no one to talk to.

I know you’re busy with work.

Even if you’re not interested in my stories,
please have time for me.
Do you remember when you were little?
I used to listen to your stories
about your teddy bear.

When the time comes,
and I get ill and bedridden,
I hope you have the patience
to take care of me.

I’m sorry if I accidentally
wet the bed or make a mess.
I hope you have the patience
to take care of me
during the last few moments of my life.
I’m not going to last much longer, anyway.
When the time of my death comes,
I hope you hold my hand
and give me strength to face death.

And don’t worry…
When I finally meet our creator,
I will whisper in his ear to bless you.
Because you loved your Mom and Dad.

Thank you so much for your care.

We love you.
With much love,
Mom and Dad

© Don’t know
the author

of this piece.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Poem for Today - Wednesday July 2,, 2014


This is my letter to the World,
That never wrote to Me - 
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender Majesty

Her Message is committed
To Hands I cannot see; 
For love of Her, Sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly -  of Me 

© Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, July 1, 2014



The title of my homily for this 13th Tuesday in Ordinary Time is, “Faith And Terror Seem To Mix.”

Hopefully – faith comes when we’re feeling terror.

We’re about to get into the 100 Anniversary of World War I – 1914-1918 -  when men dug in and felt the terror of trench warfare.  And obviously those in that horror faced their fears – faced life – faced death -  needed God and screamed, “Where are you God in all this mess?”  And we all know the saying, “There are no atheists in fox holes?”

At least back then …. Maybe yes…. Maybe more … There was probably less atheism back then  than there is today. Then again, who knows what lurches in the hearts and minds of others – especially in muddy foxholes of our soul.


The history of the world is, “War and Peace – and then war again.

We have the horrors of war in Iraq once more. It’s déjà vu over and over and over again.

I’m sure many are down on their knees – crying to Allah –crying to God -  and surprise we know that both sides are proclaiming God. That’s part of the game – and the stories.


Today’s gospel tells the story of the storm on the lake according to Matthew [8:23-27].  A sudden storm hits the boat Jesus is in – and in terror they cried out to Jesus to wake up and save them. The Greek describes it as an earthquake [seismos] of the waters. The boat is swamped. Fear takes over.

 We know the story.

Jesus wakes us and says, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”

Then Jesus gets up and yell to the winds and the sea and there is a great calm. Then comes Matthew’s message: “They were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”

JANUARY 15, 2000

Reading today’s gospel last night, I reached for a journal – my notes – from a trip to Israel for priests in January 2000.

We got on the boat that morning and the plan was to go across the lake from Tiberius to Capernaum.  That was the plan – but a storm came up and we had to get off at Nof Ginossar. “The name of the boat was ‘Luke’. I saw Matthew, Mark, Mary – and I assume there was a John.”

A slight storm came up – nothing like the one in today’s gospel – but I said great – I’ll use this in a homily someday. Perfect timing.

“We couldn’t dock. It was too rough. We tried 4 times. This other boat just came right in and did it on the first shot and then this guy from another boat helped us.”

Our guide “Steve had read some scripture about the boat crossing on the lake and we sang the hymn, “Be not afraid.”

We weren’t terrified – but it gave us a sense of what happened to the disciples of Jesus that day.”

Terror – storms – earthquakes – wind – wake people up – and like most everyone who sees a sudden something, we all say, “Oh my God.”

That’s one of the most basic prayers. Faith shows up when there is terror and the different.

In that first reading from Amos we heard about the lion that roars.

When the lion roars – the cry for the God in and around us hopefully  also roars.


Church moments – prayer moments – help us in terror moments – because it’s moments like this moment at a morning Mass that we are storing up faith.

The title of my homily is, “Faith And Terror Seem To Mix.”

Poem for Today - Tuesday - July 1, 2014


We wear the mask that grins and lies.
It shades our cheeks and hides our eyes.
This debt we pay to human guile
With torn and bleeding hearts…
We smile and mouth the myriad subtleties.
Why should the world think otherwise
In counting all our tears and sighs.
Nay let them only see us while
We wear the mask.

We smile but oh my God
Our tears to thee from tortured souls arise
And we sing Oh Baby doll, now we sing…
The clay is vile beneath our feet
And long the mile
But let the world think otherwise.
We wear the mask.

When I think about myself
I almost laugh myself to death.
My life has been one great big joke!
A dance that’s walked a song that’s spoke.
I laugh so hard HA! HA! I almos’ choke
When I think about myself.

