Lent: “Those Who Help Form Us”

“Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.” Luke 9

Giovanni_Gerolamo_Savoldo_005Jesus had his. Moses and Elijah. Who are yours standing on your left and right? In glorious splendor, Jesus shows off two of them to his other friends.

But hold it! His glorious “show off” is two dead guys and showing them to his living friends. Isn’t that kinda rude? If I were Peter, I would have said, “Hey, what about me? I’m still here!”

Jesus models for us that the distance is pretty short between living and dead. That separation was made shorter through the giving of his life.

It’s those significant people in our lives that we remember this Second Sunday of Lent. I say significant because it’s not only the ones we love, but it’s also those we tried to like. And, it’s often events and folks who mislead us which makes us more aware of ourselves and those we trust. My high school counselor told me that I shouldn’t go to college because of my grades, but join the Air Force. What if I had listened to him instead of other trusted friends who laughed along with me at that silly prospect. If Jesus were on a talk show today, he’d say about his mom, “She was the strength I needed to proclaim this Kingdom of God.” Of his dad, he’d say, “I admire the quietness of his deliberations, made clearer through his dreams or when more information was gathered.”

There are deceased voices, and there are living bodies who help form the person that each of us became or is becoming. If given ill-advice, it then becomes fodder to rethink or confirm your decision. If it’s a throw-away-nicety, then you consider that as well. I know my tie didn’t match my shirt this morning, but she told me how good I looked. (Nice try.) I hope your deceased mother still talks to you. Her advice remains worthy of your attention, years after her passing. A friend of many years gives you caution about your behavior. You listen to him and learn that it paid off.

Who is beside you on your mountain? Who guides and mentors you either from the grave or the tavern? Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of those two on the mountain who are the fulfillment of those who influenced them. That’s why he appears with the past and shows himself to the future with his friends. Peter needed to be Christ-like as each of us needs to learn and relearn. That’s the closeness between living and deceased.

Who’s alongside you on your mountain? I had all week to think of mine, so please take a moment and let your heart identify who your people are or were. Naming both the good ones, the indifferent ones, and the troubling ones.

(pause)

The best quote from the movie, “Jerry Maguire” is when Tom Cruise says to Renee Zellweger, “You complete me.”

(Since it was also St. Patrick’s Day, an Irish Blessing. However, an Irish Blessing is always preceded with an Irish joke.)

“McQuillan walked into a bar and ordered martini after martini, each time removing the olives and placing them in a jar. When the jar was filled with olives and all the drinks consumed, he started to leave. ‘S’cuse me,’ said a customer, who was puzzled over what McQuillan had done. ‘What was that all about?’ ‘Nothing,’ he replied, ‘Me wife sent me out for a jar of olives.'”

“Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!”

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A Book of Peace in the Midst of Chaos

10Gottlieb1-articleLargeI don’t easily recommend books but this one is a winner. Her prologue begins, “I am grateful and deeply honored that you are here. Which means that if you are here, then I am not. But it’s okay.” Julie had Stage 4 colon cancer and passed away in her mid-forties.

My last two years have been difficult for me and she has helped me to make sense of it.

Page 8. To her two young daughters, she writes, “You will understand that nothing lasts forever, no pain, or joy. You will understand that joy cannot exist without sadness. Relief cannot exist without pain. Compassion cannot exist without cruelty. Courage cannot exist without fear. Hope cannot exist with despair. Wisdom cannot exist without suffering. Gratitude cannot exist without desperation. Paradoxes abound in this life. Living is an exercise in navigating within them.” t_500x300

A gift for yourself or a friend having a difficult time in any way.
“The Unwinding of the Miracle,” Julie Yip-Williams.

The New York Times book review

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Temptation, Sunday in Lent

temptationTemptation. Cue the old Perry Como song to get its meaning. Side note, I think Perry’s the least likely person to sing that song. Frank, yes. But “Wholesome-Married-Once-Perry?” Number 68-married-years for Perry and four wives for that saloon singer. (Mia Farrow! Two years! You’ve got to be kidding!) If you’re under 50, you can find Perry’s song on YouTube. But if you’re under 50, you may wish to first find out who Perry Como is.

