Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Masses of

  • October 13, 2019 8:30AM
  • October 9, 2016 Noon

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The poem Fr Dennis references is:

  • Kindness by Stephen Dunn
  • no poem in 2016 as there was a baptism

In 2019, we reflected on —

  • the poem, Kindness by Stephen Dunn.  While I’m sure we reflected on more with Fr Dennis, I did not take notes at this homily!

 In 2016, we reflected that —

  • the baptism is a homily, in a way  🙂
    • we are celebrating another member of the church
    • faith is active in our lives, and how we share it
  • there are no special readings for baptisms, because Sunday readings are always about faith. But these two readings (Naaman from 2 Kings and the grateful Samaritan healed of leprosy) are especially good with
    • a main character being an outsider, an alien or foreigner
    • the Israeli King thinks his request is a ruse
    • Naaman / Elisha — Naaman thinks the request/ritual is a farce and beneath him
    • His servants encourage him to get in the Jordan River, and he receives the “flesh of a young child,”  … seems like more than curing of the skin disease, more like a baptism with its fresh start.
  • Dennis, at his age (76+ at the time) sees and enjoys the contrast between his hands and all their marks of wear, tear, and age with the unblemished newness of the baby’s skin in a Baptism.
  • For outsiders, holy people aren’t from Israel (everyone has their own gods, holy people, prophets, and soil), but Naaman wants to give a gift to Elisha for this service.
    • Elisha turns it over to God;
    • so Naaman asks for two loads of Jewish soil, which will be enough to worship the God of Israel on, indicating that he is a kind of convert to Judaism.
  • The gospel story from Luke is also a conversion story.  This time by a Samaritan healed of leprosy, the only one of ten people suffering from leprosy (Hansen’s disease) to return in gratitude.  The ten people suffering from leprosy leave, are healed as they go, and the outsider (the Samaritan) returns to Jesus to give thanks.  Jesus has given them what they need next, a large sense of life’s many gifts to us, which hopefully invokes gratitude in us.
    • Jesus ends that his “faith has saved him” so this is not solely a cure, nor solely religious.
    • Anything that gives life is part of God’s salvation
    • Anything that allows us to see life is part of God’s salvation
    • All blessings and healings are part of God’s salvation

Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the Mass of

  • October 6, 2019
  • October 2, 2016 10AM
  • October 6, 2013 Sat 5PM & Sun 8:30AM

_______

The poem Fr Dennis references this year is:

In 2019, we reflected on —

  • I do not have any notes.  I think by 2019 I had returned to more still listening  (particularly since I already had two sets of notes from 2016 and 2013 for these readings from D2!).
  • He chose the poem The More Loving One by W.H. Auden.  “If equal affection cannot be, / Let the more loving one be me.”  He found this an apt and succinct a summary of Christianity offered by Christians.  🙂  God is always the more Loving One to us!  🙂

In 2016, we reflected on —

  • From seminary to now, he went to the Jesuit vacation house near Omena for breaks.  Back in the hey-day of Jesuit numbers, they would go 150 at a time!  D2 entered the Jesuits in 1956 around 18 years old, as he had just been part of his novice group’s 60th reunion.
  • So, when he was reading today’s gospel, it reminded him that “we waited table for each other” – bringing out food, etc.  Family style, rather than the cafeteria style many larger Jesuit residences might have now.  During lunch and dinner, they were read to, e.g., Life of a Saint, the Constitution of the Society.  The readings were sometimes a source of humor, e.g., when a Jesuit pronounced “manor” as “manure.”  Breakfast was silent — which was okay! 
  • But, “when we served as waiters … we waited a lot because it was family style serving,” not the restaurant style serving of today with much more running around by the servers.  (rl — notes that maybe a Downtown Abbey visual of the servants waiting near the table is closer to Jesuits waiting to serve those at table than our late 20th or early 21st century visuals are!)
  • So.  It was a remarkable experience to serve … and wait.
  • Sunday Mass is a bit of the waiting upon the Lord … maybe we encounter God, maybe not.  But we need to be available to God in our heart, waiting attentively with a desire to hear God’s voice (like our Psalm 95:8 refrain today!)
  • We are wait-ers.   In Habbakuk, our first reading: For the vision still has its time, / presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; / if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. /
  • Where might that vision be coming into focus for each of us?
  • John Milton (1608-1674) was a poet and civil servant.  He was a Puritan and political activist, who advocated for Republican government in Great Britain.  He became blind relatively early in life, around 50 years old, and the experience engendered this poem.
  • On His Blindness is a sonnet, 8 lines / 6 lines with regular rhyme, in which the problem itself is a form of its resolution.  The sonnet takes on, what is a very personal question to the poet, what’s going to happen to me and my talent(s) [gifts] now that I’m blind?

