Saturday, July 30, 2016

July 30, 2016


The conventions were over
in both Cleveland and Philadelphia….
The balloons filled with air
came floating down….
The halls were emptying out.
On TV I spotted a cleaning woman
with a broom like handle
with some kind of a metal nail
or needle at its point
sticking it too the balloons -
bursting them - letting the hot air all out.
I couldn’t  see her face. Was
she laughing at the metaphor
or was she worrying about
how little she was getting paid
to sweep all this stuff up - the now
deflated balloons, the signs,
the cleaning up and getting ready
for the next…? The TV people
were still interviewing the folks
with the names. Nobody noticed her.

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016



The title of my thoughts for this feast of Saint Martha is, “Friends”.

That theme of friendships hit me - realizing that Jesus - found 3 good friends at the Bethany home of Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus.

In the gospel section for this feast there are two options: "The Martha-Mary Conflict Story" and the "Jesus, Couldn't You Have Done Something to Prevent Our Brother Lazarus from Dying Story."

I chose John’s Gospel story about the moments in Martha and Mary’s life when they were dealing with the death of their brother. It can be read at every funeral. [Cf. John 11: 19-27]

I didn’t choose the famous Martha-Mary story from Luke 10:38-42. We just had that reading the other day - and we all know and wonder why Martha seems to be diminished by Jesus - for service to Jesus and Mary - and it gives us all pause when Jesus tells Martha when she’s complaining, “Mary has chosen the better part.”  I always like to say, “I prefer Martha - and I’m grateful for all the Martha’s who have cooked and fed me.

For today, I chose the story of the 3 friends of Jesus: Martha, Mary and Lazarus. When people see Jesus grieving big time at Lazarus’ death, people saw the love of Jesus for Lazarus and the beauty of their friendship.


During this homily I’d be happy if you could stop listening to me and listen to yourself about your top 3 friends.

I’ve heard different numbers on this. Some say if you have 5 friends in a lifetime, you’re lucky.   Others say 4. I’m saying 3.

I’ve heard people say they have hundreds of friends. Someone said that in an average lifetime - say 70 years - we have  400 friends.

I rather use the word, “acquaintances.”

Some people who use Face book talk about having many, many people whom they have befriended.

If you disagree - and say, “I have lots of friends - and they are more than acquainted,” then I would ask how many are or were close friends. I’d add the adjective close to stress the difference between close friends and friends.


To put some muscle or challenge to some thoughts about friendship, I’d ask, how have you been treating them. Have you neglected them?  Maybe this homily could give you the incentive to give them a call.

It’s been my experience when pointing out the value of coming up with 3 to 5 close friends and reflect upon that, then 3 to 5 people are not too many to contact and evaluate.

In this homily I’m saying that close friends are very helpful when it comes to going through life.

We have lots of family members, but not all are our friends.

Euripides said, “One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.” Euripides

During this mass for Saint Martha - come up with the Martha in your life - the friend who is great with food and connecting with you.

Then Thank God for that friend. Then ask for inner forgiveness for any lack - or neglect - or forgettings in that friendship.


Ooops, before finishing I better spell out just what is a friend.

I assume a friend is someone whom we break  bread with each other
from time to time.

I assume a friend is someone whom we can complain to - complain about  - different situations and circumstances in life and the other just listens.

I think a good friend doesn’t use our stories to trigger their stories - but instead they become silent and listen to our stories. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

A friend knows the size of our shoes - because they have walked in them with us. They get what we’re reporting on. They listen.

And as we listen to our friends, as they listen to us, we hear similarities of listening. I call it the You Too factor. I discovered somewhere along the line that the secret of good preaching - good speaking - is that the other is saying, “Wow. You too.”  C.S. Lewis said this long before me when he wrote, . “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”


In case nothing hit you in this homily, here are a few quotes about friendship:

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. He may not seem such a good friend after telling.” – Arthur Brisbane

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” — Joseph F. Newton Men

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” — Carl W. Buchner

NOTES: Bronze sculpture, "Bonds of Friendship"
by John Robinson, 1980, in Sydney, Australia.
July 29, 2016


Laughter from another room….
Fire engines at 2:15 AM - waking me….
A violin while walking down the street….
A group next door singing “Happy Birthday”….
Frogs in a pond....
An owl in some tree....
A helicopter above the trees ….
Someone screams “Hey!” from back there ….
Barking from somewhere ….
A gate opens….
A knock at the door….
A bang that sounded like a gunshot….
Someone screams, “Oh my God!”

