Our Holy Cross community in North Easton, MA with its twenty priests and one brother welcomed a new religious superior. He met with us individually asking us about our lives in community, what we expected from him and the big question, “do we have a spiritual director”. I’m sure this question elicited a lot of different responses.
Wally Funk, at 82, the oldest person to ever fly in space, commented upon her return to earth that she had been waiting a long time to get up there and it finally happened. My thoughts turned to Mary Magdalene, whose feast day we celebrate today. As a disciple of Jesus, she joined the ranks of other men and women who stood by Him, and participated in His mission of bringing compassion and care to the masses. Wally Funk waited and she finally got up there. Mary Magdalene waited and she got to meet Jesus.
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"You are damned if you do and you are damned if you don’t." You may have heard that expression. If you haven’t, there is an example of the sentiment in the reading from the Book of Exodus, in the exchange between Moses and God.
"I am concerned about you and the way you are being treated in Egypt." God spoke those words to Moses, and those words must have brought comfort to Moses as he struggled to respond to the needs of his people; who were at the time, being oppressed in Egypt.
A pastor asked his parishioners to pray for rain since there was a serious drought. As they were praying the pastor looked around and began criticizing the group for what he called their lack of faith. One parishioner sheepishly spoke up and said, "but father we do have faith, we showed up, didn’t we?" To which the pastor replied, "Why didn’t anyone bring an umbrella?"
What do you do when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep? It was 3:30am, made a cup of tea, sat on my screened in porch taking in the silence, retired to my room, and gave some thought to this homily. In the today's reading from Genesis, Abraham's wife, Sarah, dies, and Abraham seeks to find a place for her burial. The scene resurrects thoughts of their marriage; and the playful exchange about her conceiving a child in her old age.