RL remembers this difficulty of growing into waiting as serving from being Server at one of our parish’ Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper masses, in which the Jesuits and Dominican Sistahs, served the foot basins as each congregant who wished came up to have their foot washed by the person in line in front of them. It was still a lot of up and down, crouching, and what-not for the footbasin attendants.  As Server to Fr Dennis as celebrant among concelebrators, I found my desire to help rather than “just wait” pushed me to the insight of how God waits for us to return (just as at the same time God is right with us wherever we are exercising our free will!).  Ever since, when offering the Server ministry, I wait in Mass — attending in hopeful tenderness of the congregation and what I felt for, particularly, our aging Jesuits and religious.

One of the kindest things said to me when I was in graduate pastoral studies and “waiting” to graduate, still equating “waiting” with “wasting” unfortunately. I was having major FOMO and guilt about “not contributing.” Fr Tom Florek, SJ offered reminder that we serve our communities by learning and engaging with our education.  Thanks, Padre Tom! Remember that, younglings!  We serve God and community by learning our ABCs and more.  🙂

In 2013, we reflected that —

  • In “Increase our faith,” the “increase” is the first aorist imperative in Greek (Πρόσθες (Prosthes)), almost a command, a one-time command, — so this is the apostles “commanding” Jesus to increase their faith!
  • One of Fr Dennis’ summer internships while he was completing his PhD in Film History and Criticism at NYU was at Catholic Film Reviews, in which he would screen new films — empty of any expectation or slight skewed to “I hope it’s good.”  Literally, no audience had seen the film, outside the studio!, so a very different film viewing experience than ones we have in theaters after release.
  • This internship experience helped him experience that positive expectation was a part of faith.
    • A positive sense about God being in charge
      Hoping to see God
      and sometimes faking it until you make it.
  • The latter reminds him of GALAXY QUEST, a goofy spoof on sci-fi films, but particularly STAR TREK (the original series in the 1960s).  If you aren’t familiar with this (hilarious) film — a group of actors from a televised series are recruited (and unintentionally abducted) by a galactic species, the Thermians, who are being subject to genocide.  The Thermians mistook the intercepted signal of the Galaxy Quest tv show for a documentary, rather than fiction.  The gallant command crew of the tv show grows into believing they can aid the Thermians, and so they become able to, amidst much uproarious laughter as both parody and homage to STAR TREK.  And where else will you see Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Missy Pyle, and Darryl Mitchell together?  🙂
  • Faith is something that the more we have the more it grows, so no problem starting with a mustard seed
  • In the poem, We Who Are Your Closest Friends by Phillip Lopate, is a humorous capture of how the vulnerable (and insecure) among us may be the center of social community — for reasons uplifting and not so.  Yet, still, the grace of community grows and flows.

Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the Mass of

  • September 29, 2013 10:10AM

_______

The poem Fr Dennis references this year is:

In 2013, we reflected on —

  • “carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham” — the bosom is the choice position at a banquet, e.g., John leaning his head on Jesus’ chest at the Last Supper.
  • There is a revelation of Jesus in the gospel reading in the final two lines, the stone the builder rejected.
  • The New Jerome Biblical Commentary shares that a parable akin to the one about Lazarus is known throughout the Middle East and is thought to have originated in Egypt.  The main elements are the rich / poor reversal in the afterlife and that justice is somehow righted in the next world.
  • However, the gospel version doesn’t include the gloating of the Egyptian version, and the Egyptian version doesn’t include the Abraham-Dives/Rich Man dialogue. NJBC Comment 43:151, 2nd edition, p 708.
  • For the Hebrew people in ancient times God is God of the people and the land itself; God is the owner, everyone else is a tenant farmer and all tenants had to return a share of their harvest as rent.
  • Thus, the relationship between wealthy and poor, something is owed, e.g., the extra cloak in your closet belongs to the poor.
  • In the poem, To Dives, the word “Dives” means “wealth” and a Latin derivative, essentially “To Rich Man.”