Seventy years in these folks’ world
The child I works for calls me girl
I say “HA! HA! HA! Yes ma’am!”
For workin’s sake
I’m too proud to bend and
Too poor to break
So…I laugh! Until my stomach ache
When I think about myself.
My folks can make me split my side
I laugh so hard, HA! HA! I nearly died
The tales they tell sound just like lying
They grow the fruit but eat the rind.
Hmm huh! I laugh uhuh huh huh…
Until I start to cry when I think about myself
And my folks and the children.

My fathers sit on benches,
Their flesh count every plank,
The slats leave dents of darkness
Deep in their withered flank.
And they gnarled like broken candles,
All waxed and burned profound.
They say, but sugar, it was our submission
that made your world go round.

There in those pleated faces
I see the auction block
The chains and slavery’s coffles
The whip and lash and stock.

My fathers speak in voices
That shred my fact and sound
They say, but sugar, it was our submission
that made your world go round.
They laugh to conceal their crying,
They shuffle through their dreams
They stepped ’n fetched a country
And wrote the blues in screams.
I understand their meaning,
It could an did derive
From living on the edge of death
They kept my race alive
By wearing the mask! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

© Maya Angelou

Monday, June 30, 2014



The title of my homily for this 13th Monday in Ordinary Time is today’s Psalm Response, “Remember This, You Who Never Think of God.”

I thought that would be a good thought for today.


A spiritual practice that I like to stress over and over again is that of using one’s rosary for all kinds of prayers.

Today’s push would be to take your rosary and say on the 59 beads, “Think of God!”

I tried doing that this morning and it took me 1 minute and 15 seconds – to do just that - without rushing – but also without stopping to think.

“Think of God.”

Would that be enough of a tattoo to make that proposal stick to the skin of our soul?

“Think of God.”

Once more, today’s psalm response was, “Remember This, You Who Never Think of God.”

We said that 5 times when we went through today’s psalm, Psalm 50.

Question: “Did anyone here think about that plea? I didn’t.

Today’s Psalm Response “Remember This, You Who Never Think of God.”

I cut those 8 words down to 3 words: “Think of God.”

The question I’m asking and thinking about is: “Would anyone think of God – simply by saying – ‘Think of God.’”

If someone was going out to work or vacation or on a trip, and someone said to a person they love who is leaving or to the person who is staying, “Think of me!” would that person think more of that person that day or during that  trip because of that request?

I don’t know the answer to that question.

Each of us would have to answer that from our own experience.

As I thought about that, my answer would be: “They wouldn’t think about that person they love  - because of the request. I think they might think about the person they love – who is not there – when they need that person to lift something or get something or to share an experience with or a song comes on the radio or they see a couple walking down the street holding hands.”


Next, I want to make a few comments about the Psalm Response itself.

The Psalm Response and Psalm –  is a part of every Mass – sitting there between the two readings . 

Have you ever thought about the Psalm Response? Has a preacher ever made reference to it?

I think it gets lost in the shuffle most of the time.

I think the words are throw away words – and our minds discard them pretty quickly.

If they are over 10 syllables – and especially if they are over 10 words, I think many of us miss or mess them up or don’t get them.

It think those who use the missalette to see the words are helped with knowing what the Psalm Response is. By doing that I assume they sometimes get something out of it -  because they don’t have to spend energy on trying to hear just what it is before remembering what they just heard the lector say them.

Next, I think Psalm Responses are for singing – and we don’t sing them during the week in most parishes. When sung on Sundays, I look out and I see some people’s lips moving – singing the Psalm Response after the Cantor sings it. I also see some faces praying it – sometimes with eyes closed and apparently pleading with God the contents of the Psalm Response. 

[I couldn't find on YouTube Psalm 50: 16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23 - today's Psalm - so I put at the beginning of this blog piece Psalm 41 - as an example of a sung psalm and psalm response.]

So my conclusion from my experience has been: when sung, much better. When spoken, much chaos.

As to the spoken Psalm Response, I heard a priest say: “In my last parish, we used two or three of the same responses on weekdays for the whole year – ones the people get used to.”  I’ve heard other priests say: “Instead of those long Psalm responses – which are often confusing – we simply say, ‘The response today is, “Alleluia!”’”


Enough of that ….

Once more today’s Psalms Response is: “Remember This, You Who Never Think of God.”

Looking at the 4 psalm verses the Lector reads out in between that Psalm response I came up with these 4 questions:

Is the song writer saying: “When you forget God, when you don’t think of God, you’ll hate discipline and you won’t be keeping God’s covenant, statutes and commandments.”

Is the song writer saying: “If you forget God you’ll be a thief, an adulterer, and your mouth will be mouthing evil and deceit – lies?”

