Archive for the ‘20th Sunday’ Category

The Assumption of Mary 8-15-2021

Sunday, August 15th, 2021

I have been doing a lot of moving this past month. During this
process I found things in my closets, in boxes, in drawers – that I had
misplaced. Some of the things I found, I throw away again. But other
things I put them in a more visible place because I realized these things
had some real value for me.
I feel as a Catholic I have misplaced Mary, the mother of Jesus. I
put her on a back shelf of my life because she seemed old fashioned,
pre-Vatican II, not relevant in my life.
Recently, I realized the mistake I made. As I took Mary off the
back shelf of my life and began to dust her off, I began to notice some
very valuable insights. I would like to share my new appreciation of
Mary in the form of a reflection about the Assumption of our Lady.
We know the story well. Young Mary, pregnant with Jesus
hastened over the Judean hills and valleys to be with Elizabeth, pregnant
in her old age. Mary went quickly. She hurried to go to be with
someone who needed her. Mary had a good excuse not to go on that

journey; her own health and preparation for birth. But she risked the
road. She took the time. She spent the energy. All of Mary’s life was
guided by the Spirit of God. Mary knew Elizabeth needed her, and so
she went.
Mary’s Assumption, a triumph over death, celebrates a woman
who lived her life bringing goodness to others. Mary is a wonderful
model of faith for us. In our world of hurry and worry, we can very
legitimately have plenty to do just to care for ourselves and our families.
But there are Elizabeth’s everywhere who need our visits. What a
difference a phone call, a letter, or a “stopping by” can make to a lonely,
ill or aged person. What joy can we bring to children by paying full
attention to them? What happiness we offer family, friends, and
colleagues when we affirm their successes and celebrations. We need
only to look and we will easily find an Elizabeth today.
Mary, delight of God’s heart
May the joy your visit brought to Elizabeth
Be the joy that our presence brings
To those whom we take time to “visit” today.

It’s Not Easy On The Outside… 8-16-2020

Sunday, August 16th, 2020

Joe had done his time. After ten years, he left the prison and
stepped out into the real world, the free world. His cell mate and
buddies on the inside envied Joe, of course, but were happy for
him and wished him well as he went home.
But before long, Joe was back behind bars, not for another
crime but for a “technical violation” of his release—he flunked a
drug test. When he saw Joe again, his old cell mate “gritted” at
him—a sign of disapproval and disappointment in prison-speak.
How could Joe mess up the chance to get out of this place?! To
guys still on the inside, to come back to prison was the worst
crime imaginable. Joe explained what had happened and his
friend uttered a noncommittal grunt. That’s when Joe’s face crumpled in despair. “I was just so
damn lonely out there,” he said with a sigh. “I had a good job; I
was doing fine. But there was no one to talk to. Dude, all I know
is prison; I didn’t know what to say to those people out there.
So, I started hanging out with the old crowd. At least they could
understand where I was coming from. And then one thing led to
another…” The cell mate grunted. Yeah, he understood.
Christ calls us to make places in our society, in our
communities, in our hearts for the Joes in our midst: those souls
struggling to make something of their lives, who are trying to
put the pieces of their broken selves back together despite the
ostracism, rejection and ridicule they encounter.
The Canaanite woman in today’s Gospel is just such a soul: She
was despised by the Jewish community because of her race, ridiculed as a “dog” by the “righteous” who mistakenly found some sense of superiority in her inferiority. Jesus’ compassion
for her and his healing of her daughter breaks down the wall
between Gentile and Jew; the prophet’s vision of a single human
family, bound by what is good and just, begins to be realized
(today’s first reading). May our eyes and spirits be open to see
every man, woman and child as God sees them: as God’s
beloved children, brothers and sisters to one another, all made in
the image of God, all embraced within the heart of God.