Friday, November 27, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

God bless you and yours


Wednesday, November 25

By perseverance the snail reached the Ark.

Gospel + + + LK 21:12-19
Jesus said to the crowd:
“They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

The word of the Lord

When she was young, Florence Chadwick wanted desperately to be a great speed swimmer. At the age of six she persuaded her parents to enter her in a 50-yard race. She came in last, so she practiced every day for the new year. Again she entered and lost. When she was an 11-year old, Florence won attention and praise for completing the San Diego Bay endurance swim -- 6 miles in all. But she still wanted to be a speed swimmer. At 14 she tried for the national backstroke championship but came in second to the great Eleanor Holm. At 18 she tried out for Olympic speed swimming and came in fourth -- only three made the team. Frustrated, she gave it up, married, and moved on to other interests. As she matured, however, Florence began to wonder if she might not have done better if she had specialized in endurance swimming, something that came more naturally. So, with the help of her father, she began swimming distances again. Twelve years after she had failed to make the Olympic team, Florence Chadwick swam the English Channel, breaking Gertrude Ederle's 24-year-old record. It took a little time, but eventually she found out what she could do best and did it.

Failure, twelve years of separation – didn’t break her spirit. This is the perseverance story we all need to be reminded of from time to time. “Giving up” – shouldn’t even be a part of our vocabulary (unless, of course, we are referring to sin).

Sometimes we do rely only upon ourselves. Not good.

Is that pride? What?

Develop our God given talent – who knows where He may lead us.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday ... November 24

"Death is the debt we all must pay" ... Greek Proverb
Gospel …………. LK 21:5-11
While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
He answered,
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”

The word of the Lord.


That great twentieth century prophet of Yankee Stadium, Yogi Berra, said it well when describing the uncertainty of any athletic contest: "It ain't over 'til it's over." Until that last fly ball is caught or strike is called or ground ball is thrown to first base and the last out is made, the game is not over. Anything can happen. And more often than not it has. Everyone has a story about dramatic comebacks in the bottom half of the ninth inning. I suppose that is why Red Auerbach, the former great coach of the Boston Celtics, used to irritate so many of his opponents when he would lean back and light up that huge cigar. It was Red's way of announcing his confidence. Even though there would be time left on the clock, he was sure that the game was as good as over and his Celtics would win. As he leaned back puffing on his cigar even while the players still raced up and down the court, he knew it was over. Such arrogance piqued his opponents and delighted his fans.

I think it originated in some eastern ballpark a generation or so ago. I'm not sure of its exact origins. You still see fans expressing the sentiment today on large banners and posters which they love to flash for the television cameras. It expresses the eternal optimism of sports fans who are unwilling to give up until the last out is made or the clock has finally run out: "It's not over until the fat lady sings." And the fat lady hasn't sung. Therefore there is still hope. Their team can still pull it out. Of course, the same phrase is reversed by the team whose fans are confident that victory is theirs and want to rub it in to the opposition: "The fat lady has started to sing."

Our Scripture reading for today may be read as hinting about the END. The moment the “Song” is about to be sung! Yet we see that Jesus says… yes, it’s coming but you have time right now! It’s not to scare us or intimidate us. Simply to remind us that one day THAT day will come.

He is trying to love us into being ready.



Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday, November 23

Think about it:
“He is not poor who has little but he who desires much.” English proverb

The Church’s Gospel text for today: Luke chapter 21 verses 1-4

When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people
putting their offerings into the treasury
and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
He said, “I tell you truly,
this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”

The word of the Lord

A few thoughts on today's Gospel
Strange, isn't it, how a little and seemingly insignificant event in the daily round of life will suddenly bring into focus what has been churning under the surface of our consciousness for a long time.

It happens for example with people. You try to figure people out, what makes them tick and then a simple act or expression reveals who they are. You begin to see what truly motivates them, drives them or what confuses them.

It happens with ourselves. We try to understand ourselves by great introspection. We are often unsure of the conflicting mixture of values and purposes. Then in some crisis or opportunity, we act or react and it reveals what is really going on inside.

