"Whoever has ears ought to hear." When I hear Jesus' statement, I think back to all the times I heard from a coach, scoutmaster, and others: "Listen up!"
The other day I got a text from a childhood friend. He’s done very well in the start-up I.T. world and yet he was reminiscing about playing whiffle ball in my driveway when we were kids. He ended the message with, "I miss those summer days." I thought about this as reflected on Jesus’ words, "...you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to the childlike."
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Every once and a while we celebrate a memorial that includes a Saint, like today’s, and that also includes their companions. This group of 120 martyrs included 33 European missionaries and 87 Chinese laypeople, who ranged from 9 to 76 years old, and who gave their life for love of God.
When I was a kid, we used to love watching the "The Three Stooges." It's a special genre, the old vaudevillian, exaggerated physical comedy; "The Three Stooges" featuring Moe, Larry, and Curley. The question from today’s gospel, "Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye", always makes me smile and think about that classic show - but also the reality of how I'm doing when it comes to "measuring" my own faults.
Today’s readings caused me to think about being vigilant in our faith life and at times regaining our spiritual balance. They also brought me back to last week when my Mom and I were walking our dog and came upon a neighbor who lost her balance and suddenly hopped out of her sandals. I offered to help and as she steadied herself using my arm as a support, our dog, Erin, gave a warning bark.
In the United States, we have a tradition of visiting our deceased relatives and friends each May 31st, on which we celebrate Memorial Day. As we stand at their graves, there are those we knew well who touched our lives and those we know only by name and family stories. For each of them, we stand and say a prayer of thanksgiving to God and pray that they are joyfully in Heaven.