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Mary Mother of God

Mary, Mother of God – January 1, 2013
(This homily was written for and first published in the book, Hungry and You Fed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle C.)

Many years ago, I befriended a woman with whom I had nothing in common. In fact, we were far apart in many ways. She was one of the “cool people” that a self-professed nerd like me might never get to know. However, academic circumstances brought us together, and we became good friends. What struck me the most about her, when we first became more closely acquainted, was how “human” she turned out to be. From my original point of view, this woman seemed to have it all; she appeared completely self-confident and self-possessed, she was remarkably beautiful, and she maintained an aura of perfection that seemed unattainable to us mere mortals.

Over time we got to know one another, and a real friendship began to develop. This woman began to reveal just how challenging things were for her. First of all, she was not perfect, although I found that hard to believe. At that age, I believed that we were all socially divided into some “have/have not scheme” when it came to perfection. To that end, I was Continue reading

Hungry and You Fed Me – Book and giveawy

320329_393766334029306_938332944_n-1The new liturgical year begins on Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent, when we enter Cycle C. It is not too late to be looking for resources for prayer, reflection and study – in fact, this being Advent, you should go slowly.

If you are looking for something, I would like to recommend a volume that I have the privilege of being a part of; Hungry and You Fed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle C. This book and charitable project was conceived by Deacon Jim Knipper, and includes many esteemed contributors, such as Richard Rohr OFM and James Martin SJ. There is beautiful cover and interior art by Michael O’Neill McGrath OSFS. The beautiful forward is written by dear friend and talented author, Meredith Gould. This is an ecumenical project, and the works of Presbyterian, Episcopalian and other Christians are included, which in my estimation enriches the insights offered. Some of the offerings are from ordained ministers, priests, and deacons, but also from lay people like myself. Continue reading

Monday Musing – Gratitude Edition

Later this week we will celebrate two things. One should be obvious; on Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving. We’ll get to the second in a moment.

Most Mondays, this post self-publishes, because I have written it before and set a timer that puts it on the blog. (Sorry to ruin the thought of me sitting here in my pajamas with my hair sticking straight up in the air, sleep still in my eyes, as I toil away! Oh wait, that is what you are getting today!) In all seriousness, that is how it works.

Today I am sitting here, writing fresh – mostly because I was away in NYC all weekend and I had not planned my timing very well. But that’s OK, because I am reminded of the gratitude that I feel for an amazing weekend.

When I was in New York, I got to meet some of the other authors of the book, Hungry and You Fed Me, Homilies and Reflections for Cycle C. I can’t tell you how exciting that was, and how grateful I am to actually be IN a book, especially a book like that, and to meet so many esteemed people of faith and vision.  I also got to do a lot of other things and see people that I love while in the city, it was wonderful. Thank you God! (See photos)

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What are you grateful for as we begin the week in which Thanksgiving falls? And for whom do you pray?

I think about the people who lost so much – loved ones, their homes or cars, their livelihoods – all due to Hurricane Sandy. My prayers for them as they navigate this season, perhaps finding it hard to feel thankful for much.

I am grateful to have spent Thanksgiving in Israel in 2004, and I am heartbroken as the violence rages on there, both from Hamas rockets and the Israeli response. It is a very small country, so a rocket from across the border would be something akin to someone in Burnt Hills trying to hit our church in Glenville with a rocket. The other side of the equation is that that it also means that Israel is responding with tremendous firepower, a short distance away and with great force.

God have mercy.

Again, who do you pray for? What are you grateful for?

And what else do we celebrate this week?

The final Sunday of the liturgical year! Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King. We are deep into readings that are apocalyptic in nature, sometimes hard to read, listen to, or understand. I am always surprised when I meet fellow Roman Catholics who understand what they hear in the Book of Revelations in a literal way. There is so much historical, Scriptural, and theological context to what we come to know in this book of the Bible. The end is coming, but God calls us to a deeper understanding of what that means.

We also know that Advent is coming – a time of great promise and hope. Advent truly is the time of the “darkest days before the dawn.”

I don’t know about you, but I love Advent, and I do not really think about Christmas too much until we get closer to it.

So this week I invite us all to remember that we are God’s beloved children, that we are always in the presence of our God, whether we realize it or not, and that God is with us in the darkest moments, and that God is the dawn as well. My prayers of gratitude are like a flashlight, illuminating the pathway to the greatest Light of all – Jesus Christ. That thought makes me most grateful of all.

Amen!

*Two Things*
1 – If you would like to buy a copy of Hungry and You Fed Me, please let me know. I have some in the parish office. If you are a reader from afar, let me know, I can get a copy to you. Or you can visit that website. All self-promotion aside, it is a prayerful and rich volume that will accompany you through Year C. It also makes a wonderful gift!

2- Brother Mickey McGrath is coming to Immaculate in less than two weeks! Please mark your calendars to come on either Thursday night at 7pm on November 29, or at 9am on Friday November 30. If you want to win a copy of one of his books, please see this blog post from the other day. I have extended the deadline to Tuesday morning, November 20, at 7am eastern. Leave a comment and you will be entered into a drawing to win a book!

A new book…

There will be more to follow in coming days, but I did want to announce the publication of a new book. Hungry, And You Fed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle C, featuring James Martin, SJ and Richard Rohr, OFM is now available for purchase. You can learn more about the book, and the associated charitable project by clicking this link.

It is a great honor and privilege to be a contributor to this effort, and I will post more soon. In the meantime, forget about me, and simply check out the great works offered by many esteemed authors, including art from Brother Mickey McGrath.

More to come next week… (and yes, copies will be sold in the office. )

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