“Seven Times?” Wrong

Peter thought he had the best answer to impress the man Jesus. In the public school, he’d tell his friend, “I got this.” In a Catholic school years ago, he’d wave his hand saying, “Sisster, Sisster! It’s 7!” He thought to himself, well, there’s 7 of them in a week, until the Beatles centuries later made it ‘8’.” Peter thought to himself, “I bet there will even be seven sacraments once I become Pope.” He thought right, for a change.

Jesus retorts, “Silly man, it’s not your magical number ‘seven,’ it’s the bigger seventy times against your measly seven.”

Dumbfounded, as Peter often is, he’s speechless. I sometimes think that Peter is the fall guy in order for Jesus to make his important point, important. He’s the Costello to Abbott. Or, he’s the Gracie to George.

“Reach beyond that perfect seven,” He said to His apostles and to us today.

Seven contains the number three of the heavens and soul with the number four of the earth and body. Hence, the term, “Seventh Heaven.” Guess how many colors there are in a rainbow?

Here’s a spiritual sentence that needs to be said twice. It’s the imperfect perfection of perfection. That’s our daunting Christian task. Seven may solve the predicament, but extending it beyond that number makes it God-like. And, I also add, makes it the best of us.

“Oh hummm, I can’t be like God so I’ll settle for the ‘seven’ part,” says us to ourselves every, single day.
When added the opposite sides of a dice always equal the number seven. I have no idea what that means but aren’t you glad you came to church today?

“Seventy times seven,” says the Son of God. Troublesome? I hope so. Jesus tempts us to do better than the mere good we sometimes do. Temptation. We usually thinks that it’s the devil’s method. Jesus tempts us each day to do better.

We think goodness, but how often turn away from it. Ignore it. Kindness can then tempt us in any situation. But, we tried it how countless times and how many times it just didn’t work.

The key to Jesus’ thinking is more than that we “tried.” “Nah,” we say to ourselves, “I tried this seven perfection shtick and it fell flat.”

Gee, I wonder who many gifts are from the Holy Spirit? “That’s all! Only seven of them to be lived for a lifetime? I need more!”

King Solomon’s temple took seven years to build; every seven years is considered a holy year in the Hebrew Torah; Israelites during the battle of Jericho were told that marching around the walls of the city “those many” times would ensure their victory; in Jewish tradition, the deceased are mourned for seven days; in the Christian tradition there are seven deadly awful sins, and the plaques numbered the same number. (That list was only six. I can be lazy in my “imperfect perfection” attempts.)

What does Jesus Christ startlingly say to his followers and to us today? When does the better become good and then when does the good become the best of your life? There are many more numbers to witness and live throughout our lives.
To hate and to divide is the easiest game in town to play. No thinking. Self protection. Selfish. Carefully watch out for it in others and especially watch out for it within yourself. To forgive anyone is a game changer, if only for your own well-being. You sincerely reach out and extend a wish of forgiveness; no “ifs” about it. None of that “If I hurt you in any way…,” or “If I offended you whatsoever…” That’s called showing yourself as a blatant fake.

That’s the weak seven, but it seems to work, sometimes. As Christian men and women, Jesus asks us to go beyond that perfect number and to multiply our numbers again and again to those we have harmed and to what we have harmed in ourselves.
What number of years causes an itch in a marriage? Snow White has how many little, friendly friends?

Jesus powerfully tells us to, “It’s the new math we hated teaching our kids but it’s the religious new math that leads us toward perfection!”

Watch and see what happens…

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“Magic” Sacramental “Moments”

(Perry Como sings, “Magic Moments”)

Who’s the singer? That song was Burt Bacharach’s fist big hit. “When two hearts beat are caring,” is truly magical.

It’s even more natural for us to look for a “magic moment” in religion. We can call them miracles or spiritual times that changes us, or strengthens us, or straighten us out. Each sacrament can contain such a moment. However, we tend to narrow that special moment within the sacrament and miss its meaning or application.

