Our readings for Sunday are here.
These are the poem, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the Mass of
- November 10, 2013 9PM
The poem Fr Dennis references this year is:
- 2013 homily — Starlings in Winter by Mary Oliver
In 2013, we reflected that —
- At the time of the Maccabees , the Jewish people began to believe in resurrection (~200 to 100 B.C.E.). But, of course, humans being human — not all Jewish people did:
- the Pharisees became the branch of Judaism that did believe in the Resurrection, and so this is the tradition Jesus was a part of.
- the Sadduccees did not believe in the Resurrection and stuck tight to the first 5 books (the Pentateuch), which is why they begin their conversation with Jesus with “Teacher, Moses wrote for us …”
- The Jewish people were not unique in this regard. The Greeks of the time continued to press an engraved coin under the corpse’s tongue (only one side of the coin was engraved — cheaper production cost that way!) to pay the ferryman Charon for passage across the River Styx. This is just one cultural example, among many, indicating how the Spirit or soul lies beyond corporeal death.
- This sense of disintegration, flying away in spirit, and re-configuring in hope of new life is captured in Mary Oliver’s “Starlings in Winter.” It reminds us of our hope in the life in the Resurrection.
- This action of the starlings is called murmuration.