About Friar Musings

Franciscan friar and Catholic priest at St. Francis of Assisi in Triangle, VA

Marchand: beyond amazing

Continuing to geek out As the NCAA Division I swimming championships reached Day 3. The team championship race is as close as I ever remember, but the talk of the meet remains Leon Marchand, the sophmore from Arizona State. His performance in the 400 IM was beyond amazing, pre-race expectations were sky high and he raced passed all of those. Here are his splits on his way to a 3:28.83

  • 100 fly – 47.10
  • 100 back – 52.20
  • 100 breast – 58.59
  • 100 free – 50.93

The Arizona State sophomore now owns the three fastest swims in history and seven of the top 10, with his prelim swim standing up 10th.

Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:28.82 – 2023 NCAA Championships
Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:31.57 – 2023 Pac-12 Championships
Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:31.84 – 2023 ASU v. Cal
Hugo Gonzalez (Cal), 3:32.88 – 2022 NCAA Championships
Chase Kalisz (Georgia), 3:33.42 – 2017 NCAA Championships
Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:33.65 – 2022 Wolfpack Invite
Carson Foster (Texas), 3:33.79 – 2022 NCAA Championships
Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:34.08 – 2022 NCAA Championships
Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:34.45 – 2022 Pac-12 Championships
Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:34.47 – 2023 NCAA Championships

Take a moment to watch the video and see just how far he finished ahead of Carson Foster who is the World Championship silver medalist.

All kinds of idolatry

In the first reading today, there is no missing the straight-up idolatry. It is the classic text of the story from Exodus:

The LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once to your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved. They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, ‘This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ The LORD said to Moses, “I see how stiff-necked this people is.

Even the Responsorial Psalm (Ps 106) gets in comment: “Our fathers made a calf in Horeb and adored a molten image; They exchanged their glory for the image of a grass-eating bullock.” The line is almost humorous if it weren’t so serious. And God’s reaction is as serious as it gets.

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The next Michael Phelps

Admittedly this is a post that might appeal to but a narrow slice of readership. It is all about NCAA Men’s swimming championships. Last night I was able to watch the first evening finals which consisted of the 200 yard medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay. I can babble about the amazing swims, but take my word for it…. amazing. For me the most amazing was the anchor leg of the Arizona State 800 relay: Leon Marchand. Marchand is from France and swims for Bob Bowman, Michael Phelp’s coach, and is the best swimmer in the world. In the Paris 2024 Olympics he will be the next multi-gold winner.

He anchored the 2nd place ASU relay (Texas was the winner with a new NCAA and American record). This might not mean a lot to the average reader of this blog, but his split for a 200 yard freestyle was 1:28.42…. holy guacamole. How fast is that? … it is fast. At the pool where I swim (and remain a legend in my own mind….) the average lap swimmer will cover 25 yards in about 30 seconds – and those are the better ones. That means they will have covered 75 yards in about the same amount of time as Marchand swam 200 yards.

At his Pac-12 conference championships he set an NCAA record in the 200 yard breaststroke and 400 individual medley and he wasn’t fully tapered and rested for that meet. Yikes!

Martha, the Sister of Lazarus

The gospel reading for 5th Sunday in Lent is the account of the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-45). In yesterday’s post we considered the debate among Jesus and the disciples about returning to Galilee to attend to the illness of Lazarus. In today’s post we arrive in Bethany and Jesus’ dialogues with the sisters of Lazarus begin. Continue reading

Should Jesus Go to Bethany?

The gospel reading for 5th Sunday in Lent is the account of the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-45). In yesterday’s post we discussed the outline of the passage and the setting of the gospel story, introducing a theme previously given by John:“I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” (10:10). Today we consider the debate among Jesus and the disciples about returning to Galilee to attend to the illness of Lazarus. Continue reading

The Richer Story

The previous post “What we know?” was part of my musings initiated by a video on YouTube. I was in the midst of preparing materials for our parish website, a feature called “Bible on the Back Porch.” The page tagline reads: “Reading, pondering and studying God’s Word is sometimes best done “on the back porch.” Each week we will try to offer something for you and your ‘back porch time.’”  People are busy and in my area, have long commutes, families, and sometimes in-person bible studies are just not possible. But they can find 20 minutes at home if something is available online. Hence the back porch project. Continue reading