April 19, 2019

  As a kid, I spent a lot of time inside museums. My sisters and I grew up outside DC, and on the weekends my dad would take us to the Smithsonian museums so that my mom could get on with the class preparation and grading that went along with being a teacher. It was a great way to spend the weekends. Being kids, we mostly liked the dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum, but we were familiar enough with… Read more

April 12, 2019

  John 18:1 to 19:42 The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to John Jesus. Now and at the hour of his death, what has changed? What is new for me as his disciple? What am I to do? From his cross he told me only one thing: “Behold, your mother.”   Then, as the Gospel says: “from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”   What is it to have her in my home and my… Read more

April 5, 2019

  I’m listening carefully to the Psalm this weekend, wondering if I can respond to it with any authenticity.   In Psalm 126, we hear   When the Lord brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing.   We believe this is possible, right? To be brought back, rescued by the Lord from our own folly, to once again rejoice. Every night I go to… Read more

March 29, 2019

  I had a profound fear as a child that I would be found wanting, and be cut down, shunned, and removed from the society of the people I loved.   That fear resurfaces its ugly head in the Gospel this weekend:   “For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?”   Having grown to better understand my value… Read more

March 20, 2019

  This Sunday’s Gospel reading is the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Several years ago, the pastor of a small ELCA church preached on this parable as I sat in the back and called on all my powers of invisibility. It was only my second visit, and I wasn’t sure what to think of this pastor and her congregation. The pastor asked us which person from the parable we most identified with, and it stumped me. I should identify strongly… Read more

March 15, 2019

I like digging holes, hiding things inside them. When I grow old I hope I won’t forget to find them. I’ve got no roots, but my home was never on the ground.   I used to think I was Irish, but that was stripped away when I was an adult. A relative did some digging through documents and on ancestry.com. It turned out that what we thought was Irish ancestry, wasn’t. As a kid my Irish heritage had been celebrated… Read more

March 8, 2019

  “Father, will you listen to me? Are you still there? Will you listen to a selfish, unfaithful son? I fought you when you called, I resisted! I thought of no more. I didn’t want to be your son! Can you forgive me? I didn’t fight hard enough.”  ~ Jesus in The Last Temptation of Christ, by Nikos Kazantzakis.   This time of year, we sometimes hear about Nikos Kazantzakis’s controversial novel, The Last Temptation of Christ, or more commonly,… Read more

March 1, 2019

  In the second reading, Paul writes to the Corinthians, “Death is swallowed up in victory.  Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”.  I like that, where, O death, is your sting?   And I can see Paul rising up on his feet, his voice growing louder.   With the readings this Sunday, we conclude Ordinary Time, and await Ash Wednesday and the penitential season of Lent.  But Paul’s words send me back to Advent, reminding… Read more

February 27, 2019

 Tell me, in a world without pity Do you think what I’m askin’s too much I just want something to hold on to And a little of that Human Touch –Bruce Springsteen Some days it goes like this: Cassidy calls her mom, so casually. Calls her because she feels like calling her. Because she has a question. Because she’s worried about her. Because she wants to say hello. Because she can. “Hi mom!” she says. “Hi mom!” I call out from… Read more

February 26, 2019

For obvious reasons, there has been a lot of buzz about Catholicism in the news the past week. The bishops’ summit at the Vatican has meant that there’s been a particular focus on child abuse, but conversations about sexual abuse in the Church seem to inevitably lead to conversations about sexuality and Catholicism. This past week saw a significant number of articles about homosexuality and the clergy.  The release of Frederic Martel’s In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality,… Read more

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