As I am now away on a vacation of sorts, I didn’t know if I would do a post this weekend. Since today happens to be rather foggy and damp where I am, it isn’t the best day for hiking – unless I want to get damp quickly, which I don’t. Besides, there have been a few potential topics that have been dancing around inside my head for a while. Today seems like a good day to explore one of them.

Whenever there has been a significant change in anything, we can expect that this change has brought about some improvements. However, any change can also lead – inadvertently, perhaps – to a loss or a diminishing of something important that was already there. The “law of unintended consequences” makes its appearance.  Continue reading “Reverence”

The Resurrection and the Life

Fifth Sunday of Lent: John 11:1-45

Following the old maxim “Better late than never”, here is a reflection for today’s readings. It was delayed because of an ‘episode’ I had over the last couple of days. I agreed to do two funerals this week, which I knew was a dangerous thing for me, with Holy Week approaching and my “people energy” already low. Yesterday, after the second funeral, I had what people on the autism spectrum know as a meltdown.

For some, a meltdown is a very obvious experience. They will lose all control, rant, throw things, even hurt themselves or others (unintentionally). For me, a meltdown is all internal. Very little of it reaches the surface. In fact, only a small portion of my emotional world reaches the surface, especially when I am with other people. Here is a reliable rule: if you detect the slightest hint of an emotional reaction in me, or if I ever say something like “I’m tired” or “I feel stressed”, you can always safely move the decimal point at least two places to the right in order to obtain the strength of the emotions I am actually experiencing at the moment.  Continue reading “The Resurrection and the Life”

Look Down

Thursday of the Second Week of Lent: Luke 16:19-31

I’ve done no wrong!
Sweet Jesus hear my prayer!
Look down, look down,
Sweet Jesus doesn’t care.

– from Work Song, Les Misérables

The musical Les Misérables, like the novel that inspired it, offers us an unfiltered picture of the life of the poor in nineteenth century France. The line “Look down” appears again in Les Miz as the title of a later, similar song sung by the poor of Paris. That line can have different meanings, depending on its context. It provides us with a good way to begin to explore the parable which Jesus tells the Pharisees in today’s Gospel reading. Continue reading “Look Down”

Feed the Birds

Thursday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time: Mark 9:41-50

Feast of St. Polycarp

“Jesus said to his disciples: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.” Mark 9:41

I admit it.

I have been on a Mary Poppins kick since I discovered that quote with which I opened my last post. Even though I saw many Disney movies as a child, I had never seen Mary Poppins. As a child, my special interests were so focused that, unless a movie appeared to offer me at least one of them, I wasn’t interested. Doctor Doolittle passed muster for me then – the Rex Harrison film –  with all those animals he talked to.  Apparently, Mary Poppins didn’t pass (in spite of the penguins, horses, fox and hounds, and dog).  Continue reading “Feed the Birds”