I recently asked one of my younger grandsons what he found interesting about school this year. He replied with a detailed description of an item on the lunch menu. Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I expected him to respond with something about classes, friends, homework, or similar. I wasn’t ready for a food response, totally unexpected. In retrospect, it made great sense. Eating is a bright spot in our day.
There is something touching about a newborn child. Children have their own way of relating to the world around them. They were once so "one" with the womb of their mother. They relate to the world around them with that sense of "oneness." It is as if the whole world is their friend.
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As I read over today’s readings and began to reflect on their meaning, asking God to help me to write this homily, I was also thinking of Mrs. Howley, the mother of my friend, Joe, who is preparing to go home to God.
This time of year, people in various places celebrate in gratitude for the blessing of a bountiful harvest. As the U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving, I can’t help but cherish childhood memories of Thanksgiving gatherings long past. When I was growing up, our extended family would gather for a grand meal and engaging conversation. The younger ones would be seated at a separate table at these celebrations. I suspect the table arrangement accommodated seating capacity at the adult table and was sensitive to young people’s interests. It was great fun. I was one of the youngest and delighted to be in the company of my older cousins.
Today, as we delve into the Gospel's teaching, “Remember Lot’s wife,” we find a profound message for our times, especially when we consider the concept of the domestic church in light of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary's example.
When I was teaching, I would sometimes pose the question, “What is your favorite verse or section of Scripture?” It was inspiring to accompany people as they thoughtfully considered the many possibilities, searching through memory and faith. Sometimes, it wasn’t easy to single one out. Our favorite might change at different times in our lives. I think it’s an interesting question to ask oneself. Not only for what it tells us about God but also to contemplate what God’s Spirit reveals to us about ourselves.