Take the Eucharist, for example. All of you would probably agree that the consecration is that sacrament’s mystical magic. Not necessarily. I was taught and believed that it’s the doxology, proclaiming the Trinity before the “Our Father” is prayed. But that may not be necessarily so either. The magic of the Eucharist is what is received on Sunday and then lived on that hump of a day, Wednesday, together with its worries, schedules or whatever concern concerns you. That’s the test of Sunday’s reception.

One would think that Holy Orders is both the laying on of hands by the bishop and priests and the Holy Oil rubbed into the candidate’s hands. I think the magic of the priesthood is the humbling experience of celebrating Reconciliation or Confession. The mystery of God’s mercy being poured into a soul seeking a fresh start or a restart.

For us this weekend, it’s the final initiation sacrament of Confirmation. One would confidently conclude that it’s the extension of the priest’s hand on the confirmand’s head; although not is the virus season. It is also the Holy Oil placed on the person’s forehead; only with cotton during this virus season. But do you really think that that’s the beginning and ending of this sacred sacrament? Wouldn’t it be only the beginning of full membership in the Catholic Church along it’s lifelong commitment of service, prayer, and a faith-filled life? It’s the mustard seed of this and all the sacraments?

We could talk about Marriage forever but I think its magic is the mutual forgiveness after their first argument. That makes a sacrament “sacramentally,” the adverb any sacrament calls us to be. It is all about action, behavior, and effort.

Let’s have a little English lesson today. Verbs are important. They spell action. Nouns pronounce that something’s happened. Both are good but it’s verbs that gets us through life and especially in our faith. Here’s our sad, non-action Catholic verbs. Please pay attention. “I went to Mass today.” “I got married last weekend.” “I say five rosaries a day.” “I gotta go to Confession this weekend.” Please notice the absence of energy and propulsion in those crazy, dull, and inactive verbs. “Went, got, say, and gotta go” are not the verbs of God. “I gotta go to the bathroom,” expresses the same sentiment. When are the verbs heard? Verbs like praying, healing, adoring, sanctifying?

Sacraments are spiritual nouns that, because of the sacrament, become active, engaging religious verbs in all of our thoughts, words and deeds.”

That’s what makes a sacrament holy by its old Catechism definition: “An outward sign instituted by Christ to give [each of us a daily hefty dose] of grace.”

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Cheap Grace & George Carlin

It’s the American way. Always looking for something and paying nothing. The advertisers tease us. We tempt ourselves. It’s often called “bait.” And the fish? Are you and me.

“Free installation, free admission, free appraisal, free alterations, Free delivery. Free estimates. Free home trial And, free parking. No cash? No problem! No kidding! No fuss, no muss. No risk. No obligation. No red tape. No down payment. No entry fee. No hidden charges. No purchase necessary. No one will call on you. No payments or interest for twenty-four months.”

We all know that our faith if fed and fueled within us through the power of the Holy Spirit; yet, yet we continue thinking there’s just kinda be an easier way of being a Christian. We’re Americans. There just has to be a way to get a deal. Full price! Ugh!

“The serpent said to the woman: ’You certainly will not die! No, God knows very well that the moment you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who knows what is good and what is evil.”

Gosh, there’s got to be some kind of short cut, some kind of angle that I can rangle for myself. Like buying a lottery ticket because all the odds are in my favor?

“So come on in for a free demonstration and a free consultation with our friendly, professional staff. Our experienced and knowledgeable sales representatives will help you make a selection that’s just right for you and just right for your budget.”

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made [Fruit of the Loom] loincloths for themselves.” Naked equals being made a fool of instead being vulnerable and spiritually naked when it is rooted and lived in the life of Christ, and for Christ.

“Say, don’t forget to pick up your free gift: a classic deluxe custom designer luxury, high-quality premium select gourmet pocket pencil sharpener. Yours for the asking.”

“Sacrifice and burnt offerings, [I don’t need,”] says God. God wants hearts that are contrite, true, humble and worthy of the sacrificial death of His Son. Wait a minute! Sacrifice of His Son? Just picture that huge stone at Gethsemane. Apostles are sleeplessly out. Jesus, kneeling, praying to His Father and, and He’s bargaining! He offers God his “If” question. “If only…” we could work something out Father. “Then let this cup pass” [and Me and boys will be on our way]. The Son of God “wheels and deals” to show us how futile it works with God. And, how sad when we do it to each other.

