Posted on Oct 15, 2019 in Homilies

13 October 2019 Do any of you remember the film,  Regarding Henry? The film starred Harrison Ford who portrayed Henry Turner,  a high-powered, high-priced Wall Street lawyer. Henry stopped at nothing, nothing to win. Everything–even his wife and daughter, were carefully crafted to project the image of a successful, winning attorney. All of this changes one night when Henry stops at a convenience store to buy a package of cigarettes. Without realizing it he walks into a robbery in progress. The gunman shoots Henry in the head. Henry lives but his memory is erased. His long...

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Posted on Aug 6, 2019 in Church News, Homilies

4 August 2019 About ten years ago my parents made their will. I was visiting at the time and when I got back to Eau Claire, I emailed my brother about the details of the will. Basically, the will says that he will get half and I will get half. He emailed me back the following: “George, I don’t know what you think you know about the will, But I understand they are leaving everything to you.” I responded: “Charlie, as far as I can tell mom and dad are scrupulously fair. When we were children we always received the same number of Christmas presents and birthday presents. The only time they were...

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Posted on Jul 30, 2019 in Church News, Homilies

28 July 2019 If you were down to your last $10, what would you spend it on? I recently read a story that made me think about that. It was about a friendless man who was down to his last $10. Did he spend it on food?  Nope. He said that while food fills the belly, it doesn’t give you a reason to live Did he spend it on a bed for the night?  Nope. He said,  rest doesn’t give you hope. Did he spend it on booze?  Nope. He said,  drink can be a poison when consumed alone. What do you think this man spent his last $10 on? He spent it on a haircut.  Why? Because he...

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Posted on Jul 23, 2019 in Church News, Homilies

21 July 2019 There are only just the two of us, my brother and I. And like most siblings we are alike in many ways and in many ways we are quite dissimilar. Those who know us both say we have got it wrong. My brother should have been the priest. I should have run a large company. But I was born on Christmas–me and Jesus, and he was born on Thanksgiving–just he and the bounty of the harvest.It’s odd how things turn out isn’t it? Many years ago my brother purchased a new home in Oshkosh. When I asked him what prompted him to buy that particular house, he said: “Because it’s next to the...

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Posted on Jul 18, 2019 in Church News, Homilies

14 July 2019 What did the lawyer do? In other stories told by the gospel writers we have some inkling about what happened. The rich young man goes away sad. Disciples drop everything and follow him, Mary and Martha remain faithful friends to the end and beyond. But this lawyer what does he do? Does he follow the command Jesus gives him: “Go and do likewise,” I believe the real crux of this story–not the one Jesus tells, but the one the Lucan author tells, is just that. What does the lawyer do? That question turns this from a theoretical discussion of“Who is my neighbor?” to a...

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Posted on Jul 9, 2019 in Church News, Homilies

7 July 2019 This is sheer goofiness: no walking staff, traveling bag, no sandals. This just doesn’t make any sense. It was a hard and dangerous world out there. No one with a wit of their senses would take off in 1st c. Palestine without a walking staff. The roads were dangerous, Without a walking staff how could you defend yourself? And you sure as heck wouldn’t take off without a little food for the journey. You needed the food, the water–the traveling bag. And finally, no matter how much you walked barefoot the rest of the time, when you set off on the road you wore sandals. The...

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Posted on May 21, 2019 in Church News, Homilies

19 May 2019 The largest Sunday School bus ministry in America is not in the suburbs. It’s in Hell’s kitchen, NY. Pastor Bill Wilson tells the story of a Puerto Rican woman who came to him with an urgent request.  She didn’t speak in English so she said in Spanish: “I want to do something for God, please.” The pastor didn’t know what to tell her. It was a good question, usually people want God to do something for them. “I don’t know he said.  I”ll have to think about it.” Finally, it came to him, “You can ride the buses,” he said. “Each week get on a different bus and just love the...

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Posted on May 14, 2019 in Church News, Homilies

12 MAY 2019 For lots of reasons which have to do with the complications of family systems I never spent much time with my maternal grandfather. However, once when I was a small child we were visiting some distant relatives when my grandfather called.  When he found out we were there he told us to wait, he’d be  right over. When he arrived he was carrying a black lamb, just birthed. When someone asked him why he had shown up, he said: “I wanted my grandson here to  see a baby lamb.” I got to hold that lamb and I suppose formed some kind of bond with it. I did not see my...

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