• 10 articles

Ash Wednesday

The voice of hospital receptionist sounded concerned. “His name is Angel.” She was calling to inform me that a family was requesting my presence at the bedside of a man who did not have long to live. It was Ash Wednesday. I was filling-in for a vacationing pastor, so I checked the Mass schedule, then told the receptionist that I would ...

02 23 2024

Chiropractor Chapel

Two nuns occupy a corner of the waiting room. I take a seat near the door. To my right, an elderly woman pages through a copy of People magazine. On the sidewalk outside the window, a mother is giving instructions to three children.  The oldest one, a boy, frowns and stomps his foot. Soon, they enter the door and the sisters beckon the family...

02 05 2024

A Mower named “Tuff”

I cease yanking the pull cord on my push mower to catch my breath. Gas fumes waft in the air. “No, Tuff! Don’t kick the bucket today!” It is mid-November and the last time I’ll need to mow the lawn. “Just one pass, pal.” I glance at a swath of grass beyond the mole hills, then give mower one more yank. Then another. Then an...

01 23 2024

Timeless

The rector was out of town and I was asked to offer the Masses at the cathedral in his place. While vesting in the sacristy, I noticed a picture on the wall, a drawing of a young John the Baptist. It was striking. I studied it a moment, figuring it was a print of some timeless classic. I was wrong. In 1907, a daughter of pioneer ranchers, Kos...

01 17 2024

Cell-Block Salvation

Cell-Block Salvation: A Prison Homily Some folks find answers in the Bible. That makes me jealous. When I open the Bible, I find more questions than answers. Today’s gospel passage provides a good example. When Jesus surprises his listeners by praising a dishonest thief, he’s called to task. In response, he points out that that people wh...

12 21 2023

Portraits and Parables

Rita, my sister-in-law, resides in a nursing home. She can no longer converse and her days pass inside the embrace of a recliner. A blank stare occupies her face. Occasionally, a slight smile plays on her lips. Today, I gaze out the window in the silence of her presence, contemplating various scenes and seasons from her life. My visit falls on t...

12 13 2023

Bricklayer Legacy

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone."  Matthew 21:42 I walked to the construction site and introduced myself to the old man standing on the scaffolding. The bricklayer put his trowel aside and climbed down. “¡Buenos dias!” We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. I inquired about his background and s...

11 14 2023

Workbench Altar

A Homily for the 25th Sunday of the Year Today’s gospel tells of workers who put in long hours then gripe about their pay. Sound familiar? What comes to mind when you hear the word, work? Puttin’ in time? Punchin’ a clock? Another day, another dollar? If so, follow the gospel’s nudge and take the commute to that place where you...

10 28 2023

Liquid Chalk and Metal Doors

My great-nephew, age seventeen, wrote me a letter last week. It was an English assignment. He inquired about my health, my dog and my horses. The second paragraph stated that his team won the first game of the season, 34-7. He signed off, “Yours truly, Starting Fullback. Did I mention that he’s named after me? The Sunday after I rec...

10 16 2023

D-Rings

by Quint Seal, guest-contributor   Somebody planted this pecan tree. Somebody cared about this pecan tree. They cared for it when it was young and vulnerable. The cowboy’s wife left him. Before she left she burned his truck and saddle. We found the d-rings from the saddle where the truck was burned. He cared ab...

10 02 2023

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