You might have noticed the notes are from the 10:10AM Mass. When I first returned to the church, St Mary’s had nine Masses (“Come to the monster Mass rally at St Mary’s on Sunday! Sunday!! Sunday!!!“) including an overflow Mass for the 10AM Mass in the main church, which might regularly have 600 people. The overflow Mass stagger started at 10:10AM in the basement and had a following among those who loved being with kids (their own and others!) being kids, and that included Fr Dennis. 200 or more folks might fill the hall, but sometimes it was smaller and more intimate.

The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (NJBC) referenced in one of the bullet points is a verse-by-verse Catholic commentary on Hebrew and Christian scripture, incorporating the most recent historical, scriptural, scientific, and literary analysis into one 1,000+ page volume.  The First Edition was published in 1968 (part of that breeze from the window opening of Vatican II), and the Third Edition — this year (2022) with a foreword by Pope Francis.  A certain D2 (aka Fr Dennis Dillon, S.J.) introduced me to this work.  It was good to be invited into the three millenia long conversation with and about God and how it was captured in the NJBC.  When reflecting on the Sunday’s reading (or any other), and I find myself stuck or unclear what was meant — specifically or as context, the NJBC often has a comment that clarifies or illuminates.  We are not alone in our questions and questing.

On a roll with James Janknegt, who also offered this entry’s featured image — his version of Lazarus and the Rich Man parable in today’s gospel.

Lastly, this gospel (though a different year, I think) also prompted D2 to share the Mary Lou Williams musical version of this gospel, “Lazarus”, from her Mass for Peace, a jazz setting for a Catholic Mass.  There is more context on this entry of the blog.

But for now, enjoy! The music of Mary Lou Williams was a gift I could share with my Dad who introduced me to boogie, rag, and stride. After a lifetime, us amateurs didn’t find “new” artists often, but Ms. Williams’ music and stories were a jewel to sharing during what turned out to be our last ten years together.

Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the

  • September 22, 2013 5PM

_______

The poems Fr Dennis references in these years are:

In 2013, we reflected on —

  • Jesus approving of a dishonest servant?!  What’s he gonna say next?!  🙂
    • To be clear, the steward is reducing other people’s debt to his master (not to himself, the steward) in the hope that they will treat him well when he is no longer under the protection of his master.
    • The steward makes use of worldly means for worldly ends; he is not expecting a “heavenly” outcome — just a better time here on earth.  Jesus reminds us of our call to him, so often God’s crazy path for the Kin-dom, which requires of us different manner and means than the steward witnessed — and not as sequential an outcome!  In each moment, we are making this choice.
  • Jesus usually explains God’s Love by looking at the world around him.
  • Like the Starfish poem does.

Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the

  • September 15, 2013 8:30AM Mass

_______

The poem and writing Fr Dennis references this year are:

  • 2013 homily — Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen and A Prayer to the Good Shepherd by John Shea.

In 2013, we reflected on —

  • In John Shea’s introduction to The God Who Fell From Heaven, he writes of three things lost, three things found, ==> three parties! (p 20)
  • The Parable of the Prodigal Son has had so much written about it, it can become too familiar.  Dennis read an excerpt from Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen, pp 42-44.  rl’s favorite quote “I am the prodigal son every time I search for unconditional love where it cannot be found.”
  • “What more can be said of the gospel reading?” and, he asked us if there was a word or phrase that stuck with us and encouraged us to stay with it, reflect, and pray.
  • On my 8-day silent retreat this year, one of my passages was the Prodigal Son.  My spiritual director/companion, Fr Peter Fennessy, SJ often uses art to help his directees engage their imaginations with the passages.  This time, he showed me Two Sons by James Janknegt (2002).
  • He noted that in this image, the artist equated eating the pigs’ acorns with the dehumanization of a corporate fast food job and the seething resentment of the older brother with a snapped-in-two guitar.  What do you see?
  • In commemoration of 9/11, in 2014 (I think) Fr Dennis offered the recording of Rabbi Irwin Kula who had transformed the final voicemails of some people in the Towers and United Airlines Flight 93 into the form of a Jewish lament.  You can listen to it here.  It is how I commemorate that day in grief for lives lost and celebrate that so many chose love to be their final words.  Then, perhaps in 2012, he played “No One Is Alone” from Into the Woods by Barbara Cook.

