Archive | March, 2014

he had to be burped

13 Mar

In his “Jesus: A Pilgrimage” Father James Martin, S.J., writes that there are ten things you need to know about Jesus:

1. Jesus really was human.
2. Jesus really was divine.
3. Jesus came from a tiny town.
4. Jesus learned.
5. Jesus worked hard.
6. Jesus had friends.
7. Jesus didn’t expect everyone to understand him.
8. Jesus needed time alone.
9. Jesus didn’t want to die.
10. Jesus really rose from the dead.



12 Mar


In Beit Jala (Bethlehem) March 12 is Old Age Day or the Feast of Old People.

There probably is a better translation of the actual name of the day, but that is how my Palestinian friend, Waseim, refers to the occasion in English. To be fair to him, I would not be capable of translating and speaking about “Seniors Appreciation Day” in Arabic.

At the Catholic parish there is a gathering for those we call the seniors. The parish priest mingles with the group. Of course, there is lunch. And the tembola cards come out. Tembola is a Palestinian version of bingo. When they “bingo,” they yell, “Khallas (Stop, Enough, End).”

Along with the Mass, there are others things that seem to be universal in our Catholic Church: our love of older people, older people’s enjoyment of being in each other’s company, their commitment to their parish, their affection for their parish priest – and tembola!

control: who has it?

8 Mar

control 1

There are control issues in the Mass readings today. The issue is who has it and who wants it. 

In Genesis we have the man and the woman and the serpent. In Matthew we have Jesus and the devil.  

Who has control? Who wants it? 

It seems that, whenever there is turmoil in us, whenever there is discomfort in our relationships, and wherever there is disarray in our world, there is someone who is trying to take control. Somebody wants to be in control.  

In Genesis, the man and the woman and the serpent all want to be in control. We know how that turned out. 

In Matthew the devil wants to be in control. We know how that works.  

It seems that the only one who didn’t have a control issue is Jesus. He let the word of God and the will of God  be in control! 

Jesus is the only one who didn’t need to be in control.

control 2

Get on your mark. Get set. Go!

5 Mar

Ash Wednesday 01

Get on your mark. Get set. Go!

Get on your mark (the ashes and the cross). Get set (your mind and your heart on Lent). Go (with the flow of God’s grace for 40 days).

The ashes are a unspoken and obvious statement about who you are and to whom you belong.

Get on your mark. Get set. Go!

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