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

July 28, 2016


As a kid I loved to walk on cobblestone streets.
They were some of my sacred places in
Brooklyn and in older sections of Manhattan.
I loved the way they were solidly set in place -
cobblestone after cobblestone after cobblestone,
cobblestone after cobblestone after cobblestone,
cobblestone after cobblestone after cobblestone,
cobblestone after cobblestone after cobblestone,
row after row after row - dark grey stones - sort
of like those block sized loaves of bread - in the
glass displays - kids' size high - in the bakery - 
and as I walked along on the sacred stones -
sometimes with my dad - I knew I was walking
with security and solidity, like the cobblestones.
My dad died on June 26, 1970. Like so many
cobblestones - he is buried underneath my life -
like the unseen cobblestones still underneath so
many black softer macadam covered streets.... 
Looking back I now know it was good to have so
much strength and solidity - underneath my life -
cobblestones with cobblestones - even though 
I can no longer see what’s below - but I know....

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016



This morning I would like to reflect on the theme of today’s gospel, “There is a treasure in your midst.” It's the gospel for this 17th Wednesday in Ordinary Time.

There is a treasure in our midst. It’s the pearl of great price. It’s within our grasp. It’s in our midst. But are we aware of it. Or are we unhappy, always thinking happiness and peace is elsewhere?

One of the secrets of a happy life and a high energy life is to know what we want.

Do we know what you want? Do we have a clear vision of what we want in this life?


If we are searching for 3 or 4 things at once, if we are undecided, if we don’t know our goal, then we can be killing ourselves and spending a lot of energy that is a waste.

There is an Argus poster that says, “If you don’t know what port you are sailing for, no wind is the right wind.”

There is a Russian proverb that states, “Chase two wolves and you won’t catch either of them.”


So Jesus is saying here, to put our hand to the plow and to know what row we want to hoe.

To know what we’re doing.

To find the treasure in the field


I read a  poem once about a couple on a porch of a house looking down at the road below that went by their house. They spot a gypsy couple going by. They are talking to each other. They wish they were like the couple on the road, no worries in the world, free, not tied down, no mortgage payments killing them. And the gypsy couple on the road look up at the house and say, "Wouldn’t it be nice to be the couple there in the house. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a home of our own, no problems. We wouldn’t have to spend all our time and energy as gypsies, wandering down all these roads, Wouldn’t it be great to settle down like that couple in the house there in a home of our own. Life would be that much easier for us.

That poem is happens and is rewritten every day.  


I looked up my favorite book on the Parables - The Parables of Jesus by Joachim Jeremias - to see what he would say about the Parable of the Treasure in the Field - here in Matthew 13: 44-46.

Jeremias says that this story is also found in  the gospel of Thomas. Thomas tells the story about a man having a field with a treasure in it, but he never knew it. He died. He left the field to his son, who never found out that he had a treasure in his field. He sold it. The buyer - while plowing discovered the treasure.

There is also a Jewish tale about a man who had a garbage dump that had a treasure in it. However, he too was too lazy to find about the treasure in his garbage dump. He sold the field or willed it to his son without knowing about the treasure.

There are many similar stores in many cultures - that tell this story of hidden treasures in our midst.

Somewhere along the line, I’m sure you heard the story, “Acres of Diamonds.” It was a story and a speech given by Russell Conwell 6,152 times all around the world. He was in the Civil War. He was founder and first president of Temple University. The message was that there were acres of diamonds right under out feet.


John Shea, a great story teller - features this theme of the treasure right under our nose - in various ways.

I’m sure you heard this story - told by John Shea.

There was a poor rabbi who lived in the city of Krakow. He lived on the street of the Lost Angel, in the last hovel on that street, with his wife and four children. Since he was extremely poor, he dreamed every night of riches.

He dreamt that underneath a bridge in the city of Warsaw there was a treasure. When he awakened in the morning, he excitedly told his wife and his children about his dream He then packed food and clothes, and set off for the long journey to find the bridge, to unearth the treasure and be rich. He traveled many days and long nights and finally he arrived in Warsaw.