Twenty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Masses of

  • September 4, 2016
  • September 8, 2013

_______

The poems Fr Dennis references in these years are:

In 2016, we reflected on —

  • Generally, the Sunday readings are created by selecting the gospel reading (fitting to the liturgical calendar and the story of Jesus), then the 1st Reading (usually Hebrew Scriptures but Acts or Revelation during Easter), and the 2nd Reading may or may not fit.
  • In the 1st Reading, a colloquial summary might be: We don’t know nothing.
  • The 2nd Reading today, Paul’s Letter to Philemon?  A homily in and of itself!  Paul is talking about sending Onesimus, a slave, back to his owner, in part because he doesn’t want to take property without permission.  But in part because the Spirit is moving him to see Onesimus as a brother, and he encourages Philemon to do the same.  Nowadays?  Georgetown University is one of the many trying, however poorly — even at $100 million Descendants Truth and Reconciliation Foundation — to atone for Jesuit slaveholding in the North American continent.
  • In the Gospel, this is a hard gift, a challenge to all of us, to not focus on ourselves.  But there’s always that small voice of “me … me … me .. don’t forget about me.”  That voice keeps us from being completely free for Jesus.  (rl whimsically remembers a yoga magazine likening ego to toast popping up half-done to ask if it is done.)
  • But, for D2, the most interesting thing about Jesus in today’s gospel is how he teaches.  Compare his manner to the rabbis who teach by quoting Hebrew Scripture.  Jesus rarely does so, and even then it is often the gospel writer saying “Jesus was referring to ____.”
  • In today’s gospel, “building a tower”?, “a king against another king”?  Jesus is using examples from people’s every day experience to share his point, to illuminate a shared experience for others.
  • This is why he/Fr Dennis uses poetry … an old truth in a new way.
  • In Seamus Heaney’s The Skylight, a sonnet, a poem sharing a sudden sense of light and an “ah, yes!” moment when we experience a new way of looking at the healing of the paralytic (a different gospel reading).  A sonnet is a 14 line poem with several different rhyming and meter schemes available.  In The Skylight, 9 to 11 syllable lines are offered in a mixed rhyming scheme.
  • Zen Master Wu Men, in “Ten thousand flowers in spring …” — if we can somehow not have our minds clouded with focus on ourselves we can see all times as the best of times in our lives.  So not just in thought, word, feeling do we follow Jesus but in action.
  • We can be grateful for the challenge of Jesus Christ in the gospel and receive the Spirit to do so; and may we do so in Joy.

In 2013, we reflected on —

  • While the readings tend to flow in different directions, the common theme is not understanding unless God’s Spirit is in us.
    • The Wisdom reading (1st reading) is very much direct in saying so
    • Paul, in the Letter to Philemon (2nd reading), is not commanding Philemon to free Onesimus as if he were freed by him (Philemon in an act of a superior) but to look and be with Onesimus as if he were free.  And, Philemon can only do that if he receives Onesimus in God’s Spirit.
    • Luke, the gospel reading, is about carrying the cross.  We tend to think, “If I’m good, everything will be fine.” But that’s just not true as we follow our vocation.
      • We have our interior understanding and the skills and gifts given by God
      • We have our exterior sense of God calling us
  • In A Man for All Seasons, Robert Bolt’s depiction of Thomas More’s final goodbye to his family while he is imprisoned in the basement cells of the Tower of London, there is an exchange that captures this gospel understanding (p 83).  His family was only allowed to see him on their vow to the king’s agents they would try to convince More to sign the Oath to the King that he would not sign out of conscience:
    • MEG (Margaret, nicknamed Meg, his daughter from his first marriage, unusual in that More educated his daughters like sons, nearly unheard of in his day):  Then if you elect to suffer [for the good you’ve done already], you elect yourself a hero.

