Archive for the ‘17th Sunday’ Category

LEFTOVERS? 7-25-2021

Sunday, July 25th, 2021

This scene takes place right after the Gospel we just read.
Peter stayed behind to help with the cleanup. Somehow, he always
seemed to be one of the last ones. Those who folded the chairs and
swept the floors after the gatherings were over.
But today he did not mind it. He wanted some of the leftovers and
this is one way of taking some without being noticed. So, he put a small
piece of the bread into his brown paper bag and headed home. And he
could not wait to get home!
As soon as he did, he ran to the bread box, took a small piece of
bread out of the bag and placed it next to the half loaf in the box. He
was tired from the long day, so he went to bed.
Early next morning, he awoke before the alarm. He was excited;
he went to the kitchen to check the bread box to see if it had worked. He
opened the lid. There it was, the same half loaf and his leftover piece,
just as he had left them the night before. Maybe it was too early to expect anything, so he thought he would wait another day and another
The same wake-up time the next morning he again hurried to the
bread box. He felt an even deeper feeling of disappointment when once
more he saw only the half-loaf and the now-getting-dried-out-leftover-
piece. Maybe this bread wasn’t as magic as he thought. Maybe it didn’t
multiply other loaves of bread. Or, maybe only Jesus could make the
whole thing work!
So as not to suffer any further disappointment, he was going to get
rid of the leftover piece. He went outside to give it to the birds, but
before he could break it and scatter it, an old man in shabby clothes
came up to him and asked for a bite to eat. He gave him the dried-up
The next day Peter heard a knock on the door. It was the same old
gent. Was he looking for another handout, Peter wondered? No, the
man smiled and thanked Peter for his kindness. The man said that
Peter’s generous gift from the day before would keep his family fed for
the winter! Finally, Peter had discovered the bread’s magic in giving it away!
A small piece of dried up bread:
“The Magic – Giving It Away!”

Pierced Hearts 12-27-20

Sunday, December 27th, 2020

He was the light of their lives – but that light darkened for a time.
His addiction “pierced” the lives of his entire family. But with patience
and sacrifice, they got their son help and managed to heal the wound that
cut their family so deeply. Today him mom and dad are part of a group
of other parents who have gone through the same nightmare and offer
support and counsel to families living through it now. Because of them,
many hearts are “revealed”.
Some “piercings” are harder to heal: For three summers, she
volunteered for two weeks to serve as a counselor for a camp for city
children at risk. Then came the phone call that “pierced” their hearts.
The night before she was to come home, she and a group went out for
pizza. Two in the group were hurt but survived the crash, but their
daughter lost too much blood. Now her mom and dad and brother have
formed a foundation for the camp program in her name. Their daughter
and sister’s light continues to shine.

Every parent’s heart is “pierced” as they suffer with and for their
children: illnesses, disappointments, break-ups, and stumbles. The roads
our daughters and sons travel from infancy to childhood, from teen to
adulthood, can be hard to negotiate and treacherous – and Mom and
Dad’s hearts are “pierced” every step of the way. Parenthood requires
patience, wisdom and generosity that many first-time mothers and
fathers especially don’t believe they possess – but they discover over
time that their love makes them better moms and dads than they
imagined. They come to realize God’s grace in their Nazareth.
Today’s Feast of the Holy Family reminds us that being a family is
a journey of changes and challenges – what Simeon calls “piercings” in
today’s Gospel – and that it’s the love of our spouses and children and
brothers and sisters that enables us to negotiate and survive those
“piercings”, to learn from those challenges, to move on from those
difficult situations wiser and more loving. Our belonging to a family

means that every one of us – parent and child – reflects for one another

the selfless, limitless and unconditional love of Christ, both in good

times and bad. The Holy Family is a model for our own families as we

struggle together to adapt and change and cope with the many tensions
and crises that challenge the stability, peace and unity that are the joys of
being a family.

Treasure? 7-26-20

Sunday, July 26th, 2020

I would like to share with you two short stories to help
break open our gospel parables.
There was this poor tailor who lived in Krakow. He
was a very pious man. One night he had a dream in which a
voice said to him, “If you go to Prague and dig beneath a
certain tree behind the emperor’s castle, you will find a great
Since the poor man placed great trust in dreams, he set
out the very next day for Prague. However, when he got
there he found the castle was guarded. Unable to get across
the bridge, he lived under it for a while. While there he
became friends with the captain of the guard. One day he
shared his story with him. He said,
“I had a dream that if I got into the castle grounds, and
went to a certain tree and dug there, I would find a treasure.” “You’re a very foolish man,” said the captain. “You
shouldn’t believe that sort of thing. I have dreams myself.
Once I dreamed that over in Krakow there lived a poor but
wise tailor, not unlike yourself. I dreamt that if I went to his
house, and dug behind his stove, I would find a treasure there
that somebody had buried a long time ago. Of course, I
dismissed it as foolishness.”
The tailor thanked him, went back home, dug behind
his own hearth and found the treasure.
We will never be happy unless we find the treasure that
God has hidden in our own field. That is, until we have
found the treasure of our own worth as God’s children.
The painter, Vincent Van Gogh, suffered a lot from ill
health. Consequently he often had to call on the services of
doctors. But he scarcely had any money to pay the doctors.
On one occasion, after a certain doctor had taken care of him and nursed him back to health, Vincent wanted to
show his gratitude in his own way. He painted the doctor’s portrait and made him a present of it. However, the doctor
didn’t think much of the painting. He accepted it alright but
put it in his attic. There it took the place of a broken
windowpane, serving the purpose of keeping out the drafts.
The doctor threw away a treasure. Today, Van Gogh’s
paintings are almost beyond price.
In his love for us God has given each of us a great
treasure – the treasure of our divine dignity as children. Let
us be careful lest we throw it away.
Whoever has ears ought to hear!