The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? 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The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? 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The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? 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Sabbath

June 3, 2018 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

June 3, 2018
Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
Fr. George Smiga

Rabbi Naomi Levy tells a story about a man in her congregation named Henry. Henry owned a start-up business, and business was booming.  At the age of 36 he had already earned more money than he ever thought he would in his life. He was happily married, and he had a beautiful and energetic young son.

“But something is missing,” he told the Rabbi. “I feel an emptiness inside. I know I shouldn’t complain with all the blessings that I have. But it’s like I’ve forgotten something, and I don’t know what I have forgotten.” “Maybe,” the Rabbi said, “you’ve forgotten your soul.” “But I’m living my dream,” said Henry. “Maybe”, the Rabbi said, “your soul has a different dream.”

As the two of them talked, Henry admitted that he was often distracted at home—always checking in on his phone and iPad, always plugged in. The Rabbi said, “Perhaps you should take the Sabbath more seriously. You know, we Jews believe that one day a week we must disconnect from work. What if one day a week, you turned off all the technology, forgot about your business, and simply spent time with your family and friends?” Henry agreed to this plan, and after a few weeks called the Rabbi back to report. He said, “Rabbi, the first night, I couldn’t stop reaching for my phone so I finally turned it off and put it in a drawer. But it was like I had cut off a limb. I kept waiting for it to ring.” “And now?” said the Rabbi. “Now, I feel that I am better at being a father and husband than I have been in a long time. I celebrate the joy in my son’s eyes when I read him a story. There is no more technology in bed. I fall asleep holding my wife in my arms. The emptiness is gone. I feel rich.” “You are rich,“ said the Rabbi, “for you have moved below the surface of your life and rediscovered your soul.”

This experience of Henry meshes well with today’s feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord. For what we celebrate today is that the real meaning of the Eucharist is not found in seeing the bread and wine, because the bread and wine is only the surface. We believe that beneath the bread and wine is the real and living presence of Christ to us. But, this presence cannot be seen with our eyes, only with our faith. As St. Thomas says in the hymn for today’s feast, “Here beneath the signs are hidden, Precious things to sense forbidden.” The real meaning of the Eucharist is found beneath the bread and wine, below its surface.

The same is true for our lives. That is why it is so dangerous only to live on the surface of our lives – doing more and more, running here and there, always under the control of stress and worry. When we live this way, there is so much of what we have and who we are that we miss. Every so often we must unplug ourselves, so that we can sink below the surface of our lives and again discover who we are and who belongs to us. Jews have chosen Saturday as their day of Sabbath rest. Christians move the Sabbath to Sunday. But the day is not as important as the rest itself.

Today’s feast reminds us that the real meaning is often found below the surface: below the bread and wine, below the hectic energy and activity of our lives. Today our liturgy invites us simply to take time to be: to remember again who Christ is, what Christ has done for us, who we are, and who we belong to.

Take then, a Sabbath. Reconnect to God’s love by setting aside some of the busyness of life and re-embracing the people you love, family and friends. Then, you will be rich. There, you will find your soul.

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