The song begins, “You came, I was alone…” No community, few trusted friends as though the saloon guy was singing his selfish, self-centered signature song “My Way” like he’s “king of the hill.” Oh, wait. That’s in another Frank song, and sung twice in once verse. The “Temptation” song continues, “I should have known, you were temptation!” Of course, you should have known. That’s why we study world history, examine our consciences before and during each Mass and celebrate God’s mercy when receiving communion.

The song resumes, “You smiled, luring me on, my heart was gone, and you were temptation!” You know, we can honor our souls, but we feel our hearts. The union of these two – spiritual and temporal – is the combination of fidelity and being found worthy.

The song’s final verse, “Here is my heart! Take it and say, that we’ll never part! I’m just a slave, only a slave, to you!” You give up because you’ve given in. We don’t have those smart remarks Jesus gives to the devil. Ours is a faith trying to daily balance the soul and the heart – things spiritual and things of this life.

Unlike me, all of you will be tempted each day. You can call it remnants of original sin or the human condition. But daily you will see a dress that looks better than yours, you may consider harm to someone (not death but at least needing an ER visit), or regretfully harming yourself in whatever way. I don’t need to bore you with a list because we all live that list. I like those lyrics because we have these thoughts and the devil cleverly holds out his arm as if to stop us by saying, “No, no, don’t think or do that” which defines the word “lure” while luring us in to disunite our sacred soul from the foolishness of our heart.

When it comes to sin and feeling regret, I like to say, “It’s what we do with it that matters. “Actions speak louder” and we know the rest of the quote. Our silly, passing thoughts only become dangerous in our harboring them, making them more than a bubble in a cartoon strip.

The three’s of Jesus is ours, every day. The scene is a desert of loneliness with the heart fighting for the soul’s cooperation. Power, denial of God. The devil’s task is destroying the soul to win the heart. Much like a baseball player having a good streak, Jesus knocks off each one to left field.

This Lent, use that smirk that you use at an annoying driver or lousy restaurant service. It’s not an either/or when it comes to sin. It’s all about the smirk. A smirk that tells evil and your heart that this is not healthy, enriching or compassionate to either someone, yourself or both of us. Smirk. You know how to do it. You lower the edges of your lips and dismiss breaking apart what God assembled, our hearts and souls.

I suspect that Perry must have smirked a lot in his life. I don’t think Frank smirk at all.

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A Spiritual Number

seven-1181077_640There are seven days in a week and as many Catholic sacraments. Along with seven seas is the Seventh Day Adventists, as many colors in a rainbow, or notes in a musical scale, or phases of the moon, or bodily organs, or an adjective for heaven and the same amount for those Deadly Sins. There are also seven ways to leave you lover (Sorry Paul, forget the other 43!). Snow White had the same amount of helpers and the Brewers take a “stretch” at this number when it ought to be fifth.

Best of all is the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit.” Guess how many there are. Another season of Lent begins today. For our 2019 version, pick one of them for your spiritual enrichment. Think and pray about what the gift means for these long weeks. On Holy Saturday night, please smile to yourself that this Lent was a deliberate effort to strengthen your faith, to strengthen your relationship with God and your neighbor (which is really redundant.) Then on Holy Saturday night, I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours first. There’s little work on your part. This isn’t like a resolution with a beginning or ending. The virtue does the work for you. That’s what makes it a gift – to be opened, enjoyed and cherished.

I’ll save you a trip to Wikipedia. The Gifts are wisdom, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, understanding, piety and fear of the Lord. Define them according to your present time in life and watch what happens. Happy Lenting! (It’s not a word but I like it, anyway.)

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A Prayer during Times of Trial

“My [child], when you come to serve the LORD,
stand in justice and fear, prepare yourself9853467346_8740280934_z for trials.