It happens with situations. We gather into our feelings and thoughts, what's happening, not really clear what we should do about a given situation. Then without expecting it, something happens and we see the whole thing very clearly, as never before.

In our Gospel reading today we see a similar picture.

Jesus has been through a grueling day and all of a sudden, what seemingly appears as an insignificant event: a widow contributing her mite, brings it all into focus. Jesus found a quiet place, a place in the courts of the temple. He sat across from the large metal boxes, which collected the contributions for the upkeep and sacrifices.

I am quite sure He sat down in the midst of the storm of that day, to think and to pray, musing at all that had happened to Him. He was probably barely aware of the stream of people that passed by, flinging their tithes, their offerings and their temple taxes into the contribution boxes.

These boxes where called trumpets, because of their trumpet like shape. People would throw their contributions in with force, in order to make a loud noise and attract the attention of those around them. The larger the coin - the bigger, the better the sound.

In the middle of all these people, of all the questions and all the racket, a frail little old widow unpretentiously approached one of the trumpets and quietly slipped in her contribution. The coin that she contributed was called a lepton, which literally means "the thin one".

The little tinkle of her coin sliding down the throat of the trumpet caught Jesus' attention immediately.

He had a way of hearing what was insignificant to others. It was always true in the milling crowds; He could hear the frail cry of people in need. It was in the crowd, He heard and felt the need of a woman with a hemorrhage of blood, you remember? It was in a crowd that He heard the cry of Bartamaeus for sight and hope.

Now He hears the sound of the widow’s coin. Let me just ask this: How could you not believe that He hears you when you call out to Him?

Enjoy your week,
Father Pat

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Gospel LK 20:27-40

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them,
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called ‘Lord’
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”
Some of the scribes said in reply,
“Teacher, you have answered well.”
And they no longer dared to ask him anything.

The word of the Lord.

Today you can go to marriage seminars on finances, in-laws,
sexual happiness, and every other kind of thing in order to make a
marriage successful. You can look in women's magazines and books, but
there is one kind of marriage that God will truly bless. It has the power of
God on it, and that is a marriage that is made in heaven. You say, "Aren't
all marriages made in heaven?" No, I don't think so. But those that are
made in heaven have certain blessings upon them and are made up of
certain ingredients.

Since most of you reading this are married at this present time or have been married ...
you might finish this meditation yourself:



Enjoy your weekend.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday ......

Gospel LK 19:45-48

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out
those who were selling things, saying to them,
“It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer,
but you have made it a den of thieves.”
And every day he was teaching in the temple area.
The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile,
were seeking to put him to death,
but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose
because all the people were hanging on his words.

The House of Dior and other well-known "Houses" have defining characteristics that are keys to their longevity.
• House of Dior
• House of Valentino
• House of Versace
• House of Givenchy
• House of Gucci
• House of Jean Paul Gaultier
• House of Faberge
• House of Ralph Lauren
• House of Pierre Cardin
For the hoi-polloi, the common people, there are surrogate fashion houses: like Martha's World at K-Mart (if you can find a K-Mart anymore), or Michael Graves at Target, and there's Betsey Johnson and Ralph Lauren - Companies are trying to become more like houses, with company signatures coming in the form of architect Michael Graves, or lifestyle maven Martha Stewart. Each wants to be your Total Fashion Designer, and to provide you with a Life Style.
The House of Dior or Martha's World have defining characteristics that are keys to their longevity. Each house, like that of the House of Lauren, is a corporation with franchises and manufacturing plants on multiple continents; hundreds and even thousands of shops carry their names, not to speak of specialty boutiques. And these houses sell everything – perfumes, cosmetics, luggage, shoes, eyeglasses, clothes. They produce objects that are carriers of meaning, beauty, identity.
Our Scripture this morning reminds us of the specialness of God’s House … that it is a House of Prayer. Nothing to buy, nothing to sell, just a place to “be”. “My house”, He says, “shall be a House of Prayer.”
Is that what you do when you go to His house?

Talk to Him this weekend,
Father Pat