It was just as the dream had pictured it, except for one thing. (There was a guard on the bridge, a sentinel who paced back and forth.) And so the poor rabbi, tired from his journey fell asleep in the bushes.

When he awoke, he rattled the bushes with his arm, and the guard spun on him, “You there, come here!’ Being a simple man who would not run, he was also a simple man who could not lie. He said, “I have dreamed that underneath the bridge there is a treasure and I have traveled many long miles to find that treasure and be rich.” The guard said, “That is strange. Just last night, I too, have had a dream. I have dreamt that in the city of Krakow, on the street of the Lost Angel, in the last hovel on that street, where lives a rabbi and his wife and their four children there is buried behind the fireplace a treasure. And I leave tonight to find it and be rich.’”


The title of my homily is, “There Is A Treasure in Your Midst.”

I often wonder how many poets and artists and athletes there have been who  never knew they had a hidden talent.

Hopefully, we’re all in favor of schools that help kids discover talents and gifts deep within them.

My brother had a gift for being able to translate Russian Air Force Signals. When he was at Georgetown someone told him about a test they were giving - looking for researchers and surprise they discovered he that gift and he spent time in the Library of Congress working on tapes from the Aleutian Islands - sent to Washington - to be translated into United States Air Force signals. 

How about you?
July 27, 2016


The three were talking and talking -
the kind of talking after the fourth glass
of wine or beer - late into the evening -
commenting about politics, religion,
the craziness of so and so - but,
“You gotta ….” And she, the fourth of
the group at the dining room table -
thinking, "The dinner food is still sitting 
there. It should be fridged." But she better
not get up and start moving the plates. 
She better stay with the three - but
they didn’t really see her - so she was
looking at the bright bronze of the hinge
holding the dining room door to the dining 
room frame. And she said to herself in 
her inner conversation, “That’s me. Yes, 
that’s me. I’m a hinge between my kids 
and Jack and I’m a hinge between Jill
and her family and mom and my sisters 
and I’m a hidden hinge holding these doors 
that open and close between us."

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 26, 2016

Rocks hold the invisible.
They have their history -
but most of the time -
they don’t tell their story -
except in cemeteries
and on cornerstones.

They have been around
for a long time. They hold
hot and they hold cold -
sometimes for a long time,
but you have to be in touch
with them to find this out.

Rocks hurt, crush, break,
and can weigh us down.
No wonder they have been
used for weapons from the
beginning of time. Remember
what Jesus told us that day, 
“Let the one without sin, 
cast that first stone.”**

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2016
*Painting on top: Charles
Burchfield, Sun and Rocks.
**Scripture text: John 8: 1-11



The title of my homily on this July 26th  feast of Saints Anne and Joachim, the grandparents of Jesus, is,  “In Praise of Grandparents.”

My main comments will be about Joachim and Anne, some quotes about grandparents  - and conclude with the importance and significance of grandparents.

Notice St. Mary’s Church does its praise with two statues up here - of Anne and Joachim. They were short people. [Joke]


Anne and Joachim are names given them in time - from legends and from traditions.

As you know we don’t know their real names from our Bible. They are not mentioned in the genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke. And you won’t find mention of Joachim and Anne in the infancy narratives.

Obviously, Jesus had to have grandparents. That’s why I like the joke I love to use in the pulpit to see if people are listening, “As Grouch Marx put it, if your parents didn’t have any kids, chances are you won’t either.”

We do get the names, Joachim and Anne, from some of the apocryphal gospels and Infancy Narratives - legends and made up stories - to fill in the gaps about what we don’t know from the canonical or official gospels.

It was interesting to find out last night when looking up some of this stuff that there are about 150 surviving manuscripts of the so called, Gospel of James - which goes back perhaps to 150. We don’t have that document but copies of that earlier document - which go back to the 3rd or early 4th century and then after that.

In time - because they are connected so closely to Jesus - Joachim and Anne became models for grandparents and saints to pray to for help for being a grandparent.

In 1584 Joachim was mentioned in the Roman canon of saints.

They are also mentioned in Muslim traditions as well.

And you might remember that Luther in a violent thunder storm  - as he tells is - cried out in prayer, “Save me, Saint Anne, and I’ll become a monk.” He did - but others say he was thinking of that calling long before that thunderstorm.