“Limited time only so act now, order today, send no money. Offer good while supplies last, two to a customer. Each item sold separately. Allow six weeks for delivery. Some items not available. Some assembly required. Some restrictions may apply.”

Next time you return home from Mexico (if there will ever be a next time) please brag to your friend how you paid the Third World vendor more that he asked for the stupid scarf. If I hear one more person brag about haggling a poor person out of five dollars… Jesus solves his bargaining problem by powerfully, and, most importantly, humbling saying, “Not my will but Yours.” Can we do any less in our lives?

“Low rates, friendly service. Name brands. Easy terms. Affordable prices. Money-back guarantee.”

Whether we stand, kneel, or bow; like Peter, can we proudly proclaim, “Truly, You are the Son of God?” Can we hear that constant whispering voice placed within each of us first at our Baptism and then renewed each time we receive the Eucharist? Can our Confirmation unyoke our self centered selfs the way it did for the high school students who became full members in this Body of Christ Thursday night? (“Unyoke,” I like that. Never used that word before.)

We don’t need to travel to a mountain, experience an earthquake or be burnt by fire. Like Elijah, let us hide our faces in our cloaks (and masks) and go out and [see] the entrance of the cave. Leaving that selfish, dark and dank cave that only held selfish selves. Can we turn to the God of oneness and inclusion, unity, and love? The God of forgiveness for ourselves and those around us. Can we continue to search and find that “hidden pearl” that’s we think is hidden but stares us all in the face in the morning mirror.

The gift of living this earthly life in a heavenly way fulfills the creation God created. Witnessed for us by the disarming decision of His son and is continually reinforced by the Spirit we call “Holy.” This becomes the full, enjoyable, and enriching life God blesses and empowers us to live every single day.

“No purchase necessary. It’s just our way of saying thank you. Batteries not included. All sales are final.”

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The Sower of the Seed

“Jesus said, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still, other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

I wear hearing aids, so can I ignore this parable!? But, let’s see what happens anyway. Am I seed number one? Or, is seed number two me? (I feel like Monty Hall!) Perhaps for my life, it’s the number three seed. Oh yes, there is always that notorious, envious fourth seed.

Oh my, which seed am I? The first seed is an Alfred Hitchcock movie, meaning for us the seed was easily misplaced or lost because we were stuck in a phone booth, talking only to ourselves. “Rocky ground” seed sounds very familiar to me. Seed number three has the “thorny” sound of making poor choices in friends. Seed three is safe because you always have someone else to blame for your wayward actions.

Ahhh. Seed number four. Fruitful, generative, valuable, rewarding, and how many other affirming and peace-filled words. Number four seed reminds me of funeral elegies. A tad over the top? I wonder to myself, “Is this the same guy that I knew?”

So. Those are the four doors, I mean seeds, of our lives. All beginning in goodness, promise, and hope. And the rest of our lives plants replants and replants again any or all of those seeds.

That’s what’s wrong with the statue and monument destruction these days. The same as our ancestors, we are all four seeds. On a good day, we’re the good seed, number four. Tuesday rolls around and the number two seed rears its shallowness. Wednesday night, seed three rings loudly in our heads that our life is always someone else’s fault, never owning it ourselves. Seed three is most days when we neglect to water seed four.

Confusing? I hope so because our lives contain all four of these tiny, little growing things that either scare us out of life or invite our life to be more deeply lived.

After the “Our Father,” the priests says to you, “In your mercy keeps us free from sin.” I don’t know what that means but it sounds important. Is God not providing us with enough mercy to grow seed number four? Wrong.

Yet, we are all four seeds, always seeking to grow that fourth seed. The one that yields. We all hit number four sometimes, but often behave within the other three; the ones with the Hitchcock birds, the rock holding us down and those nasty thorns.

God’s mercy is extended every day to the first three hoping and praying that number four yields the wondrous grace that God gave each of us at our Baptism and is not never returned to God until it achieves “the end for which [God] sent it.”

