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.

Continue reading

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

Dark Side of the Moon

In the beginning, there was just tohu wa’bohu –  “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth (lit. skies and the land) and the earth was without form or shape ( tohu wa’bohu; wilderness and wasteland | nothingness, no purpose or order) with darkness over the abyss (deep, symbolic for chaos) and a mighty wind (ruah, wind, Spirit, breath, presence) sweeping over the waters.” A lot going on there.  But “Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light.”  Simple, clean. Continue reading

Teaching Disciples

This coming Sunday is the 2nd Sunday in Lent. In yesterday’s post we reviewed the theme of conflict which is a recurring theme throughout Matthew’s gospel – a conflict which is building heading toward the events of Holy Week, a week in which the faith of the disciples will be sorely tested. In today’s post we consider the event of the Transfiguration itself. Continue reading

Pope Benedict XVI on St. Bonaventure

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today I would like to talk about St Bonaventure of Bagnoregio. I confide to you that in broaching this subject I feel a certain nostalgia, for I am thinking back to my research as a young scholar on this author who was particularly dear to me. My knowledge of him had quite an impact on my formation. A few months ago, with great joy, I made a pilgrimage to the place of his birth, Bagnoregio, an Italian town in Lazio that venerates his memory. Continue reading

Prophetic Fasting

The second reading for today comes from the Prophet Isaiah – a book of complex content and 66 chapters long – yet there is a narrative, meta-narrative if you like, that threads and unifies the whole of the prophetic book. But, today we are privy to only 9 verses, all from Chapter 58.

I think the reason is straightforward why this reading was selected and paired with the gospel reading from Matthew 9. Both address fasting, one of the pillars of Lenten practices and piety. Just two days ago on Ash Wednesday we were reminded: “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites” (Mt 6:16). Today our two readings take on the practice of fasting and ask us to examine our own intentions about following this Lenten practice. Continue reading

National Pizza Day

Apparently today is National Pizza Day – “Now, that’s not to be confused with National Cheese Pizza Day (September 5), National Pepperoni Pizza Day (September 20), National Pizza Month (October) and National Sausage Pizza Day (October 11).”  When first scanning this news, I retrieved a question I had always had about pizza. Where/why the name Margherita pizza? Continue reading

Salt of the Earth

This coming Sunday is the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In yesterday’s post we considered two verses that fall between the Sunday gospel readings that are a caution for any would-be disciple. Today, we consider the well known “salt of the earth” metaphor: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Mt 5:13)
Continue reading