Change upon change upon change

This weekend I was in the back of the church and saw that the Lenten Giving Tree was still up, with unclaimed tags dangling on the barren branches. Apparently, it has been weeks since I have been in the back of the church. My world has gotten so much smaller. I wondered what else was back there as a reminder of a time before pandemic. There were copies of the bulletin for the Fourth Sunday of Lent. And here we are now at the Fourth Sunday of Easter. Things change. It is inevitable. It is the way of things. Continue reading


I have no problem with change — if I have initiated it and get to control it. I think most people are that way. Such change can be exciting and energizing. And then… there is most change: we probably have not initiated it, can’t control it, do not prefer the uncertainty of it all, and have a tendency to resist it. It can be uncomfortable or anxiety-provoking as it interrupts our patterns and habits. The expression that humans are “creatures of habit” is a true representation of how our brains work. Our basal ganglia in the primitive brain are responsible for “wiring” our habits. This cluster of nerve cell bodies is involved in functions such as automatic or routine behaviors that we are familiar with or that make us feel good. So, when we need to do something new (or even harder — to do something old in a new way), it takes conscious effort. Continue reading

Becoming what you see

Bread-of-Life-John-6The reading from Old Testament, 2 Kings, and the Gospel both described miraculous multiplications of bread that nourishes the people – such a small offering – a couple of barley loaves – yielding such tremendous results, feeding thousands upon thousands. Truly miraculous…but what effect did it have on the people who were fed? The gospel reading is just the first part of The Gospel According to John, Chapter 6 – over the following four weeks, we will read the remainder of that chapter in its entirety. We can actually take a peek ahead and answer the question. The recipients of that wondrous bread – well, they wanted more. They wanted to make Jesus king so they would always have bread. Jesus will keep trying to explain to them the meaning and the implications on what has just happened, but once they figure out that Jesus’ meaning is Eucharistic… well, they walk away. I guess it would be fair to say the whole thing did not have the effect Jesus wanted. Continue reading

Change – can do

Rosie-the-RiveterI suspect our attitude towards change is like our attitude towards death and taxes — it should be postponed as long as possible. But change is inevitable, natural, and part of the fabric of our lives, our families, and our parish community. Change can be exciting, thrilling, sad, and more – all at the same time. Sometimes change brings about the experience of an appreciation of what was, once the change has occurred. That too is probably inevitable, but, it seems to me, even more sad. Hopefully we are mindful and appreciative of what is “now,” and the good that lies ahead. Continue reading