It’s true that last month I managed to lose my belongings all over the country. (Indeed, I’m planning a return trip to St.
Three years ago, I enjoyed a wonderful fall semester at the University of Notre Dame teaching a preaching class and writing Let’s Talk about Truth. When the semester ended and I was moving out of my apartment, I passed on those unavoidable pantry odds and ends to a dear colleague in the preaching department, Karla. I can’t remember what all I gave her. Probably a shaker of salt, some ketchup packets, and a half box of granola. But definitely there were five small purple potatoes in the sack.
I’ve been on the road for two solid weeks now and it has been a little bit rocky. I’ve managed to lose my remote power point clicker; leave my iPad in New Harmony, IN; and show up for a speaking engagement without any pants. (Well, I should clarify…. I showed up without any dress pants and had to teach for two days in my yoga gear.) But of course, my journey has been smooth in comparison to that poor fellow on the journey from Jerusalem to Jericho in this coming week’s reading of the Good Samaritan.
This afternoon I’m doing what I call a “hard pack.” This is not the kind of packing one does when going on a day trip or will just be away overnight.
With the new school year beginning and concerns for the safety of our children rising, I’ve found myself pondering again that beautiful passage from Mark 9:33-37 that will once again appear as our Sunday Gospel reading in just a couple of weeks from now:
It was such a shock to go walking the other morning and see a youngster standing on the corner with a back pack and a lunch pail. What was this? Could it really be that school was starting up again already? Wow.
Apparently, I worried a few of you with the poem that I sent out by Marie Howe last month for the feast of Mary Magdalene. No, I don’t actually suffer from all seven of THOSE particular demons. I haven’t really given much thought to mosquito faces or aphids.
It’s the feast of St. Mary Magdalene and I am going to share one of my very favorite poems in the world. It’s by Marie Howe and called Magdalene—The Seven Devils. But beware, if you read it, it’ll move like an arrow through your heart, starting with the very first line: “The first was that I was very busy.” Most of the rest of the demons described are ones that I’ve been haunted by as well, but especially that first.
Maybe this picture is already familiar to you. I shared it at the beginning of this year. It’s the creation of my 10 year old nephew Rique Ray who lives in Guam, capturing his experience of what life during Covid has been like for him as a child. When I first saw it, I was immediately intrigued by the way the boxes kept getting smaller and smaller till color began to squirt out of the characters. The characters’ true colors??
Guess who just wrapped up their U.S. Senior Sneakers tour? Yup, that would be me.