Be sincere of heart and steadfast, incline your ear and receive the word of understanding, undisturbed in time of adversity. Wait on God, with patience, cling to him, forsake him not; thus will you be wise in all your ways.

Accept whatever befalls you, when sorrowful, be steadfast, and in crushing misfortune be patient; For in fire gold and silver are tested, and worthy people in the crucible of humiliation.

Trust God and God will help you; trust in him, and he will direct your way; keep his fear and grow old therein.

You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy, turn not away lest you fall. You who fear the LORD, trust him, and your reward will not be lost. You who fear the LORD, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy. You who fear the LORD, love him, and your hearts will be enlightened. Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his commandments and been forsaken? has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?

Compassionate and merciful is the LORD;
he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble
and he is a protector to all who seek him in truth.” Sirach 2: 1-11

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“Integrity”

“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit.
For people do not pick figs from thornbushes,
nor do they gather grapes from brambles.
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good,
but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil;
for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:39-45

thWe say of someone, “How can he live with himself?” Meaning that something is missing in that person’s life. We can easily fool ourselves. Self-honesty is not a given in this life’s journey. I keep telling myself that I look like Brad Pitt but hopefully some truth and sincerity will one day win me over. That $10.00 the waiter undercharged you and you respectfully return to the restaurant. That fake compliment about her hair. Taking credit for a job you barely helped create. Our relationship with the Trinity. Perhaps our relationship with the last statement has an effect on all the previous statements. The words we use, the actions we perform. Elements in life we ignore and elements that we embrace. It all adds up to one of my favorite words: integrity. It has strength when it’s spoken and it has character when it filters throughout your life. “She’s a person of integrity.” What a compliment to pay someone or to believe about yourself.

A preacher said, “We ought to have enough integrity to see both ourselves and others honestly. Jesus was exercising his sense of humor when he compared a splinter in a neighbor’s eye with a whole wooden beam in one’s own. His idea can be encapsulated in the old saying that there’s so much bad in the best of us and so much good in the worst of us that it hardly behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us. To the Christian disciple who’s concerned with the faults of another and ignores his own, Jesus applies the word “hypocrite,” a designation he previously gave only to the scribes and Pharisees.”

Is that inch of gratification, or any kind, worth losing a yard of integrity?

Praying at home or in church reconciles our relationship with God. But, also believe that it reconciles our relationship with ourselves. It renews, rekindles a right relationship with God. “It’s the right thing to do,” we tell ourselves. “I want to buy the right birthday gift for her.” “The answer lies right in front of you.” (Being left-handed, you can guess my relationship with God and myself.) One of my favorite expressions in preaching is always acknowledging that we are the creatures of a Creator-God. Any sin erases that understanding, that lifelong bond. We seem to forget and soon believe ourselves to be that the creator. (Small “c,” always the small “c”.)

From an anonymous poet,
When you get what you want in your struggle for self And the world makes you king for a day, Just go to a mirror and look at yourself, And see what that one has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or spouse Who judgment upon you much pass; The person whose verdict counts most in your life Is the one staring back from the glass.

That’s the person to please, never mind all the rest For he’s with you clear up to the end.
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test If the one in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years And get pats on the back as you pass.

But your final reward will be heartaches and tears, If you’ve cheated the one in the glass.

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“Both/And”

Love your enemies. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, gift-wrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life.                                                                                                                         Message Bible

printbothsidesHere’s a quote for you, “We believe television news but doubt our faith.” Madonna sang, “I’m A Material Girl.”

Often in life, we reduce our lives to “either/or” decisions. The “both/and” option rarely seems to be considered. Dating back to 1546 is the saying, “Can’t have your cake and eat it too.”

“Can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Hmmm. In a few moments, together, we will take material bread and cause it to become the bread of “new life,” because we believe. The same will occur with material wine. Then, toward the end of Mass, I’ll lift up both materials to show you that the materials haven’t changed, but our beliefs about them have.

