Our readings for Sunday are here.
These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Masses of
- October 23, 2016 5PM
- October 27, 2013 8:30AM
The poems Fr Dennis references this year are:
- 2016 homily — The Necessity for Irony by Eavan Boland
- 2013 homily — the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls by E. E. Cummings
From the New Jerome Biblical Commentary, indicates the gospel was directed to the disciples.
In 2016, we reflected on —
- D2 started with a joke: A priest offers a prayer of Thanksgiving after Mass, after everyone had left. He realizes how much in debt he was and prostrates in front of the Tabernacle, “O Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.” The deacon passes by and does the same. Neither had noticed a custodian, and he did the same. The priest looks at the deacon and says, “Look who thinks he’s a sinner.”
- ==> We all like to see ourselves and the gospel in a comfortable way. We all have a tendency to think of ourselves as superior. :-} Sometimes we’re wrong. It comes about when we place our own opinions above others.
- In the first reading,
- God is hearing those who are helpless, who can’t do anything right. They are the people God helps. God preferentially helps or is proximate to the poor, the widow, and the oppressed because they need it, not because God is “unduly partial.”
- Dorothy Day is one of the great saints in D2’s life. When he was at NYU, she attended their Jesuit parish. She didn’t think of herself as the holy norm. “Don’t call me a saint!” Instead, pursue holiness as vigorously as she did.
- We’re all called on a special path made for each of us, which will help Christ build the Kin-dom.
- So, we all make mistakes in
- looking down on people (e.g., the Pharisee in the gospel story, and D2’s other Dorothy Day story, “Did you wish to speak with one of us?”), AND
- looking up at people (hero worship and idols, rather than mutuality or God-focus)
- How we are each called and how often we miss that call. In past and present, poetry and its means to call out a moral lesson:
- There is so much bad in the best of us.
- There is so much good in the worst of us.
- That it ill behooves to talk about the rest of us.
- Eavan Boland poem —
- how often we can miss what is beautiful each day
- we can follow Jesus with strength and hope for our community, having food (the Eucharist) and strength to follow that call
In 2013, we reflected that —
- Hearing the cry of the poor
- the poor, the widow, and the oppressed in the first reading from Sirach
- Paul as the poor and need in prison
- in the Gospel, how do we care for all those in need? We ask for God’s help.
- The focus in today’s readings are that the exalted shall be humbled; the humbled shall be exalted.
- This scenario is shared often and recurrent in the gospels; so it is very central to Jesus’ message. It is a simple story … just not easy.
- One translation has the Pharisee saying “like this tax collector” as a direct reference to the humble tax collector in the story. Other translations use “the tax collector” as a generic disparaging comparison. In a brief cameo, Fr Tom Florek, SJ noted how Pope Francis, in one of his interviews, self-referenced as “I am a sinner.”
- It’s all a good reminder that we can’t become humble enough; there’s no room for complacency in this practice.
- The E. E. Cummings poem can be read as one describing a life / lives without genuine relationship, a life without humbleness, humility, or spiritual practice
- “furnished” indicates non-personalized, chosen for them and/or accepted by default
- Protestants were “protesters” at the onset of their religion, but now? … bland, no personal spiritual beauty