Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me. - Mt 25:40

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Readings & Psalms

Homilies

July 18, 2010

The Greek gods Zeus and Hermes, wondering about the people in Phrygia, disguised themselves as mortals and asked help and hospitality. Many with large homes and tables gave them no attention; but a dear old couple, Philemon and Baucis, cheerfully welcomed them to their miserable hut, offered water from their single cup, and a little bread. As a reward, the couple’s hut was transformed into a temple, they were promised that they’d never know need again, and that they would die together, and be mingled like two trees […]

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June 27, 2010

19th century poet John Greenleaf Whittier is not a household word today. But he had his moment of glory, for a poem he wrote of a handsome young Judge riding through the woods who made eye contact with beautiful but very poor Maud Muller. “Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth … of simple beauty and rustic health. Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee … the mock-bird echoed from his tree.” She was a knockout, and he was smitten as she gave him a drink from a spring. He began fantasizing a simple life with her, “away from the doubtful balance of rights and wrongs … and weary lawyers with endless tongues.” But then he thought of “his sisters, proud and cold, and his mother, vain of her rank and gold.” And he went on, to “marry a wife of richest dower, who lived for fashion, as he for power” And it was loveless. And Maud, she got got stuck with a weary wheel to a spinet turned, while the tallow candle an astral burned […]

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June 20, 2010

After the conversation mentioned in today’s Gospel, there was quiet. The apostles didn’t understand what Jesus had just said, but it seemed better just to pause and taste. With Jesus, you never doubted his love, but his conversations were sure confusing. Then Peter decided to break the silence. “Well,” he said, “you asked us a personal question. And now I have one for you, though I ask it with fear. You asked us who we think you are. So I’m asking you: Who do you say I am?” […]

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May 9, 2010

Advice columnists in the paper get more than 10,000 letters a year…. and most of those letters are about fear. Fears, insecurities anxieties. We have them about our appearance, our weight, our sexual performance, our friendships, our marriages, our jobs […]

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April 25, 2010

The fourth Sunday of Easter is called Good Shepherd Sunday, and the Gospel is always a passage from John 10. I asked people what’s a Good Shepherd, what’s a good shepherd do … and they answered 3 things, going back, I guess, to the 23rd Psalm. Good shepherds cuddle, direct and challenge […]

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March 28, 2010

Today begins … and ends … with a donkey. It begins with the donkey tethered to a tree who humbly gives service to Jesus of Nazareth, carrying him down the Mount of Olives and up to Jerusalem, getting him where he needs to go […]

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March 21, 2010

If you’ve ever gone through psychological testing , this might be familiar to you. (Hold up Rohrschach image.) It’s an inkblot image from the standardized Rohrschach test. Herman Rohrschach was a Swiss psychiatrist who believed that how you perceive the outside world says as much about you as the outside world. He would take patients outside and have them look at clouds and other random shapes and tell him what they saw. If over and over they saw hostile faces, monsters, aggression, maybe all was not well inside them. If they saw benign shapes: angels, the blessed Mother and so on … they were likely at peace […]

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February 14, 2010

It’s a strange Valentine good wish card we get from Jesus today. We know what the Hallmark cards say — Oh, I hope you are always happy, always full of life’s good things, always understood and loved by everyone around you. Jesus comes and says: The Father and I want your holiness. Our love for you is deeper than just some weak desire you avoid any difficulties. We want your holiness. So, I hope sometimes you let your own sorrow, the sorrow of others and the deep sorrow of the world come and wound you … so you’ll seek God. The Father and I want your holiness. So I hope sometimes you feel empty inside — it will, if you let it, lead you to God, who can fill you fuller than food or money. Finally, I hope your life, with God absolutely first, is so strange and enigmatic that people think you’re crazy […]

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February 7, 2010

Mark Matthews (we’ll call him) left a message for me three weeks ago. Fr. Mike, you knew me back in Watsonville a long time ago. Call me because I’ve got something to tell you […]

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January 31, 2010

The Nazareth crowd turned so ugly a reporter covering the story considers flight. But how can he leave without at least one interview … so he walks, cautiously, to an older woman. Cautiously, because her face is clenched and she has a rock in her hand […]

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