Hmmm. If only I could do that with my feisty neighbor. If only I could do with my arrogant boss. If only I could do that with my stubborn teenager. If only I could do that with … myself. The only true sentence is the last one. And, the last sentence has a way of affecting the first three.

Jesus forces us to love those who don’t love us – give your mink coat to someone who asks only for your shirt. Show the person who slaps you, your other cheek and not the one behind you. All of his admonitions come from the IMmaterial. All of his actions are rooted in holiness, not self-satisfaction or revenge. What is holiness? Holiness is taking the material of our world and making it IMmaterial. Making it something bigger than ourselves. IMmaterial is always concerned with us instead of only me. Madonna cleverly took her sacred name to sing about all things material. Hers was for commercial, personal purposes. As Christians, along with the Blessed Mother, ours is “full of grace” to the glory of God shown and lived through our lives – living with each other. The dictionary says immaterial means unimportant or irrelevant. Capitalize the “IM” and you’ve achieved the stature of being very important and highly relevant.

A more profound way of this “either/or” is from the movie, “Tree of Life.” “Grace doesn’t try to please itself. It accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked, accepts insults and injuries. Nature only wants to please itself, get others to please it. . . . It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it, and love is smiling through all things.”

The material is centered around the self, “What’s in it for me,” and IMmaterial is all about the Body of Christ. Any decision you make is never an “either/or” but always a “both/and” because the latter makes every decision or action sacred in transforming the material into IMmaterial. Then you know that your efforts are holy and worthy of today’s Gospel. If you’re selfish then never buy a truck, because a neighbor will call and ask if you’re free on Saturday.

Take that 1546 idiom about cake and reverse it, and you have a Christian solution. You can’t eat a cake and then have it. That’s the meaning. That’s our culture, but that’s not our faith. Our faith is always about effort, labor, hard work – all performed in a Christ-like-love. A love of sac-sac-sac-sacrifice. (I can never say that word because I so often give in to the material.) This isn’t Las Vegas, folks. What happens here doesn’t stay here. Being in church renews and prompts us all to transform what happens here to what could be or can be beyond these walls. Seeing with the eyes of God, walking with the legs of Jesus and wrapped in the enveloping arms of the Holy Spirit. That’s faith. That’s holiness.

Please remember, Every decision or action becomes sacred in its turning the material into IMmaterial. Or, put another way, taking our secular and making it His divine. If you don’t believe me, just wait a few minutes and watch what happens to those simple gifts that Jesus witnessed for us.

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“Just Do It!”

The Gospel according to St. Luke
“Coming down off the mountain with them, [Jesus] stood on a plain surrounded by disciples, and was soon joined by a huge congregation from all over Judea and Jerusalem, even from the seaside towns of Tyre and Sidon. They had come both to hear him and to be cured of their ailments. Those disturbed by evil spirits were healed. Everyone was trying to touch him—so much energy surging from him,
so many people healed! Then he spoke:

‘You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all. God’s kingdom is there for the finding. You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry. Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal. You’re blessed when the tears flow freely. Joy comes with the morning.
“Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—skip like a lamb, if you like!—for even though they don’t like it, I do . . . and all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company; my preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this.
But it’s trouble ahead if you think you have it made.
What you have is all you’ll ever get.

And it’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself. Your self will not satisfy you for long.
And it’s trouble ahead if you think life’s all fun and games.
There’s suffering to be met, and you’re going to meet it.

“There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors!
Your task is to be true, not popular.

“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, gift-wrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.” Message Bible

Nike-Air-Max-1-femme-iridescent01“What should I do?” is the question all of us ask of ourselves at different points in our lives. The Beatitudes or the “Litany from Jesus” gives us all the obvious answers. Obvious because, as baptized persons, there’s nothing new to his list except our answering that piercing question, “What should I do?” It’s not found in the bottle of beer but in our shoes.

