Voting Irregularities

I know what you’re thinking…”Is he really going to step into the milieu of this election? He’s a priest and should stay out of politics and stick to matters of the Faith.” Despite these imagined misgivings, I am indeed jumping into voting fraud and suspicious voting patterns…But then the US presidential elections are not the only elections underway in the world.

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Our Common Good

Recently I have written several posts about the common good as it pertains to wearing masks. Last night on the news a young man said that he didn’t like people telling him what to do and he didn’t see the need to wear masks. It wasn’t a clip from summer time, it was recorded in the midst of this massive second wave of infections nationwide. It just strikes me as an overly libertarian view that does not consider there is a common good. And the common good is a matter of our faith.

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It depends

This morning in the parish office, someone mentioned that “James Bond had passed away.” Given there were 26 movies over 58 years and more-than-one actor who played the character, there could well be some ambiguity about who had died. Depending on your generation and affinity for the Bond movies, one might come to a different initial assumption of the recently departed. Possible assumptions include Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Davide Niven, …but my mind went immediately to Sean Connery.  He was an actor that was simply memorable. For my part, other memorable roles included Indiana Jones’ father, in 1989’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”; his Academy-Award-winning (best supporting actor) performance as Chicago cop Jim Malone in the 1987 film “The Untouchables,” and one of my favorites, William Forrester in the 2000 film “Finding Forrester.”

Who was the best James Bond? I suspect it depends. When the world comes to consensus of the best Dr. Who and the best Capt. Kirk, perhaps the world will have also resolved the best Bond.

At table

In the gospel of Luke, what is the most important city? If the number of times mentioned is the criteria, then Jerusalem is the answer, being mentioned more than 90 times in the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles. I imagine there are all kinds of “what is Luke’s favorite…” questions, but an insightful one come from Fr. Bill McConville OFM. Fr. Bill has a daily podcast on Soundcloud that you can subscribe to and be very much enlightened by his insights.

As he asks in today’s installment, what is Luke’s favorite piece of furniture?

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It was a straight up trap from the outset. A plan to put Jesus between the proverbial “rock-and-a-hard-place.”  Pay the tax and one side thinks you are a heretic and are capitulating to a pagan emperor who thinks himself divine. Don’t pay the tax and the other side sees you a seditious and a problem to be immediately dealt with. Seems like a lose-lose proposition.

Jesus’ answer is: “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” Nice. Maybe we can think of it as a biblical “drop the mic” moment. There is a part of me that wants to revel in Jesus’ victory and turn the page. And there is the inner voice that tells me to wait a moment. If the Bible is really a book of questions, then what am I being asked to consider? Continue reading

Being Tested

In the Garden of Eden, humans are presented with a test, a choice between two trees. This familiar story is the beginning of a narrative pattern we see play out again and again throughout the biblical story. But why does God choose to test people? It may seem cruel or like he’s attempting to trap humans into making the wrong choice, but the biblical story is clear. God’s desire is to partner with humans, and these tests are opportunities for humans to return to the ideals of the garden despite our countless failures.

If you would like to read the Bible Project’s blog on this topic/video, you can access it here. The Bible Project is a non-for-profit organization that depends on our support. If you would like to support their efforts with a donation, you can reach them here.

Every so often

Every so often someone approaches me after I have celebrated a Mass to inform me what I have done wrong in the ritual. It is in those moments that I have great empathy for the physician who resigns themselves to  listen to a patient reveal their self diagnosis based on what they have discovered on WebMD. Given the ubiquity of the internet I suspect every profession has similar moments. On one hand it is good that patients and clients inform and educate themselves; on the other hand there is a reason medical school, internship, residency, and specialty fellowships take a bit more time than an internet search. As a doctor/friend once offered, “There is a reason it is called the ‘Art of Medicine,’ – the human body is beyond complicated in all its possible reactions.” Continue reading

Kinds of Kings

The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king…” Kings? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua – some of the great names of Israel’s history. And none of them were king. Yet under the leadership of God, they led Israel from slavery to the freedom of the promised land.  Deborah, Gideon, Samson – none of them were kings, yet under the leadership of God, these Judges united Israel to defend itself and its identity against the other nations. To be the qahal Yahweh – the people of God. And the last of the judges was Samuel. It was to Samuel (1 Sam 7) that the people came and said “Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us.”  When Samuel prayed about this before the Lord, God said in answer: “Grant the people’s every request. It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king.” And God warned the people of the rights of those other kings: Continue reading

Good Things of the Lord

Photo by Kelly Lacy

I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.” So says the psalmist. But what do you say? 

I suspect our first reaction is, “Yes, of course…” thinking that we will continue to live a good, holy life – humanly flawed to be sure – but forgiven and hopeful… and so we will see the good things of the Lord. 

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God and St Francis on Lawn Care

In cleaning up files from my computer, I ran across this classic bit of saintly humor. Enjoy!

GOD:   Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles. Continue reading