“I’m Monty Hall and that’s our show for today.”


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“Not By Bread Alone”

When do you do your best work? If you’re a morning person, you’re quite pleased with yourself come lunchtime. The afternoon now becomes a cinch.

If you’re a “last-minute type of guy,” the time of day doesn’t matter, it’s just about the deadline.

Jesus learns of his cousin’s death and just wants to be alone. Yet, five thousand people seemed to have heard of his “alone time,” so Jesus feeds them all, not counting those who don’t matter. “Women and children,” not counted! How much more time would it have taken to include them?

Jesus surprises those counted and uncounted with not stomach food but instead provides food for living this life fully in the love and protection of God, through our witnessing the life of His Son, and relying on the continuing presence of the Holy Spirit. For us, it only looks like a measly wafer, in its spiritual effects it is truly hardy.

I misled you at the beginning with the material work that seems dependent on your temperament. The real work of our lives is those nighttime revelations about yourself and your relationships with others. Sometimes soothing, but oftentimes haunting.

Haunting because those thoughts that echo in your tired head are not felt within your heart. Or, more importantly, fed by your soul.

We so often rely only on material food that so very often only yields illusions in a safe and a carefully guarded version of ourselves. It’s so much easier and enjoyable to eat a hamburger than to prayerfully delve deeper into your spiritual life and personal behavior.

“Food that perishes,” that’s a polite word for our bathroom visits. Or, is the food we need one that prompts us to be better Christians, a complete person; the person God created each of us to be. A welcome digestion to reside and live in your soul.

So, please welcome your haunting nighttime guests who have faithful morsels that await your attention. For those midnight morsels can and need to slowly become the whole Christ-wafer.

This is a First Communion weekend at St. Catherine’s. But, I’m terribly sorry once again, I misled you. This day and every other day is the first communion for us all.

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My Sleepy, Happy Cats

On any given day or night they are both sound asleep. (Or, are they?) A loud sound, a foreign movement alarms them to alert. But in the meantime, and I mean a long, long “mean time”, they represent what we all desire during those eight, luscious hours between our TV and the new day.

My two cats, Owen and Elsie, named after my nephew’s children. When their time comes, I told my nephew that he needs to have more kids. He didn’t reply to that email.

Tails that normally wag showing either joy or deep concern are now tightly held between two legs with a body that forms an embryo. Those are only the physical details, it’s their sublime peace that I witness when I peak into their supposedly hidden places.

It’s called a “cat nap” but to us, that means ten minutes of rest behind our desk before the next meeting. For these two, it means what only nature has decreed. What God’s provided for his living creatures.

I could attempt to list the words that describe their sleepy solitude, describing what would be the envy of us all. Their sleeping presence is the hope of all of our Church prayers – calm, quiet, tranquility, contentedness, free of distress in the midst of all that is presently occurring in our lives.

I like the word “bliss.” My apartment cats define that word while sleeping. Total and immaculate, completely. The beauty of our Christian faith is to know that my cat’s sleeping experience can be experienced in our waking and sleeping lives as well.

When we get up in the morning, please unfold that tail of yours because the new day will not always be about you and how wonderful you are. Then, blissfully, lead, and live your day to the glory of God through carefully chosen words, a genuine smile, and always an alert for unknown or loud sounds.


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“Ish” and “Like,” Twins

I’d like you to meet two friends of mine. Their names are “Ish” and “Like.” Those are not their baptismal names. It’s the names they’ve carved out for themselves as their lives unfolded.

Perhaps you know them as a neighbor of yours. It could be the nickname you’ve given them but never said to them. Or, are they people in your home? Or, better still, are they you? Is your name “Ish” and/or “Like?”

I’ll save you time. It’s the last question that’s correct. You put the word “child” before each suffix and you get my simple Sunday sermon. Childish and Childlike.

Here’s one for you to guess. A parent sees the newborn for the first time. Which person is it? It’s both! The answer is “Childish,” when dad loudly proclaims, “Look what I’ve done!” (As though he did this all by himself.) At the same moment, “Childlike” looks heavenward and softly says, “Look what I’ve done.” “Ish” is all about me and “Like” is all about whatever is, all about, and around.