Well, Christians, put on your Nike sneakers and “Just do it.” “Live generously.” Live and love this day as if it’s your last day because, indeed, it is the last day – it is the today that is erased by tomorrow. Ask any cancer patient. Ask any parent holding an adoring infant who’ll want the car keys many years from now. Ask any friend in a hospital’s waiting room. Ask the employee sitting outside the manager’s office knowing she’s about to be fired. Ask the mom with early contractions. Ask anyone, they’ll tell you the obviousness of Christ’s beautiful message.

The righteousness Jesus calls forth from each of us is deeply embedded in our souls. You know your soul. We can’t locate it but we know it’s there. It’s the “tree that shades you from the sun,” “the running water” that smoothly deals with every life issue, it’s the “fruit enjoyed in due season,” “it’s the fruit whose leaves never fades” (except a bit of grey on the top of your head and a slightly larger belly). According to Scripture, we, in Wisconsin, have a better chance of going to heaven because we enjoy (or endure) changes in season. Those folks in Florida and Arizona are like “a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of season.” (Poor, retired people.)

A problem comes forward and we can choose to mindfully run from it. Oh, our stupid minds. Hide it under a lamp. Or, our bodies can take a vacation away from it while it continues to stew and stir in our hearts and souls. Silly bodies. We can drink more but that only leads to more drinking.

No, that “What should I do” question is deeply answered within our souls. I can’t give you the answer because that question is even asked of priests. It’s that itch that’s not on your arm but your soul is telling you to “Scratch it and wake up!” It’s that hour of lost sleep when you thought running from those thoughts would help. It’s the laziness that somehow the problem or decision would take care of itself (cue Tinkerbell!).

We’ve been given and have life’s living list, alive and well, living within us. We’ve heard this Scripture passage how many times before and recognize it after hearing the first few words from Jesus Christ. Nike was right, “Just do it.” Do it for your soul’s fulfillment. Do it for the health of your beating, aging heart. Do it “to put your mind at rest,” as the saying goes.. That’s the union of body, mind and spirit. That’s the tree and the running water along with all the enduring seasons and enjoyable fruit that is ripe thanks to God’s grace and strength.

That’s why the Gospel ends not with our culture’s cheap grabbing of life, like a bottle of beer, but with a spiritual mandate that illuminates and makes life-living worthy of our lives, like sneakers soaked in running waters that smoothly deals with every life issue. “Live and love generously.”

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Saying “Yes” with the Holy Spirit

She’s the underrated of the three. I’m talking about the Holy Spirit. You hit your thumb with a hammer and whose name is mentioned? One of the other two. You confess your misuse of one of those names when you should be welcoming into your life the unsung of our mighty Trinity – The Holy Spirit.

Holy. What does that mean? Does it begin with attitude and then move to action or is it the reward we place upon others at their passing? Or, being practical, could it not be a lifelong process in our lifelong journey of saying “Yes” to all the goodness and sadness that life heaves on us. I chose the last sentence. It’s not fishing nets that Jesus calls us to but it’s our daily “Yes” and then filtered those those seven gifts that that underrated Person provides for us.

Do you have a current problem or quandary? Our culture tells us to make a list; pros on one side and cons on the other. It involves a lot of thinking (very tiring) and creating a straight vertical line on a piece of paper (awkwardly troublesome.) Holiness calls us to sit down, quiet yourself and shut up. “Be filled with the Holy Spirit,” says how many of our prayers.

God created and sustains. Jesus Christ shows us how it’s all done. The Holy Spirit breathes into us the fortitude, and six other virtues, we call the gifts from Her. She was called, “Ghost” for centuries until we realized how important and vital She is to dealing and handling life.

We know the Trinity and we also know our own three names, “Me, Myself and I.” Dealt with separately and you have a self-centered and one-sided view of life. Put them together and you have The Holy Spirit’s plural, “Us.” You’ve become a person, an individual concerned with your own life as well as watching the evening news with a tear shared for all the bad and the good in our world.

