Friday, February 13, 2015

February 13, 2015


“I feel like a temporary person.”

“What? What does that mean?”

“Well, when I walk into a room,
I feel nobody really knows me”


“Then sometimes when I'm standing there
with a somebody,  I see them looking over my shoulder at others – for someone more interesting.”


“Then they make some faint get-a-way comment.”

“Wait, a minute, don’t run. Get back to what you’re feeling when you say to yourself, I’m a temporary person.”

“Well, yeah. People bolt away from me all the time.”

“Well, do you feel if any of this is your fault?”

Of course…. I always think it’s my fault.”

“Bummer. That has to hurt – to think that way
about yourself. By the way do you agree
with yourself when you say it’s your fault?”

“No, of course not. I’m me, but I sense nobody
really knows me – or even cares to know me.”

“Well, I know you a bit.”

“You, no I don’t sense that you know me.”

“Well, you’re telling me you feel like nothing and 
that ticks you off – or you’d like more attention,
so I think I know that about you.”

“No, I’m not saying that. I’m simply saying I feel
like a temporary person – an in-between person –
a someone,  someone uses for the moment 
till someone better comes along.”

“Oh, sorry to hear you say that – about yourself.”

“I’m also sorry to hear that I said that about myself.”

“Well, that's a start....”

“And by the way, that last comment you made was
something  I needed to hear. I sense everyone is on the edge of everyone. We hesitate to enter into other people – because if we let go and become friendly or marry another, we have a chance to grow … to know … other people – and become less alone and less lonely.”

“I like that. I would sense that’s a healthy way of thinking and becoming a person who’s getting to know themselves.”


“Thanks. Thanks for trying to listen to who I am." 

"You're welcome."

"Let me add: and if I listened to myself the way you’re listening to me, maybe then I’ll stop calling myself a temporary person.”

© Andy Costello, 
by the Bay, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

February 12, 2015


The bullies in the school yard sat on him,
then punched him, so too the other kids
from all the other schools he went to.

He hung in there in every school – as well as
on his way home from every school he went to –
as well as on all the teams he belonged to.

Then it was a boss and then a bunch of guys
at the office? Why is it that some people seem
to get bullied and picked on much of their lives?

Will a day come when he’ll be so angry with all these
bullies within and without – that he too will become a
bully, a dictator or just the opposite, a protector?

© Andy Costello, Reflections on the Bay, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February 11, 2015


Is it that the worse
and not the better,
the poorer
and not the richer,
the sickness
and not the health, that
gets us to communicate
about the sickness
or the death of a marriage?

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 10, 2015


Some nights slide in like falling snow,
so quietly – so silently – covering
the ground all around our house.

Later on while standing there looking out
into a white wonderland from my 11:55
P.M. window – I realize this is much of my life –
layer upon layer of falling moments, falling
memories… whatever color memories are: 
white, black, blue, red, bright yellow happenings. 
Life. The winter of my life. But there is Spring.

Then getting under the covers as I drift off
into the wonderland called sleep … moving
into images and dreams – into the mysteries 
of the long night - into the uncontrollable.

Then the realism of the morning alarm,
waking up and looking out my 6:45 A.M.
window – seeing, reading, looking at
poetry, poetry everywhere, a new day.

Then I have the morning rush - shower,
Cheerios, coffee, push some snow off my car, 
then wince my nose, then the pause while
driving,  wondering about the narrow schedule
called February – called getting to March.

© Andy Costello,

Reflections by the Bay, 2015


The title of my homily for this Fifth Tuesday in Ordinary Time is, “Made in the Image and Likeness of God.”

That statement has been heard by all of us from time to time during our life.

Am I like God or is God like me?  Or am I totally different from God and is God is totally different from me?

That statement  - “Made in the image and likeness of God” - is in today’s first reading. It’s in the first chapter of the Genesis the first book of the Bible.


Years ago I almost took a semester’s course at Princeton Theological Seminary on that one statement in the Bible, Genesis 1:26-27.

Once more it goes like this: “Then God said: ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.’  God created man in his image / in the divine image he created him; / male and female he created them.”

The professor said there were hundreds of takes on that text.

I should have taken that course, but didn’t  because another course grabbed me.

Through the years I have thought about that text – but I don’t know for sure just what the Priestly Author of Chapter One of Genesis means by this text.


God created the world.  We can create nothing out of nothing.

God is all knowing, all loving, all forgiving.  We are not.

God doesn’t have a body; we do.

God is eternal. We are temporary – but we are hoping for eternal life.


God can be lonely; we can be lonely.

God can communicate; we can communicate.

God can be one with others – as God is in the Trinity. We can be in communion with others – as well as enter into the Trinity through, with, and in Christ.

When God created the world, God was like a Father and a Mother – making Their  children’s room a Paradise. So too parents when they are going to have their first child – they make  their baby’s room and space – a paradise. Nothing can be missing for their new baby.