You get a raise but not as large as your co-worker. You’re angry name?

One of them is all about play and you never want to lose that. The play of laughing at yourself, the play that embodies all of life (I truly do not step on ants anymore), the play of the buoyancy between your sometimes right and your often more times wrong. “Ish” becomes rigid, unyielding, and inflexible because the price of self-disclosure and self-sacrifice is too high.

Which one am I? One author describes them as, “spoiled, self-centered, dingy and judgmental.” Which one am I this time?

My favorite comparison? It’s confession. Since very few participate in the sacrament, I’ll tell you. The “Like” within you finally admit all your “Ishe’s.” This is not done not only for Divine forgiveness but in order to accept that “Ish” will again “rear its ugly head” but you are now aware of it and can acknowledge its rearing. With God’s grace, “Like,” can now monitor and control your “Ishes.”

God’s creation is only the person called “Like.” Childlike in thought, word, and deed. In life’s wonder, amazement, even disappointments and, surprises; no matter your age.

I believe we already know about the “Ishes” that creep into our lives. So I conclude with the wonderful life’s list of “Likes.”

“Share Everything. Play Fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up 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. (I add for the men, “Put the seat down when you’re finished.) Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon. When your out in the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish, hamsters, and white mice, and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.”

And saving the best for last? “Remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – Look.”



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“Road to Emmaus”

(No, it’s not a Crosby/Hope movie. It’s taken from St. Ignatius, 17th century and to us today.)

maxresdefaultIt’s a long walk home from Jerusalem, but you’re glad for the exertion. The physical work of walking might ease, just slightly, the harder work that’s going on inside you today.

What is the work? It is the work of grief. You lost a friend just a few days ago. Not only a friend but your leader, your beloved teacher. And he didn’t simply die; he was executed in the most torturous, shameful way. You’ve seen a lot in your lifetime, but the memories of Jesus’ ordeal are forever branded into your memory. You close your eyes and see blood; you go to sleep but dream about someone suspended, gasping for air.

At least your friend is with you—both of you followed the teacher, with equal conviction and enthusiasm. So you bear your grief together now. As you walk and walk through the long, rainy afternoon, you encourage better memories—of all that the teacher said, of the people, you know whom Jesus healed. You can’t seem to stop talking, although several times one or both of you must stop talking because you must cry for a while.

The stranger joins you while you are still several miles from home. Within moments, it’s clear that this person has no idea what has been going on in Jerusalem. With great heaviness and some annoyance, you fill in the barest details for him. All you have to say is “crucifixion” and anyone in Roman territories knows exactly what you’re talking about.

But the stranger engages in the conversation with great energy. He must be some kind of teacher because he launches into an explanation of how Jesus’ fate is actually a good thing and the proper fulfillment of what was predicted long ago. This is fascinating—you and your friend are all ears. Before you know it, you’ve arrived at your home and it’s getting dark.

You invite the stranger to have supper with you and spend the night, rather than risk injury or other misfortune while on the road at night alone. Also, you want to hear more of what he has to say. He graciously accepts your offer.

The first thing you do upon entering the house is to prepare the evening meal. The three of you sit down to eat. Then the stranger takes the bread and blesses it. You feel a strange energy move through you and hover in the room.

Where have you heard this sort of blessing before?
The stranger hands each of you a piece of the bread. You take it, and memory washes over you—of a hillside with thousands of hungry people. Of a few loaves and fishes being transformed in an instant to miraculous abundance. Suddenly, it is clear who this man is, eating at your table. You look into his face.

What do you see? What is his expression? What do you feel? What do you know in the truth of your heart?
Your friend has barely gotten the words out—“Why, it’s the Lord!”—when the stranger vanishes. The room still feels strangely warm, and there are waves of that energy, like lightning sparking all over the room. You and your friend stare at one another, and finally, you say, “Weren’t our hearts on fire when he explained the Scriptures? Didn’t we know something even then—we just couldn’t identify it?”