Is the song writer saying: “If you forget God you’ll speak against your family members, you’ll be spreading rumors, you’ll be thinking God really doesn’t care what you do – and you’ll be thinking less and less of God.”

Is the song writer saying: “If you forget God you’ll forget that God can rescue you and save you in tough situations.”


So obviously, all this is one more reason why we come to Mass – come to church – take time to pray. When here we’re less apt to forget God. We’re more apt to remember God.

When we remember God, we’re better people. When we don’t forget God – we’re better people with our mouth, with our behavior, with our attitudes, with our inner conversations.

When we remember God, we’ll be less apt to be like the folks in today’s first reading whom Amos  2:6-10, 13-16 is saying they are not treating one another right – and we’ll be more apt to follow Christ as he is calling these two people in today’s gospel - Matthew 8: 18-22.

Poem for June 30, 2014


Isn't it strange how princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common people, like you and me,
are builders for eternity?

Each is given a list of rules;
a shapeless mass; a bag of tools.
And each must fashion, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.

© RL Sharpe

Sunday, June 29, 2014



The title of my homily is, “The Gdczukesis Brothers.”

Gdczukesiks – spelled “G D C Z U K E S I S” - Gdczukesiks .

Don’t worry about the spelling – nobody ever got it right – probably starting with U.S. Customs Agents at Ellis Island, New York City - when they met the first Gdczukesis – two brothers - arriving by boat from Eastern Europe way back in 1895.

Don’t worry – you probably won’t be able to pronounce their last name either. Just say, “One of the Gooks.” Yes, that often became their and their descendent’s nickname in every generation – and most laughed – once they became used to people being unable to pronounce their intriguing last name.


There must have been about 3,500 hundred people at the big banquet – in a big downtown – big city hotel. It was the 100th anniversary of a men’s big Catholic retreat house just on the edge of the city.

The banquet hall was filled with mostly men – middle aged to old men – most with suits and ties on. Hey it was the 100th anniversary. And yes, some of the men were there with their wives – but it was mostly men.

It was banquet food – chicken for everyone. There were probably a few vegetarians in the group – but nobody was P.C. correct. Okay, there were string beans – good – sprinkled with peanuts – with no worry for anyone with peanut allergies.  The men – many with rather large bellies - asked for seconds on the bread – at almost every table. Men do that – and as the waitress went for more bread - they shouted an extra comment: “And bring plenty of those tiny packets of butter  - cold butter, please!”

There were lots of speeches at the banquet. There was lots of history spoken. 100 years is a 100 years. The keynote address – was good – but just good – not excellent – giving lots of names from the past.

Then came the moment - the fascinating moment. One of the sub speakers – got to the microphone – and said, “I was thinking as I looked around the banquet hall this evening – that many of us would not be here today - if it wasn’t for the Gdczukesis’ brothers – Peter and Paul Gdczukesis – of happy memory.”

The speaker continued, “Way, way back, they came on a weekend retreat. They enjoyed it so much - that on the following Monday morning – they talked about how good it was – that other men said, 'Next year if you go on that retreat, let us know.'”

Sure enough – next year – a good contingent of men from Peter and Paul Gdczukesiks’ parish – and some from work - went on a weekend religious retreat – and as the years flowed by, the numbers kept increasing – all because of these two brothers.

As the sub speaker was saying this – men around the room started standing up spontaneously. Men would signal to other men – “Hey stand up – you’re part of this!” They were indicating, “You’re here,  because if you traced it back – you went on a weekend retreat – because of Peter or Paul Gdczukesis.”

Surprise about 500 men out of the 3,500 people in the room stood up.

The sub speaker – stopped in amazement – reached down – and picked up a glass of water from his table spot on the dais – and said into the microphone, “To Peter and Paul – the first Gooks – who got us to make a weekend retreat.”

All cheered. All smiled. All laughed. All celebrated.


The other day I noticed in The National Catholic Reporter a homily for this feast of St. Peter and Paul. I read it, because I was wondering what I would preach on this Sunday.

This next part of my sermon has no connection with my first part – my story about “The Gdczukesis Brothers” – other than their name being Peter and Paul.

The priest, the author of a homily entitled, “Christ Is Alive” is a Father Roger Vermalen Karban – pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Renault, Illinois. He begins his homily this way, “Someone once said that a connoisseur of classical music is someone who can listen to Rossini’s ‘William Tell Overture’ and not think of ‘The Lone Ranger.’”

I’m not a connoisseur of classical music – but I got that insight – and I think of the Lone Ranger every time I hear that musical piece.