Those of you who are grandparents know the feelings and the joy in hearing the news that one of your kids is going to have a baby. It’s a different feeling - from the first time you were to be a parent yourself.

Becoming a grandparent also has its humor. “Welcome to your new job, babysitter, par excellence.” 

Those of you who are grandparents, know it gives great new meaning to your life - and deeper understandings of your kids who made you a grandparent.


I looked up “Quotes about Grandparenting” and here are a few.

There is the Italian saying, “If nothing is going well, call your grandmother.”

Ogden Nash said, “When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window.”

Pam Brown said, “Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you’re just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric.”

Marcy de Maree said, “Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day is complete.”

Lewis Mumford, “Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.”


Grandparents are a marvelous support system - when so many families are struggling with balancing two jobs - many schedule stresses - divorces - financial problems and what have you.

Grandparents are the keepers of the stories.

Grandparents give cookies, checks, hugs and presence at so many family events - graduations, baptisms, and soccer and lacrosse games.


Saints Anne and Joachim bless our families and our world. Amen.



The title of my homily for this feast of St. James  is, “Lord It Over.”

In today’s gospel, I spotted the phrase, “Lord it over.” I thought it would be a good theme to think about for a homily.

The whole text was,

“But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” [Matthew 20: 25-28]

And the text uses for the word "lord" a variation of the Greek word, "Kurios", which we would be familiar with as in "Kyrie" in the "Kyrie eleison".

It’s a warning and a message to all of us - especially if someone ever said to us, “Who do you think you are, God Almighty?”

Or, “Who are you, King Tut? or "The Queen of Sheba?”


Yesterday, in the Sunday sermon I preached, I talked about,  “How does God work?” or - “How do we see God?”

I wanted folks to think about and to see and to realize how they see God.

How do you see God? All powerful? Can do everything? Can solve everything?

Obviously, that’s how many see God. That description is in many of our prayers and texts - for example, our opening prayer for today, but I noticed the word is used for kings and queens more than for our God in our Bible.

 In fact, Jesus - God - was killed by us.

There’s a message there.

And Jesus said when he was arrested, “Don’t you realize God the Father could send 12 legions of angels down now and destroy those who want to destroy me?” [Cf. Matthew 26:53.] 


The New Testament message is that our God is weak - as seen in Christ Jesus.

The New Testament message is that the call to us is not to be served but to serve - to treat others like Lords and Kings and Queens.

The New Testament message is that it’s all about service and we’re it.

The New Testament message is that God appeared as a little baby in Bethlehem - in a cave - in an animals’ crib - and ended up being a carpenter’s son - an itinerant preacher - a foot washer - a healer - a man who preached and walked around lots of little towns in dry, dusty, arid Israel.

Don’t we get ticked when someone tries to Lord it over us?  Don’t we get ticked when so and so puts us or others down when they have the title of head - boss - chief - priest - or what have you? [Cf. Mark 10:32.]

I think we’ve been around Jesus too much that we don’t get his big theme that he’s here to serve us and is not into worship. Smile! Aren’t we at Mass to do just that?

I once saw on TV, “Steambath” an off-broadway play by Bruce Jay Friedman - where God is a Puerto Rican attendant or janitor at a steambath. His name is Morty. The people on stage slowly realize they have died and they are moving around in the smoky steam.

How’s that for an image of Purgatory - and did the author possibly think “Carwash” as a cleaning process as well - after death?


So my message for today is to be like God, to be Lord, and that means, for us Christians, to serve - till as  earthen vessels we crumble.

Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25, 2016


Where’s the scissors?
Use a knife.
Cut the stings.
Remove the wrapping.
Open the box.
Discover the surprise inside.

It can happen every summer
when a kid goes to camp.
It can happen every school year
when a kid enters a new class
or a new school. It can happen
when watching a puppet show
and someone realizes deep within,
“Wait! I’m not a puppet.”

But the puppetry people scream,
“Life is never: No Strings Attached.”
We have moms and dads,
brothers and sisters,
teachers and principals,
pastors and TV commentators,
bosses and managers.
coaches and staff,
rules and regulations
and they pull the strings around here.
Didn’t you know that?