    • MORE:  But since we see how [vice] commonly profits beyond [virtue], and have to choose, to be human at all … why then perhaps we must stand fast a little – even at the risk of being heroes.

    • MEG:  But in reason!  Haven’t you done as much as God can reasonably want?
    • MORE:  Well … finally … it isn’t a matter of reason; finally, it’s a matter of love.
  • One year we read the play together (seated reading) and watched the film.  Quite interesting how both work in you, similarly yet differently as well.
  • For Mary Oliver’s Goldenrod, D2 noted they are so often considered weeds, but Mary Oliver finds the celebration in them.  The final stanza has them doing naturally what God wants us all to do (bend when we should bend, and rise) and ultimately, give our gold away.

And a monarch on some goldenrod, photo by Michael Barrick on Unsplash.

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

Our first film of this year’s 2022 series, Fractured Fairy Tales, at St Mary’s is THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, an Orson Welles film released by RKO. The AADL has both a regular single disc release and the Criterion Collection’s restored quality version and double-disc release. We watched the latter.

With the shorter notice and communication challenges, we had fewer people, but it was nice to have discussion face-to-face, without having to run the microphone around so we could hear each other.

Without jumping in too far in description here … let’s see what people have to say about it and use the comments for discussion.

Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

Fr Dennis Dillon, SJ might have had this Sunday off (all Cycle C years!! — 2013, 2016, 2019). Oftentimes, having “held the fort” while his Jesuit brothers directly ministering to the students took their breaks during the summer, Fr Dennis then headed out for his time away as the school year settled in.  But we have a cameo from Fr Terry Dumas, diocesan priest and former assistant pastor, well-known and beloved, at Saint Mary Student Parish. 

I spent some time imagining a poem that D2 might have selected for September 1, 2013.

_______

In 2013, Fr Terry Dumas shared–

  • He entered seminary later in life — a long, amazing story and call to his vocation — and was feeling the odd guy out because of his experiences.
  • He prayed with God, sharing how he was “sick of being different.”  In their prayer-conversation, God replied, “Too bad.  You are!”  🙂  But that truth and acceptance of it was freeing to him.
  • Fr Terry became more active in helping his fellow seminarians get out in service a bit; it was not a common practice at the time apparently.  He also went out and helped teach English in prison, later having his fellow seminarians join him.
  • So, in being himself and serving others, he found himself and himself deeper in relationship with Christ.

Earlier in the year or perhaps the year prior, Fr Dennis had shared a poem at Easter — a bit different but one encompassing what he understood how suffering and the resurrection in relationship might appear at the personal scale (since Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection is/was personal, universal, and cosmic).  The poem describes the willingness to be “wrong” and offer up one’s self bound in being “right” for the love of the other, as well as God’s call of Love.  We face the challenge of taking the universal and complete offering of Jesus’ self and finding this personal expression in the moments of our own lives.

So … this poem, Listening by David Ignatow, was one that struck me at the time as consistent with the gospel and possible re-use by Fr Dennis, so I chose it for my notes.  The change of perspective isn’t about capitulating in deceit or avoidance, it is conversion — for the greater glory of God.

For those of us who pastor with or been pastored by Fr Dennis:  Kind listening … and a fun sense of humor come to the fore, over and over again.

Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homiy from the

  • August 21, 2016 10AM Mass

_______

The poems Fr Dennis references this year is:

