Posted on Jan 21, 2020 in Homilies

19 January 2020 A story. A man dies. This is a man who all his life waited for the day when he could retire. Every week day morning throughout his life he would rise at 5 am, think of all the responsibilities he had, he longed to be free, free from responsibility, free from being “counted on.” And so, this man dies. He goes to a wonderful place.. He wishes for entertainment– it happens, angels who sing, angels who tumble and walk the high wire, angels who read the lines from soap operas. He wishes for food, – food appears, Thanksgiving every day. It is incredible. Finally, a man in a white...

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Posted on Nov 26, 2019 in Homilies

24 November 2019  The people stood there watching.” Those are the words I find most haunting from today’s gospel. “The people stood there watching.” I have done that a lot in my life I remember walking down a street in Minneapolis as a bag lady came in my direction. The smell of booze was heavy all around her. She tripped and fell and I watched as she struggled to get up. I can remember as a child, one of my classmates who wasn’t the brightest bulb on the tree, who was also awkward in body and couldn’t run or catch, I remember as some of my classmates taunted him one day on the...

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Posted on Nov 19, 2019 in Homilies

17 November 2019 Patricia Schultz is a best selling author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. In the book she chronicled the incredible sights to see and places to be before we die–just in case we didn’t have our own list of those places. In explaining why she wrote the book, Schultz cited Mark Twain who said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.” As we approach the end of the Church year–next weekend is the last in this Lucan cycle, the author presents a Jesus who speaks about ultimate concerns. Jesus wants us...

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Posted on Oct 29, 2019 in Homilies

27 October 2019 One of my best friends has always lived a very simple life. She died this past summer. She didn’t always have an easy life. She single-handedly raised her daughter after her daughter’s father deserted her. She had to start from scratch at age 40 raising a child and finding a job. I remember visiting her once as she lived in a roach infested apartment. I wondered how she could live there, I wondered why she wasn’t angry and bitter. I asked her to let me find her daughter’s father and shake a little money out of him. I remember she looked at me very seriously.  “No,...

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Posted on Oct 24, 2019 in Homilies

20 OCTOBER 2019 Without her husband, a woman in most ancient cultures had no voice, had no rights, had no defender, was powerless. So, for Jesus to use a widow as the central character in this story is quite a turnabout. What do widows have to teach us? What do the poor have to teach us? Several years ago I was visiting Tom Krieg in Chicago at Mundelein Seminary. Tom is now ordained and is a pastor in Eau Claire. Tom decided we should go to his all-time favorite restaurant–The Modol. It’s Indian.  Tom is quite a character–I didn’t know what to expect. We also had a student...

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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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