We walked into the large tent that was set up for us, visiting Jordan from North America. It seemed as if the entire congregation were there, dressed in their best outfits. All of them sat formally in their seats in a big circle around the perimeter of the tent. There were a lot of nods and smiles.
Today’s gospel is so incredibly countercultural that it’s hard not to write it off as a supernatural event that doesn’t relate to real life.
When Jesus saw the hungry crowds who had followed him in search of healing, he found a way to feed them immediately. Not everyone in today’s world is so fortunate.
We spent last weekend with my niece, her husband, and their 1-year-old son. The little boy is going through a stage where his parents are his primary source of comfort and joy. I observed his grandmother holding him, loving, and talking to him as she gently rocked him. But within a few minutes, the little one heard his mother’s voice in the next room.
Two things Bob hated to do: go to the dentist and deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles. He’d already had his semiannual dental checkup. Now he had to visit the DMV.
When the wizard Gandalf shows up at Bilbo Baggins’ door at the beginning of The Hobbit, Bilbo greets him: “We don’t want any adventures here, thank you! You might try over The Hill or across The Water. . . . Sorry! Thank you. Not today. Good morning!”
Taking Saint Paul’s teaching to heart, Sam woke up praising God’s glory. He thanked God for the beautiful summer sun and the gentle breeze wafting through his window. As he washed his face, he was overcome with gratitude for the life-giving water on his skin. He buried his head in a soft cotton towel and breathed deeply.
"I‘ve brought you the Eucharist,” says Joseph, the head catechist for the Diocese of Leribe in the African country of Lesotho, to a group of elderly villagers. In addition to his service as eucharistic minister, he also visits the sick, holds prayer meetings, and teaches, including instructing those preparing for Baptism.
“You’re a lawyer?!” I say to Geoff. By the look on his face, there was too much astonishment in my voice, and I immediately try to smooth over my reaction. “That’s impressive,” I say cheerfully. “Must be rewarding.”
"What on earth are you talking about?” Linda demanded of her 5-year-old, Hanna. The little girl had been going on and on about her new puppy, the one she’d just gotten for her birthday. “It only turns right,” she reiterated to her confused mother.