The Holy Spirit asks each of us, “How do our words impact/affect the lives of others?” “How do my decisions impact/affect the lives of others?” “How can my life become ‘Holy’ through Her seven gifts?”

St. Peter made how many mistakes and misspoken words and he got a basilica named after him…and a Chair!

Take this home and think about it. Holiness is saying “Yes” to the least part of us and making it the greatest. (I don’t know why I wrote that but I believe it to be true.) Pray about the least becoming your greatest.

That’s The Holy Spirit, that is holiness.

So, next time you hit your thumb with a hammer – turn to The Holy Spirit and say, “Oh, Holy Spirit!” “Fill me with your virtues. Fill me with love for myself. Fill me with a deep concern for others. When I finally empty myself through silence and prayer, please, fill me up with your steady and wonderful virtues.”

Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord.

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Life 101

Marys-Well-Nazareth-The-spring-of-the-Virgin-MaryThis is one of the easiest homilies for me to write.

The first question asked of you today is, “What is the ‘original sin’ of Adam and Eve” that has plagued every single one of us for centuries?

The answer is idolatry. Idolatry is a projection of ourselves upon someone or something else. You take a part or all of yourselves and make it golden as in the “golden calf” that Edward G. Robinson admired in the movie, “The Ten Commandments.” You make of yourself the beginning and end of your life and therefore minimize the lives of everyone around you. That’s idolatry.

Jesus says, “Today scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” All around him were astonished. One single sentence later we hear, “Wait just one minute! Isn’t he from Manitowoc? Or is it Saukville? Or better yet, is it Waldo on Highway 57? No one goes to Waldo, they only drive through Waldo. Why should we be listening to him?” The big Jerusalem people (aka, New York) discovers that Jesus is from tiny, unknown Nazareth (aka, Waldo).

“Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying: ‘Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.’ And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, ‘Isn’t this the son of Joseph?'”

Or a contemporary remark would be heard, “She’s a republican, forget about her.” Or, “He never went to college, what does he know?” Or, “He’s a truck driver who’s never home, what does he know about family.” Or, “She’s on welfare, she should keep her mouth shut or there’s no more checks.”

How quaint and confident we folks are toward each other. St. Paul gives us that glorious “Love’s List” and we quickly dismiss it in our personal encounters with others but crack a tear hearing it at weddings. Idolatry and projection folks – beware and watch for it, especially these divisive days when I’m always right; even when I’m wrong.

I’m not being political but if our personal lives mirrors our government’s behavior as I’m told it so often does, then we are in deep dodo. Take scripture home with you tonight as you continue to read about politics. Married people of fifty-years or more are not governed by the House Speaker or Senate majority leader. They are governed and guided by the beautiful words of St. Paul and the affirmation from Jesus Christ who came from a crummy, little town but is recognized worldwide as the Son of God.

We need to remind ourselves of several of those things we learned in kindergarten. As adults, it’s called “Life 101.” In idolatry, we can easily forget, but as members of the Body of Christ they are held deeply in our minds and hearts.

—— Share everything.
—— Play fair.
—— Don’t hit people.
—— Put things back where you found them.
—— Clean after your own mess.
—— Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
—— Say you’re “sorry” when you hurt somebody.
—— Wash your hands before you eat.
—— Flush.
—— (my favorite of them all) When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold
hands, and stick together.
—— And you older folks (and me), take a nap every afternoon.
—— And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the
biggest word of all – LOOK.”

When the created begin to believe that they are the Creator, as parents say today, “It’s time for a timeout, kid!” When we slowly dismiss our dependence upon one another and upon our Creator, then we’ve become Edward G. Robinson’s` “golden calf.”

We attend Mass and receive, “The Body of Christ.” Translated for each and everyone of us as “all of us.” “The Body of Christ” is the Church and its outreach lives out St. Paul’s beautiful litany in our thoughts, words and deeds.

You know this was one of the easiest homilies to write. Because we all know better. We know what we need to do and how to do it. It’s the living it out that often holds me back. And, that’s the second question, how about you?

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