In 2016, we reflected on —

  • Somehow, the readings seem appropriate with the start of the school year and the theme of “discipline,” as our summer season of adventures winds down.
  • D2 reminded us that each Cycle (A – Mark, B – Matthew, or C – Luke) is based primarily on one gospel (and the Gospel of John is used to fill in and during Triduum and other special liturgical seasons).  The gospel passage is chosen for an appropriate liturgical theme (e.g., the summery Eastertide readings are an unlikely match as Lenten readings).  Once the gospel passage for a Sunday is selected, the first reading (generally Hebrew Scriptures) is chosen to match it; and then the 2nd reading (generally a progression through one of the epistles).  As a result, the 2nd reading may or may not match the gospel & first reading.
  • First reading, Isaiah — the prophecy is God’s glory going out to all nations.  As the Jewish community spread out across the globe/lands; God is going to be active there, too; and they will come from East and West to Jerusalem (not just Jews) … as equals to Jews … and some will be called / taken as priests and Levites.  What?!?!?  At the time, this was an unfathomable notion, as the Jews (and Jews alone) were God’s chosen people.
  • All world religions face this challenge:  How can God be my God .. and everybody’s God?  It’s human nature, we each need to establish God’s Love for me, and then we are more open to God loving everyone else, too.  In the Consecration, the 2011 text changed from “My blood will be poured out for you and everyone” to “blood poured out for you and for many.”  “Many” in Hebrew means “everyone” as ancient languages often counted “1, 2, many.”
  • Jesus is someone his disciples (then and us now) must hold in the mystery of being a remarkable personal friend and savior of the world.
  • Our poem this Sunday is Mary Oliver’s Singapore.  D2 prepped us that he would physically be moving from one place in front of the sanctuary to another (say, four feet away) and back to model the structure of the written poem, in which the new experience she is having is on the left side of the page and her experience of nature & poetry to that point on the right side of the page.  Her final stanza is in the middle, her new center after this epiphany. (Alas, the online link rl found does not match the formatting of the 1990 House of Light version reprinted in New and Selected Poems, Vol. 1. that Fr Dennis found and used.)
  • “A darkness was ripped from my eyes” — Mary Oliver’s is a paraphrase of God being not just for me but for everyone.  Her poem clearly states how she doesn’t like the idea of this woman’s work, of a life compelling this sort of work, or the lack of nature’s beauty in this setting (and thus, this poem she is writing).
  • But the woman’s smile convinces her that light can be in such a job, a light that can shine out of such a life … with the result that the poem is filled with trees and birds .. they are just in a new form.
  • God is not a matter of head knowledge but in experience of all forms, our God and my God.

There was a good Charlie Brown & Snoopy image with friend and savior text … and probably all kinds of copyright violations, even by fair use standards. So, I went with the Salvadoran Good Shepherd crucifix …  🙂

Twentienth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the

  • August 18, 2019 Noon Mass
  • August 18, 2013 Noon Mass

_______

The poems Fr Dennis references in these years are:

In 2019, we reflected on the juxtaposition of great desire and great suffering in the gospel passage.  We likely reflected on much more, but I have not the notes!  🙂  Sorry!

In 2013, we reflected on

  • St Ignatius used “hearts on fire” and “set the world on fire” to describe the charism of the Jesuits. 
  • (rl notes the Jesuit sense of humor, as Fr James Martin, S.J., in his book The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, pointed out that in the Jesuit Curiae, a statue of St Ignatius with the slogan of “Set the world on fire” on its pedestal is located right next to the fire extinguisher.)
  • D2 continued — Our readings capture some of the deep desires of our faith, desires that help lead us on and through severe challenges:
    • In the 1st Reading, Jeremiah is subject to much suffering and trials
    • In the 2nd Reading, St Paul exhorts that Jesus endures the cross in obedience for the joy to come (not causal, but in faith)
    • In the gospel reading from Luke, “set against” could also be translated as “set apart” in Greek.  We’re unsure.  But Christ’s great desire to bring us to the Kin-dom, even though he had to pass through great suffering and death is our model of longing and desire for God’s Will, God’s Love.
  • In the Cleveland Art Museum, there is a face of Jesus displaying … actually, there are lots of faces of Jesus in the Cleveland Art Museum!  So, rl found this one … And In the Very Disk of the Sun Shines the Face of Jesus Christ, 1888.  But, I am wondering if this is one of the times that Fr Dennis mentioned St Peter Repentant, one that shows Peter looking up to Christ in the Judgment Hall and meeting Mercy.  It looks like a face that has met and is meeting love and the realization that we are always already forgiven.
  • Also, the painting of The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16 October 1834 captures how people are drawn to / compelled to gather around fire.
  • In the For a Dying Tomcat poem,
    • Our offerings to Christ at the peak of our inner fire (the neighbor’s koi)
    • Our offerings to Christ as our means to act in return to Christ’s offerings begins to fade
    • Learning to rest in Christ’s arms (like a reverse pieta) as the fire now seeks to still me.
  • Christ separating us from earthly family / communities to return us to God the family.