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19th Sunday Kyros

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An aspect of Geology that I learned to appreciate was time. I have held rocks over 1 billion years old; fossils hundreds of millions years old. Time happens over such broad and grand scales. A Principle in Geology is called the Principle of Uniformity. It means that the same geologic processes of the present were also active in the past, so to understand the past we look to our now. Time in our modern work has shrunk. Those of us who are a little ancient remember know how long it took to start the internet only just 25 years ago; forever. Now, if we don’t get connected ASAP, there is that call to IT! When we text, if we don’t see those three dots in the reply right away…. We have become accustomed to rapidity; to having our desires and needs met NOW. This is all Chronos time, the clock time. There is another form of time, Kyros; God’s time.  God’s time remains unpredictable. God works at times very quickly, and sometimes it seems so slowly. The skill for Kyros is patience an

18th Sunday: Discipleship and Sacrifice

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What defines a good Costco experience for you? (or insert Sam’s club, et al)? For me, nobody gets hurt. Costco for me is a microcosm of the human condition. It starts in the parking lot. There seems to be that one person who wants the closest parking space and will wait for the one person to empty out their full cart to get it. Meanwhile everyone behind them waits because they can’t get around, and oh, and they insist on backing into the spot. THEN, there are the free snacks, and the people that insist on getting them and eating them and talking about them, all the while blocking access to the aisle, never seeing the people backed up. All I want is my David’s bread, so close yet so far…. The Universe is incomprehensibly HUGE! The new James Webb telescope has shown us Galaxies that are over 13 billion years old.  Yet for some people the universe is only the size of them. Nobody else lives in the universe; at least nobody of consequence. A valid critique of the Catholic Church

17th Sunday. A lesson of Divine Justice

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Real story…Mayor LaGuardia, in NYC during the Great Depression, would sit as a judge in some courts. One night, doing so, a grandmother is brought in. She was accused of stealing a loaf of bread. The mayor asked her if she was guilty. Yes, she replied. Her son in law had abandoned her family and they had not eaten in several days. They were hungry. The store owner would not relent, demanding justice, he wanted to make an example. Mayor LaGuardia stated that the law was clear, she broke it and will either need to pay $10 or 10 days in jail, and as he did this he pulled out $10 from his pocket, put it in a basket, and then fined everyone in the court 50 cents for indifference, for allowing people to starve. They collected over $40. He gave it to her. Fee paid and she had enough to get food. Justice, it is a good thing, objectively. Helps to preserve society, ideally. It provides structure, and as Americans we think it is supposed to be blind, meaning it is applied to everyone

16th Sunday The Disciple sits with Jesus first

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I Remember an SNL sketch from decades ago. It was a faux commercial. A man about to board his flight, has an intuition that something bad will occur, so he does not get on. The plane takes off and lands without incident. The man does not make an important meeting, causing his company to lose the account. The man is fired, loses everything and his wife divorces him. Now for real, a woman who has been hurt by men; struggles with the idea of relationships. She meets a nice guy. She takes the risk to talk; it goes well. They date; they fall in love, they marry; both are healed. Fr. Greg Boyle in his latest book, “The Whole Languages” shares a moment when a homie in his office explodes in an inappropriate manner. He then storms out of the office. Fr. Greg, angry too, chases after to confront him and does exchange a few harsh words, but then collects himself, stops and listens to this homie, this gang member. He asks him “what is going on with you? The 17 year old gang member stops, turns ar

15th Sunday Worship and Discipleship: one and the same

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Discipleship has been the focus in the Gospels and the homily for the past couple of weeks. This part of Luke’s Gospel teaches us about Discipleship. Discipleship means to follow Christ, follow in his way, as to experience the Salvation he gave to us and also to fulfill our mission as believers.  Discipleship takes place at all kinds of levels, and happens in all kinds of different contexts: whether we are married, single or celibate; man or female, children, teens, young adults, or full blown adults and beyond; religious or lay, whatever culture we belong to, etc. Discipleship also has a solid core, a foundation from which it derives from and what it attains to. That foundation formed by commitment, adaptability, and humility. As we grow and are formed as Catholics we move to a deeper level of discipleship, at least that is the ideal. We know sometimes we simply stop growing as disciples; whether by choice or by ignorance or sometimes we are never guided well. What happens? And

14th Sunday: Discipleship and Success

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A little more into the secret lives of Priests; when we visit other parishes we will almost instinctively look for the bulletin. What we will turn to and search for…the Sunday collection amounts. We will compare ours to theirs. When we get together our questions about RCIA, Confirmation, First Communion, Baptisms are generally: “How many?” Again, we compare with each other.  We assess each other (judge) based on those quantities. We measure success on income and persons attending mass and celebrating sacraments. How do we measure success in our own lives? Bank statements and Portfolio? State of our home or homes? The school our kids attend? Our salary, how many times a year we go to Disneyland? There is nothing wrong with any of these. In fact, at least for the parish, they provide metrics on the life of the parish. Same thing for general life…metrics give us input and information. If our financial advisors keep on having negative returns whereas the rest of the world is f

13th Sunday - Way of Discipleship

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The movie “Parenthood” an old old film from 1989 starred Steve Martin as the uptight, but very worried and concerned father. He struggles with what he thinks a good parent is; and in this struggle creates tension with his family. The cathartic moment comes when utter chaos happens in a school play and everyone around him laughs, but he, initially horrified, finally gets it and engages in the chaos and the humor and laughs. Always committed to family, but he needed the humility and the flexibility to be truly engaged in his family. When we priests get together we swap stories. The even older guys also share the infamous stories of days gone by; especially how certain priests after the Vatican II council and the changes that occurred resisted and hated those changes, and just became grumpy mean guys, even yelling at other priests at mass. They were committed, but lacked humility and flexibility. Their days did not end in joy, but in bitterness. Couples married for years and with jo