Friday, April 22, 2022


Not Having to Sit at the Far End of the Head Table With the Deaf Grandmother for Four Hours at Yet Another Boring Wedding Reception 


Tuesday, April 19, 2022


A Form of Appalachian Mountain Dancing Originating from Wales and Northern England

Modern Version of Clog Dancing
Old-Time Mountain Version of Clog Dancing With Pete Seeger

Be Sure to Watch the Several Episodes

Sunday, April 17, 2022


St. Frances of Rome
April 17, 2022

They have taken the Lord from the tomb and

we don’t know where they put him.

John 20:9


Obviously, none of Jesus’ friends expected him to rise from the dead. In fact, they all assumed the grave had been robbed and the body had been snatched. Once the news gets out that the body was missing, everybody in today’s gospel runs around like chickens with their heads cut off! The word “ran” is used three times in this one story.


Mary Magdalen got there first, not because she expected Jesus to rise and wanted to be there when it happened, but because she wanted to do what was traditional to do after the funeral of a loved one. It was customary to visit the tomb of loved ones for three days after the body had been laid to rest. It was believed that for three days the spirit of the dead person hovered around the tomb, but then it departed because the body had become unrecognizable through decay in that hot climate. 


Jesus had died on Friday. By religious law, Mary Magdalen would not have been allowed to travel on Saturday, the Sabbath. That meant she had to wait till Sunday morning before she could make her first visit. She couldn’t wait till the sun came up, she got there before dawn. When she got there, she was shocked to find the stone rolled back and the body gone! She concluded that the grave had been robbed. She ran back to town and got Peter and John out of bed. All three ran back to the tomb. John, being younger, outran Peter and got there first, with Peter soon following.  Before Mary Magdalen could catch up with them, they ran past her on their way back to town to tell the others.


One by one, they began to believe that Jesus had indeed been raised from the dead, beginning with John and ending with Thomas. From their mouths to others’ ears, from their mouths to others’ ears, from their mouths to others’ ears, this story has been passed down to us some 2,000 years later.


This is the Easter story, but what does it mean and what does it have to do with us?


The point of Easter is not simply that life is sometimes troubling and difficult but that, by its very design, it needs to be troubling and difficult. This is because it is not ease but affliction that enables us to develop our very best. Those who grow the most are simply the ones who have weathered the most, endured the most, and struggled the most. Because such trials have been borne in the right spirit, they have been strengthened, enriched, and deepened the most by it. Think about any of the heroes and heroines of the faith, and one will always identify persons for whom hardship, sacrifice, and pain are no strangers.  All breakthroughs are proceeded by breakdowns. No pain, no gain.


In short, we must not view death and resurrection as just an historical event from the past, but as a life-giving way of living today. We are not here today to celebrate death and resurrection as an event that just happened in history, but death and resurrection as a way of living our life today.


People in recovery programs understand death and resurrection as a way of life. People who have unilaterally forgiven their enemies understand death and resurrection. Parents who have had to let go of their children and see them thrive, understand death and resurrection. Anybody who has lost a job, only to find a better one understands death and resurrection. Anyone who has lost a spouse, only to find another chance at love, understands death and resurrection.


This Easter is special to me personally. Several times in the last 52 years of priesthood, I have gone from one of the worst years of priesthood to one of the best. The year I retired, seven years ago at this time, I was in the pits. I knew I was in the pits, but I also knew in my guts that, if I would just hang in there, things would get better – and they did, in spades! It has happened at least three times just since I retired. For me, my breakdowns have always been the beginning of yet another breakthrough! I am not that special! Whatever breakdown you are going through, with an Easter faith, can be a breakthrough for you as well! You can bet on it!


I always remember that engineer in Switzerland who designed a great tunnel between Switzerland and Austria. He proposed they dig from both ends and meet in the middle, a risky method. When the day came when diggers were supposed to meet, but didn’t, he killed himself thinking that he had made a great mistake. On the very day of his funeral, the workers broke through and the connection was perfect! He gave up one day too early. An “Easter faith” means that you don’t give up, no matter how hopeless things seem to be at the moment.


In a nutshell, we are here to celebrate a way-of-living, not just an historical event! By embracing difficulty, we can overcome it. After a lifetime of embracing difficulties and overcoming them, we can even embrace our own deaths knowing that there is eternal life even on the other side of that!  Just as Jesus was raised, we who believe in him will also be raised - to live with him forever!