Where’s the scissors?
Use a knife.
Cut the stings.
Remove the wrapping.
Open the box.
Discover the surprise inside.

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 24, 2016


Somewhere in the mix and the moments
of our life, we discover from time to time -
things aren’t what they seem to be. We
say things like, “Wait! What just happened
here?” or “Whoa! What’s going on here?”

It’s in that “Wait!” or that “Whoa!” or in
that “Wait a minute!” - we can discover
the underneath - the undercurrent -
the reality of motives different than ours -
and this can lead to understandings.

It can also lead to cynicism and pause,
hesitation and distrust. Hopefully, it can
lead to talking - really talking - to each
other - communication and communion -
instead of one more bloody crucifixion.

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2016



The title of my homily is for this 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C, is, “How Does God Work?”

I’m thinking that might be one of life’s biggest questions. What you think?

Is that question underneath people’s shock or surprise when something happens and they blurt out, “Oh my God!” or “Jesus Christ!”

What’s the rest of the sentence - what’s the rest of our thinking and feeling when something horrible or amazing happens?

Are we thinking, “God, where are you?” or “God,  how could you allow this to happen?” or “God, did you do this?” or “God, what are doing?” or “How do you operate?” or “What’s going on here?”

And I better say up front - that in the long run - after finishing this homily, that I don’t answer the question. 

Sorry…. Yet if the following gets us to get more and more in touch with the question - better if it gets us in touch with God, prayer and praying, I’ll be happy.

Is that a cop out or a CYA?


It’s my experience that we ask the question, “How does God work?” for starters, when things go wrong. There is a tsunami or cancer or a crash or people go weird - or our kids mess up or a marriage falls apart.

God! Where are you? Why God, why? Why? Why? Whine. Whine. Whine.

Next, we might ask the question when we’re on vacation and we’re at the beach - and at the ocean’s edge and we’re all alone - like at 6 in the morning - the sun is rising - it seems - up out of the ocean - and the waves keep coming in - one after the other - and we’re thinking - this has been going on over and over and over and over again, and again, and again for millions of years. And we think, “Why God, why? What’s this all about?”

Or we’re on vacation and we’re camping and it’s dark out, really dark, the city lights are far, far away, and we look up at the sky - it’s all stars - and we reconnect with our previous moments like this - and we think to God, “What is this all about? How far do you go out and out and out? Is there an end to the stars and the galaxies and the nebulae?

We ask the question, “God, how do you work?” - when we realize that we are powerless over so much - especially ourselves.  Then there are the others. We really don’t know what others are thinking and doing. God help me! Help. Help. Help.  I don’t get it. I don’t know what it’s all about at times.


It’s not our first reading, but the Book of Job tackles this question big time - at least that’s what I’ve been told many times.

It’s 42 chapters long - written perhaps between the 5th and 3rd century before Christ - and it deals  - as in a play - with the problem of suffering and the reality that we all question God down deep.

The playwright wants the audience to hear the questions that people ask God all the time - and the playwright wants people to hear God questioning each member of the audience in return.

In Job 14:14 he asks the big question, “If someone dies, shall they live again.”

He asks this I assume for himself - because he lost most of his family.

The play begins with a conversation between God and Satan.  God brags about how great his servant Job is. Satan says, “You have put a wall around him - and nothing bad hits him. Take away that wall and watch what happens.”

So God says, “Let’s find out.”

Job’s family and fortunes - sons and daughters - farm and cattle - donkeys and oxen -  all are destroyed.

Chapter One ends with the significant statement, “In all this misfortune Job committed no sin or offered any insult to God.”

Then the play gets very interesting  - with lots of dramatic speeches.

I think the Book of Job gets us into inner conversations we all have. I think that’s why the book survived and made it into the Jewish Bible.

We ask these questions back stage in our soul - in hospitals, when dealing with aging of ourselves or parents - and at many a  funeral.

In chapter 30 Job  says to God that he sees his life trickling away. Grief grips and grabs him. Sickness saps his bones in the night. He can’t sleep. He says he cries to God and God won’t answer him. He says he hoped for happiness and it didn’t come. His stomach won’t slow down.

In chapter 38 God says, “Now it is my turn to ask questions and yours to inform me.”

What would that be like?