God – the All Powerful God can be powerless and accept it. Human beings can be powerless and don’t want to  accept it. For example, Jesus gave up all his powers when he let go to let himself be arrested, beaten, killed on the cross. He said he could have his Father send legions of angels to save him.

We say to God, “Thy will be done.” Many times we don’t mean it. We’re actually saying and praying, “My will be done.” 

God is all forgiving.  We can be that way – but often we’re not.


I think a possible prayer could be:

even though I am made
in your image and likeness,
thank You, God,
that I am not You,
because if I were You,
uh oh, O God.

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 9, 2015


In  the beginning
all was God.

In the beginning
all else was silence,
all else was darkness.

And God burst
through the dam
of silence and darkness
with his word,
“Let there be light!”

And God’s power,
and God’s spirit
exploded into creation.

Molten lava,
red rivers of fire,
huge stones and planets
rolled down the dark hills
of space, down the empty
halls of the universe,
crashing, splashing,
noise and sound.

Creation had begun ,
bursting, splattering seed
into the empty holes
of barren time.

“Let there be life!”

And the fertile egg
of earth began.

And in time
the naked baby
came forth
crawling towards
the Father,
standing, falling
rising, trying
again and again
to stand up to the Father.

And gradually
it too learned
the words,
“Let there be light!”

© Andy Costello, 
from page 168 -  
Cries .... but Silent
Thomas More 
Association, 1981


A Negro Sermon 
by James Weldon Johnson 
1871 - 1928 

And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I’m lonely—
I’ll make me a world.

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said: That’s good!

Then God reached out and took the light in his hands,
And God rolled the light around in his hands
Until he made the sun;
And he set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said: That’s good!

Then God himself stepped down—
And the sun was on his right hand,
And the moon was on his left;
The stars were clustered about his head,
And the earth was under his feet.
And God walked, and where he trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then he stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And he spat out the seven seas—
He batted his eyes, and the lightnings flashed—
He clapped his hands, and the thunders rolled—
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again,
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around his shoulder.

Then God raised his arm and he waved his hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And he said: Bring forth! Bring forth!
And quicker than God could drop his hand,
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said: That’s good!

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that he had made.
He looked at his sun,
And he looked at his moon,
And he looked at his little stars;
He looked on his world
With all its living things,
And God said: I’m lonely still.

Then God sat down—
On the side of a hill where he could think;
By a deep, wide river he sat down;
With his head in his hands,
God thought and thought,
Till he thought: I’ll make me a man!

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;
This great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in is his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.
Amen.      Amen.

Sunday, February 8, 2015



The title of my homily for this 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time is, “Bummer of A Bus Ride.”

When I read today’s first reading from the Book of Job, the thought that hit me was this: It would be a bummer of a bus ride – if one went on a trip sitting next to Job.

In today’s first reading listen to him, “Life is drudgery. Work – if you’re a hired hand, is a bummer. If that’s the story, your life is like that of a slave who wants to get out of the burning heat and sit down in the shade.”

He’s saying, “Life is months of misery. Troubled nights are a killer. I’m restless. I can’t sleep.  I have no hope in life. I’m going to die. My life is like the wind. I won’t see happiness again.”

If you ended up next to Job on a bus ride – or a plane – or in a small group – or had Job as a roommate in college, bummer.


In today’s 2nd reading  Paul is telling us that his main goal in life is to help make such an unhappy camper happy by bringing Christ into that person’s life. Paul – when he was Saul -  was an unhappy camper. He didn’t like Christians. 

Then on the road to Damascus, he fell on his face and  found out he was wrong. He changed. He then spent the rest of his life trying to bring the joy and love of Christ to as many unhappy campers he met.

In today’s gospel – people are coming from everywhere to be next to Christ. It's just to opposite of being next to Job. They want to receive Christ's blessings and avoid Job's whinings. They wanted to be next to Christ - the optimist and not the pessimist.


Who would you rather be next to on a bus? Job or Christ? Choose Christ. 

When someone sees us coming down the aisle of a bus - and the seat next to them  is empty, what are they thinking when they see our face?
February 8, 2015


Cold  - like 20 below freezing cold -
can be so silent, so sneaky, so tight.

Cold can creep into every stone,
into every bone in my body.

Cold can grab every outside metal
banister – as I stand there freezing.

Cold can stand there with me on the
top step – as I ring the bell – no answer.

Cold eases the cold as I knock, knock
on the sold front door – but nobody’s home.

Cold rushes with me as I rush home
to get inside and rub into a hot radiator.

Cold – I see myself being so cold when
someone wants me – wants me to open up.

Cold – I am too, too cold – I am so non-Samaritan,
when someone stands at my door and knocks.

Cold – it’s so much harder to be a Christian in the
cold, when I want my comfort and my warmth.

© Andy Costello, Reflection by the Bay, 2015