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Saturday – 2 nd Week in Ordinary Time Gospel – Mark3:20-21 Crazy! Sacred and Profane, Nazareth    My favorite comic strip of all time, hands down, is Calvin and Hobbes!   Even though Bill Watterson stopped producing originals about 20 years ago, I still get my daily dose of craziness every morning and it brings a chuckle to start the day.   I mean, what kid (even a rather grown up kid like myself) doesn’t identify with Calvin and all his (mis)adventures!   His battles with his parents, his long-suffering babysitter and his teacher Mrs. Wormwood!   His escapades as Spaceman Spiff!   His rather psychotic snowmen and his suicide sled.   Case in point, today’s strip has these lines of dialogue as Calvin sits at the top of the hill.   “Go ahead down; you’ll miss all those trees!   You can do it; you’ll stop before you go over that ledge at the bottom.   You won’t go into the pond; besides, the ice is probably real think anyway.   My brain is trying to kill me!” Haven’t we al
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  Friday – St. Agnes Gospel – Mark3:13-19 Go Climb A Mountain Hills of Galilee, Magdala     A little context!   Jesus has already ‘called’ His disciples to follow Him.   Today, however, we hear in the Gospel what amounts to a Commissioning Ceremony.   Jesus summons His soon-to-be-Apostles and gives them their mission – to preach and to cast out demons.   What is most significant is where this takes place. Mountains, for the Jews, were always places to encounter the Divine, to meet God.   Moses and the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, Noah and the Ark on Mount Ararat, the Temple on Mount Zion.   They were holy places where one felt closer to God.   So it should be no surprise that the Apostles are solemnly commissioned on a mountain, probably Mount of the Beatitudes which would have been close by.   And Jesus selected 12, re-establishing the 12 Tribes of Israel.   We know from other stories in the Gospels that Jesus spends a good deal of time on mountains – to get away
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  Thursday – 2 nd Week in Ordinary Time Gospel – Mark3:7-12 Wanna Get Away?? Boat Ride, Sea of Galilee How do you feel about crowds? Jam-packed elevator? A 2-hour long line at the TSA checkpoint in the airport? That bumper to bumper rush hour traffic? The crush of fans leaving the baseball stadium? Believe me, I am not a fan! If I can, I will find ways to avoid the mass of humanity. Leave the game early? You bet! Plan trips to avoid rush hour? Absolutely! Take the next elevator? Why not!   I hate to admit it but I did find one positive out of this long pandemic! Empty expressways in the middle of a non-existent rush hour! Sidewalks empty of pedestrians! An elevator all to myself! A comfortable 6-foot distance at the grocery store checkout!   Yes please! In today's Gospel, Jesus doesn't have the luxury of a 6-foot personal space. He is swarmed by crowds coming from all over Galilee, Judea and Jerusalem. It reminds me of when I was younger and Beatlemania was at i
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Wednesday – 2 nd Week in Ordinary Time Gospel – Mark3:1-6 Counting to Ten! Roman Ruins, Caesarea Mauretania In all my years of teaching, one of the nicest compliments I ever got was a student remarking that they had never really seen me upset!   Hmm!   I’m guessing that either they had a very short memory or all the time I spent teaching Buddhism and how to meditate was well spent!   Either way, I know it wasn’t necessarily true, especially during my first year at St. Pat’s.   I had spent over 30 years teaching girls and now I was teaching boys.   Everything was different; everything was frustrating!   And I do recall once getting so upset that I raised my voice and yelled at them.   But my brain was still in all-girls mode; so I didn’t say ‘boys’ or ‘gentlemen’.   I said ‘ladies’.   It worked amazingly well!   They thought it was the worst insult and immediately shut up. I am sure we have all had our moments when we didn’t count to 10, when we literally lost it, when o
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  Tuesday – 2 nd Week in Ordinary Time Gospel – Mark2:23-28 Charity Begins at Home Dad’s Store, Maryland Just to be clear, today’s photo is NOT from the Holy Land J   What you see is my dad’s little country store set in the farmland of Southern Maryland surrounded by forests and tobacco/corn fields, with our home just a few steps to the left.   It was not just a grocery store; it was a gas station, post office, deli, meat market, ice cream shop and liquor store for the countryside.   That front porch was a regular meeting spot, outdoor cafĂ© if you will!   And somehow that modest establishment got my brother, 2 sisters and myself not only through high school but college as well.   I still can’t figure out how he did it. There was a sign posted on the door listing hours that he was open.   But I always thought they were more suggestions than hard and fast rules.   It didn’t matter to Dad whether the store was open or not or if it was the dead of night; if someone came by