God asks: Where were you when I set up the world’s foundations?  Where were you when I set up the boundaries of the sea - to go this far and no further.  Can you go out as far as the stars?

Job concludes that he knows God is all-powerful - but he also knows that he doesn’t know - and what he knows only by hearsay.

And he simply decides to leave it all in God’s hands - because he certainly can’t solve it all.


For starters, each of us has to deal with the question that is the title of this homily: “How Does God Work?”

I know that I can’t give answers to that question - but I think I need to know it’s a question that hooks me all my life.

I love it that a question mark is formed like a fish hook.

I know now that my first answer is, “I don’t know how God is?”

It’s humbling to take that position. Job did. I will try - but at times I find it hard to do just that.


Since a main theme of today’s readings is prayer, let’s briefly look at prayer as an answer to the question: “How Does God Work.”

Besides saying, “I don’t know”, here are three things that can happen as a result of prayer.

One: Prayer Can Change Our Understanding of God. 

Today’s first reading from Genesis 18: 20-32 has the idea that God zaps people.

Whenever something goes wrong, some people think God zapped them.

Sometimes bad things happen to people because they drive dumb or smoke or don’t exercise or what have you - and they blame God.

Sometimes good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. There are books around with those titles.

As to God zapping people, as today’s first reading puts it, that is the understanding of some people. It’s not mine. I know it’s in the scriptures - 
like today’s first reading - but there are enough passages that says the opposite. I see the Bible as giving us many sights and insights of how people see.

Some then think that when there is a fire, or a crash or when things go wrong, they see God as a zapper.

I’m assuming that Sodom and Gomorrah were burnt down. I assume that people said it was because people there were bad.  I heard people say that when we had our September 11.  I heard others say, “No. New York and  Washington weren’t any worse than any other place on the planet - more or less.”

I assume that evil happens when people choose evil.

When it comes to natural disasters, I assume that they happen and will continue to happen and it’s good to find out where the earthquake faults are and where not to build a house or what have you.

Then again, there are the humbling moments when I have to say, “I don’t know.” It’s out of my control.”

My second message would be: Prayer Can Help Change Our Attitudes.

People often pray for changes out there - that the weather be different - that a family member will stop dating a loser or what have you.

I would like to stress seeing prayer changing inner stuff - for starters our attitudes.

I think the Serenity Prayer has helped a lot of people. It has helped me.

“God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”

Taking time to read - especially the scriptures - taking time to pray - taking time to go to church, synagogue, mosque or temple, taking time to sit in quiet rooms or back porches or to take walks in the woods or being quiet while driving, can bring us to some answers about God and life.

Today’s first reading probes the question: do good people - would 10 good people save the planet.

The message from this famous story of Abraham haggling God down from 50 to 10 has humor to it. Evidently, since Sodom and Gormorrah are destroyed, they didn't have 10 decent folks within.

But if we see it as inner attitude material, we have experienced how 1, 5, 10, or 50 good people in a neighborhood, work place, parish, can make a difference.

Of course - good karma, people being instruments of peace, unagitated people - bring peace to the rooms they enter.

I hope that’s been your experience.  Take my dad for instance. Mr. Calm. Mr. Peace. Mr. Easy.

If your shoe laces keep breaking - this is mainly for guys - buy stronger ones or be more gentle when you tie your shoes or wear loafers.

My third message would be: Prayer Can Lead to Action.

I love the saying, “Pray for potatoes - but pick up a shovel” has helped me a lot.

We heard Luke’s version of the Our Father today. Pray for Daily Bread but get a job and share your bread.

Pray for forgiveness - but accept forgiveness and forgive others and watch how you make the jump to accepting God’s forgiveness of your life so far.

So I learn from prayer that Christ can push me to the ability to accept forgiveness for my sins as well as to forgive those who hurt me - because I don’t know others motives - as Jesus said on the cross, “People do what they do without knowing why they do it” at times.

I know that prayer is all about asking, seeking and knocking on God’s door and God will give me answers - and sometimes the answer is no.

I like the song, “Thank God for unanswered prayers” and I thank God for answered prayers.


The title of my homily was, “How Does God Work?”

I basically answered, “I don’t know, but I’ll keep on asking that question, seeking answers to it, and I believe God does open up that door at times and gives me hints.”