You finish your meal—what a healing pleasure to eat the bread blessed by those hands! But then you look at each other and know what you must do. You head back to Jerusalem. You have to tell Jesus’ other followers who are still there in the city.

What is your conversation like on the way back? You are traveling at night—something you never do, for safety’s sake [reflecting on a stranger’s words whom you realize is not a stranger after all]?

What does it feel like to be on the road at such a strange hour?
What thoughts keep running through your mind on this journey?
How has your perspective changed, now that you have met the resurrected Jesus?

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“Divine Mercy” & the Virus

I bought some sweaters at Goodwill wondering about the previous owners. They looked good to me. Prior guy got bored, bought something better, or did he pass away?

Secondhand is what stores like Goodwill sell. They sell you something that was previously sold to someone else. That poor sweater of mine could have had how many other wearers. And more to come when I turn it back in once I see a nicer sweater.

“Divine Mercy” is this second Sunday of Easter. There is no doubt in our minds, this very day and this very hour that this worldwide virus is anything but secondhand. Invisibly infiltrating mouths, noses, and then deep down inside the lungs.

St. Peter hits the right nail, as they say, as he told us today, “…although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for the praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Apply that reading to today’s pandemic and you may have your doubts about this loving, merciful Creator we adore. Like Thomas’ adjective to his name, how many of us can add “Doubting” before our names. We clearly know that God did not cause this terrible plague upon us. But “like gold tested in fire,” it is our unwavering trust in God that will see us through this crisis.

I mentioned secondhand before as though it’s secondary. This virus is passed from person to person. Secondary suddenly becomes primary. That’s why I’m talking to an empty church but hopefully lifting any empty spirits through our virtual Eucharist. This virus proves there is nothing virtual in our relationships – both in disease and in fellowship.

The reading from Acts is the ideal we all strive to attain. “All who believed were together and had all things in common…they devoted themselves to meeting together..and to breaking bread in their homes.”

That is the Divine Mercy in both disease and fellowship. The psalm today said, “I was hard-pressed and was falling.” It’s not easy being separated from family, friends, faith community. We love our homes but give us a break! “But the Lord helped me. My strength and my courage is in the Lord, and he has been my savior.” This becomes an internal joy, as the psalm continues. “The joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just.” The joy of this day while so many needlessly die. The fragility of this human life stares us right through our masks and gloves.

Optimists say that we’ll become a better world, more united. I disagree. We’ll slowly return to our old habits. If that weren’t the case then I’d be out of a job!

“Divine Mercy Sunday,” this day is called. May this virus remind us that every day is celebrating, honoring, and claiming Divine Mercy. We earnestly pray daily for those we love, those who became or will become a number among many in the newspaper and Divine Mercy for ourselves.

On second thought, there is absolutely no doubt before my name and I sincerely hope the same for all of you.

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Light & Dark, John 3:16

I learned from a family with young children recently that when trophies are given for a sporting event, all the children receive one.

It’s a warped sense of affirmation and religiously it’s a warped sense of Christ light in today’s gospel.

When is failure taught if not at a young age? Or, do you wait until you’re thirty in a job when your project is roundly rejected? “But I have all these trophies at home,” he says at the bar after work.

Do you remember the “Clapper.” Clap once and the light turns on. Clap again and the light turns dark.

It’s the “either/or” of our culture and it’s wrong. Like giving a trophy to everyone, there is no total light or total darkness. If it’s total darkness then where does our beautiful virtue of hope reside?
If it’s total light in your life, then you’re living in La-La-Land.

Add a dimmer to your living room lamp and you may a good, healthy religious perspective. We live in neither a land of one or the other.

Being dimwitted people, we live in the dimmer of God’s glory alongside the darkness of our choice of selfishness.

Easter’s hope for us all is always aiming for the Christ light to illuminate and clearly guide our lives. The reality of our lives is the darkness that surrounds us attempting to convince us that ease of darkness wins over struggling gift of light.

The only trophy we need is the victory of Christ’s risen destruction of death; meaning darkness. We aspire through the sacraments and our prayers for the wonderful peace the light of Christ offers us.

Now that’s something to clap about…a lot.

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