Archive for the ‘4th Sunday’ Category

Lightning Strikes 3-22-2020

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

Years ago, a boy was collecting berries in the woods near his
Southern home. He was concentrating on filling his bucket – and mouth
–with the delicious fruit and not paying attention to how deep he was
going into the forest. The boy didn’t notice the dark clouds forming on
the horizon. Then he heard crashes of thunder. Suddenly he realized that
he was lost. Darkness enveloped the woods. The terrified youngster
started to run with no sense of where he was going.
Then he remembered what his parents had taught him: When you’re
lost, stop and be still, look around, and listen. So the boy stopped running
and stood still. And he observed the lightning strikes illuminating the
forest landscape. With each lightning flash he was able to see a bit farther
ahead and walk a little closer to his destination until he found his way
home, guided by the storm that had, at first, frightened him.
“Seeing” and “light” are key images of today’s Gospel for this
Sunday in mid-Lent. Jesus cures a man born blind – but the greater
miracle is opening the eyes of those around him to “see” the presence of
God in their midst. Terrified of the storm, the little boy remembers his parents’ wise advice: Stop and look. See the light and make your way
towards it. The Christ of Lent is that light that illuminates those times
and places in which we can realize the love of God in our midst. Like the
Jewish leaders and the temple officials, we sometimes become so
obsessed trying to find God where God is not that we fail to see God
where God actually is. We desperately want to know where God is when
tragedy befalls us; we live our lives taking comfort in the erroneous
notion that God is found only at certain times, in the rituals and pious
practices our religion specifies. The reality is that God is most
profoundly present in the simple, ordinary doings of life, in the kindness
and love of others, in life itself and the gifts of the earth to sustain that
life. May God grant us the vision that the blind man receives in today’s
Gospel: to see the love of God present in all things.

A Conversation with Anna 2-2-2020

Sunday, February 2nd, 2020

Priest: One thing you can always find in Catholic churches is…..old
ladies. Here in the United States, and in many other
countries, old ladies are the strength and the hard workers of
many communities and churches. The same must have been
true in the time of Jesus. When Mary and Joseph took their
baby Jesus to the temple, one of the people they found there,
who touched them very much, was Anna. It would be good
to talk to her for a few minutes.
Priest: Good morning Anna. We’re happy to have you here.
Anna: Thank you. As the scripture says, I never tire of
being in the temple, worshipping, fasting, and telling people
about this holy child who brings salvation and deliverance to
all people.
Priest: Anna, has your life been difficult?
Anna: Yes, it has! I was married as a young girl to a fine young
man. We were poor, but we were so much in love, and
found such joy in our children. Then, after only 7 years of
marriage, my husband died. I was so grief stricken! I miss
him still. But that was just the beginning. In those days there was no
welfare or public assistance. In less than a year my children
and I were reduced from poor to beggars. It was so difficult
for me not to be able to buy the nice things for my children
that all the other kids had.
It wasn’t easy to raise the children with no father and no
income. But God helped me.
Priest: Yes, God must have helped you, Anna. Here you
are 84 years old. God has helped you through many troubles.
How did you ever survive so much?
Anna: The Bible gives the answer. It says I was always in the
temple, worshipping God and praying. I stayed close to God,
and God helped me. In my experience, old people either
become bitter with age, or wise. If we stay close to God, we
get wise.
Priest: Anna, I have a question. On the day Mary and Joseph and
the baby Jesus came to the temple, there must have been
priests, scribes, Pharisees and so many others present. How
is it that only you and old Simeon recognized Jesus as God? Anna: Suffering makes you either wise or bitter. If you are close to
God, your suffering makes you wise. My suffering taught
me to look deep into things, beneath appearances. There are
some things that only years can teach you, not books or
youth.
Priest: Anna, do you have any advice to give to the people in church
today?
Anna: Yes, I do! Stay close to God and close to church. We all
have to suffer at times. You will have to suffer too. But if
we stay close to God, your suffering will not make you bitter.
It will make you wise. Children, pay attention to the old
people. Very often they see and understand things you are
too young to see and understand. Old people, be patient with
the children. They are God’s gift to us, and our
responsibility.
And everyone. Don’t be alarmed when suffering comes.
God is always there to help you. Tell everyone about God’s
love.
May God bless you all!

Impossible 12-22-2019

Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

In a lot of homes I’m sure there are certain words we do not allow
to be used; vulgar words, bad words.
I was in a home where the mom had an allergy to the word “Hate.”
It could be as simple as, “I hate spinach,” or more serious as, “I hate my
teacher.” This word would bring a lengthy dissertation about how
unhealthy that word was.
There is a word I believe God doesn’t care for. It’s not a swear or
a vulgar word; it is an everyday word that people misuse terribly. The
word is “IMPOSSIBLE.”
Yesterday we said,
1. It’s impossible for people to fly.
2. It’s impossible to make boats that travel underwater.
3. It’s impossible for someone to walk on the moon.
4. It’s impossible for the Berlin wall to come down.
5. It’s impossible for Russia and the US to ever be friends.
6. It’s impossible for the Red Sox to win the World Series.
Today we say:
1. It’s impossible for the Jews and the Arabs to make peace.
2. It’s impossible to get rid of gang violence.
3. It’s impossible for California to absorb all these new immigrants.
4. It’s impossible to find a cure for AIDS.
5. It’s impossible to create a society where no one goes without basic
food and shelter.
6. It’s impossible for Father Ron to lose weight.
God scorns that word and the attitude behind that word, God who
alone is wise.
A person might say:
1. It’s impossible for me to get over my grief and move on, especially
during the holidays.
2. It’s impossible for me to deal with my addictions.
3. It’s impossible for me to temper my self destructive vice.
4. It’s impossible for me to make peace and develop as a healthy human

being.
But today these voices who shout the word “Impossible” are
contradicted by an angel flying down from heaven, and the old post
menopausal lady swelling with life, and the teenage Virgin Mary with
the word of God resting in her womb. These three join together to say:
“If it is the will of God, then it’s possible–nothing is impossible with
God. Let us remember! Let us Believe!