Today’s gospel for the Saturday in the Octave of Christmas is the Prologue from the Gospel of John (1:1-18). The words are familiar and are the gospel for Christmas Mass during the Day. When musing about what to write, I kept coming back to opening lines of books or first chapters that made me want to read the rest. For me the most memorable comes from Norman Maclean and his masterpiece  A River Runs Through It:  Continue reading

What makes a family holy?

Is your family holy? What makes a family holy? Most often when we think of families, we think of what makes them healthy – and that too is a good question, a good goal, and something worth time and energy to ensure. A family should want to be a place where its members feel welcomed, warm, embraced, safe, supported, loved and so much more.  But do all those things – as good as they are – make a family holy? Continue reading

What’s the best word to describe…

…Representative-elect George Santos of New York? His self-described actions are “embellishments.” According to Merriam Webster the word “embellish” means “to make something more appealing or attractive with fanciful or decorative details.” That is the core of advertising – using words to make the product more appealing, desirable, economic or some other key attribute to garner the potential buyer’s interest and ultimately for them to purchase the item. We might disagree with a product’s description, the embellishment, but we can agree their is an actual product. Back to George Santos. Continue reading

My last words

The gospel for today is one of my favorite passages: Luke 2, the Nunc Dimitis, or the encounter with Simeon in the Temple. The moniker of the passage comes from the opening words in the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible: “Nunc dimittis servum tuum Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace” – Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”  (Luke 2:29-32)

The Nunc Dimittis is part of Night Prayers/Compline in the Divine Office of the Church. It is perhaps my favorite prayer of the day. They are may last words of every day.

Speaker of the House

It would be hard to follow the news and not be aware of the upcoming contentious election of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The stew pot of politics is ripe with intrigue, posturing and backroom dealings. The Republican party has but a slim majority and within its own ranks there is deep division.  There are at least six candidates who have indicated they plan to stand for election. Those that are “in the know” (and does not include me, not in this or any imaginable universe) assure us that this is likely to go into a contested ballot – despite assurances from the supposed front runner that he had adequate votes to clinch a first round victory of a simple majority. But happens if he does not? Continue reading


Yesterday’s news carried an article about the effect of current news on our mental health. The article offered advise on how to deal with the seemingly never-ending parade of news that takes its toll on our psyche. 40% of respondents in a poll admitted that apart from Ukraine and other stories, the constant barrage of political turmoil negatively affects their well being, physically and spiritually. There are just reports that make one question “common sense” and initiate a roll of the eyes.  But then as the saying goes: Good common sense. Most common sense isn’t good and good sense isn’t common. Continue reading

We regret to inform you….

Klondike has announced that it will no longer produce the Chaco Taco after nearly 40 years in production. Chaco-TacoKlondike explained that the company has “experienced an unprecedented spike in demand across our portfolio” and that it had to make “very tough decisions to ensure availability of our full portfolio nationwide.” However, not all hope is lost for its return. “We’ve heard our fans, and we’re hoping to bring this favorite treat back to ice cream trucks in the coming years.”

The Evangelist

Today we celebrate the Feast of St. John the Evangelist. In midst of the Christmas season today’s gospel seems out of place. It recounts Mary Magdalene’s experience of Easter morning when she reports to Peter and the other apostles: “They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we do not know where they put him.” In that scene she is the first witness to the Resurrection, the first evangelist proclaiming the Good News to those who would be charged with carrying that news to the end of the earth. The scene is as foundational to evangelization as can be. Continue reading

John: Evangelist, Presbyter, of Patmos, Beloved?

Today is the feast of St. John the Evangelist, the name traditionally given to the author of the Gospel of John. John was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, the youngest apostle, son of Zebedee and Salome. His brother was James, who was another of the original Twelve. According to the Synoptic Gospels (Matt 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Lk 5:1-11), Zebedee and his sons fished in the Sea of Galilee. Jesus then called Peter, Andrew and the two sons of Zebedee to follow him. Continue reading