Bills turns 105

You probably don’t know Bill Monfort. He turned 105 years old yesterday. A Navy veteran who lived through the attack on Pearl Harbor and just about every naval battle in the Pacific during World War II. He wears a baseball cap. It reads “Kamikaze WWII Survivor” in capital letters. At 103, Monfort contracted COVID-19. He was living alone, his wife having passed away years earlier. It was July 2020, and vaccines were not yet available. He spent three weeks in the hospital. He recovered, and after spending time in a rehabilitation center, moved back to his apartment in an assisted-living complex. In between all that he and his wife were founders of a local organization where people with disabilities could live in a homelike setting. Today, the charity, Angels Unaware, boasts eight campuses and is the longest-running group home in Tampa Bay. His daughter’s disability was the source of his passion and mission.

Thank you for your service.

photo credit: LUIS SANTANA | Tampa Bay Times

A song at the heart of the Gospel

Today’s gospel is the continuation of the narrative of Mary as we have followed from her encounter with an Angel announcing that she is to be the mother of the Messiah into the hill country of Judea and her encounter with Elizabeth. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth proclaims:

Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:43-45)

Elizabeth confirms and praises the promises of God coming into the world. And upon that confirmation, Mary exults in the extraordinary canticle we know as the Magnificat: my soul magnifies the Lord. Continue reading