Then this preacher and pastor from Renault, Illinois said that a real connoisseur of Scripture is one who can listen to today’s gospel and not think of the Papacy of today.

I did think of our modern popes – so I’m not a connoisseur of Scripture either. However, his comment hit me and I found it worthy of reflection for this feast day.

Father Karban stresses  - yes Peter is the Rock – but what was key to Peter’s life – was that the rock had been moved away and Christ  had risen from the dead – and lives amongst us.

Hence his sermon theme and title: “Christ is Alive.”

Then he stresses not the Papacy and trappings – but the call of the church is to discover Christ alive in our everyday life.

That’s what Peter and Paul did.


Next, as I thought about all this and that,  I began thinking what would Peter and Paul see in our Church today?

If Peter and Paul went on a trip – what would they see and think about what happened to our Church down through the centuries?

If they came into our parish – what would be their comments?

If they sat down at our table or on our couch in our home – what would be their impressions?

If we sat down with them – what would be our questions?

I don’t know what Peter and Paul would see – but I do know a few questions that I would ask.

I’d ask both what was their most important message? Would I find that message in the 2 Letters of Peter – attributed to him - in the New Testament – and the 14 Letters of Paul in the New Testament – 7 of them surely attributed to him – and the other 7 - attributed to him at times and associated with him most of the time?

I’d ask both of them: “What was the most important moment of their life? Was it the day they met Christ – Peter at the lakeside in Galilee – Paul on the road to Damascus?”  I’d ask both if their mistakes dominated their lives – Paul being in on the death of Christians like Stephen – and Peter in denying Jesus on the night of his arrest – after the Last Supper?

In other words: what would be most important part of their life, Christ, or their Call or Conversion to Christ? Or are both linked?

Would they ask me: what do you see is your call in life? Would they ask: what have been my conversion moments?

Would Paul ask me: Have I ever fallen on my face – being so blind – that I couldn’t see that I was hurting others?

Would Peter ask me: Have I ever put my foot in my mouth like he did – and lived to get over it – but with more understanding of myself and others because of my mistakes?

If I had some more moments with them, I’d ask them if they knew about the wooden statues here in St. Mary’s – in our old communion rail – Peter with a book in his hands and the keys to the kingdom in the other hand – and Paul with a sword in his hand – indicating the tradition that he was beheaded – and he too has a book in  his hands. 

If I had some more time and they had some more time on their trip, I’d ask them if they knew about Santa Maria del Popolo Church in Rome.

I figure that would catch their attention – being so specific. And when they asked what I was talking about, I’d tell them that way back in 1099 in Rome, Pope Pascal II had a walnut tree in Rome chopped down. It was always populated by scary black crows.  The people in that area of Rome were saying that area was haunted by the Ghost of Nero – and then I’d add, “I heard both of you were killed by Nero in Rome in the 60’s.”

If they asked, “Where did you hear that?” I’d say, “That’s what Eusebius of Caesarea said in the 4th century.”

If they then said, “Okay, but tell us about this church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome?”

I’d say that the church was a chapel at first then added onto  – then totally rebuilt – and many of the biggies were in on its decorations – and rebuilds -  names like Della Rovere and Raphael and Bernini.  Then I’d appeal to their vanity and say: “There are 2 Caravaggio’s in that church – one of you Peter and one of you Paul.”

I’d expect both to perk up at that and say, “I hear they are worth millions.”

Then I’d expect them to ask: “How did this fellow Caravaggio picture us.”

I’d tell Paul that you’re on the ground in armor – having fallen off your horse – on your way to arrest and kill Christians. Then I’d add – it’s a perfect picture for Caravaggio – because he loved light – and Luke in the Acts of the Apostles says you saw the light that day.

I’d tell Peter that he’s being crucified upside down – as I heard you requested. Unlike Paul in his armor – you’re like Jesus in a loin cloth – and it seems like you’re looking elsewhere – even though there is this horrible looking nail – right through your hand – into the cross.

I’d wonder what they would think about all these things.


I also wonder what you think about Peter and Paul. This weekend we celebrate their place in our faith life. Take a trip in your mind – and see what questions come up – questions you have for them – and questions they have for you. In the year 65 or so - when they were killed - they certainly had no idea what would happen to our world with Christ in it - till the end of the world.

I also wonder about the Gdczukesis’ Brothers – Peter and Paul Gdczukesis. Like Peter and Paul they had no idea what the future would bring. They had had no idea – when they made that first retreat - what would happen in the future of so many as a result.

I think of the generations of Catholics to come – how many of them will stand up in the banquet of heaven and toast us – because – because of us – their faith in Jesus Christ became real.