Controlling Time and Space

After watching a favorite science fiction movie I found myself thinking about moving about through space at ‘warp’ speed and wondered if that would ever be possible in my lifetime.

The characters could move at the speed of light and seemed to be able to control everything around them.  Truly, they were able to control their time and space.  That must be great, I thought.

Then it dawned on me that we all try to control time & space right now, in the here and now.  We don’t call it that, of course.  Just because we can’t move at the speed of light and don’t have advanced technology doesn’t keep us from trying.

We try to control the space around us by intimidating the people around us, arguing that they just don’t understand our viewpoint.  If they did, we reason, they would agree with us.  We behave toward them as if they were inferior, judging them, criticizing them, and correcting them and their thinking.

We feel we have the right to do that because we are superior; much like a parent corrects & instructs a child.

As for time control, we control time by behaving as if all things revolved around us.  All things are related to our time-table.  We judge others as being late if they arrive after us and early if they arrive before us.

When scripture calls us to not judge others, it means what it says.  Don’t make judgments about others relative to ourselves as the sole arbiter.  Let them exist free of our corrections.  Let’s give others the grace to travel in their own time and space.  It will set us free in the long run to devote more time to our own well being.

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Mother’s Day & Ascension, Homily

Homily, May 11-12, 2013: Cycle C, 7th Sunday of Easter(Ascension & Mother’s Day)

On behalf of Msgr. Kenneally, our Pastor, who is in Ireland right now refreshing his Irish accent & Father Jim who is filling in for him and building his Southern accent, let me wish all the Mothers here today a very happy Mother’s Day.

When I use the term, “Mother”, I am referring to all women who are engaged in the mothering function.  That includes biological-mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, aunts, and single dads trying to live up to the high standard set by moms everywhere.

It includes women who are performing that function for younger men & women in their workplaces, churches & other organizations.

I think you will agree that not only do women carry the lion-share of responsibility for keeping the world populated, they also supply the nurturing for all of us, no matter our age.

Most dads will own-up to admiring mom’s healing touch in being able to kiss away boo-boos.  In their weaker moments dads will tell you, they live for the approval of their children’s mom, because they are so impressed by all she does.

Moms have many talents; some of those talents even seem mystical to small children.  For instance, Moms are thought, by small children, to have eyes in the back of their heads.

We had one 4-year-old who caught mom taking a nap and ran his fingers through the hair on the back of her head looking for the ‘eyes’.

Later, children come to realize it is really “the Mother’s Network” that supplies most of the information.

Remember, in the good old days how we use to leave the house at 8 am on Saturday mornings to roam free until dark.  Were our parents being irresponsible?  No, it was a different world & the Mom’s network was in high gear.

Every mom kept an eye on every child and reported everything out of the ordinary.  When you returned home in the evening and mom asked what you had been doing all day – you knew she knew.

Moms are also adept at knowing just the right potential partner for their older children.  So, you older children, if you are thinking about a person with whom to spend a lifetime – do yourself a favor, run that person by your Mother.  They are uncanny in that role.

Moms and dads have entirely different perspectives when it comes to children.

When a new child comes into this world, a dad looks at that tiny face and looks 22 years down the road, gets serious about having enough insurance & thinks about starting a college fund & maybe a second job to provide those things.

When a mom looks at that same tiny face, they fall head over heels in love with that child.  From that moment on, their lives revolves around that child.

A bond is formed that lasts a lifetime.  So, on this special day, to all the Mothers, a great big thank you!

If you haven’t already noticed from the readings today, the Solemnity of the Ascension has been moved from last Thursday to this 7th Sunday after Easter.  Father Jim pointed out that is the case in almost every Diocese.

In our First Reading today & in our Gospel, St. Luke, who wrote them both, gives us several important points made by Jesus just prior to His Ascension. When you think about it, that’s normal when someone is leaving, not to return for a long time…share important info before they leave.

1 – He reminded the Apostles to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit.  He had previously told them that John baptized with water but that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

2 – That went right over their heads & they asked Him, again, for the umpteenth time, if He was going to restore the Kingdom to Israel.  He patiently answered that it wasn’t for them to know the time or seasons set by His Father.

3 – Following that comment, Jesus went right back to His first important fact & stated, “But, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.  You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and to the ends of the earth.”

Having said that, He was lifted from their sight.  His Ascension was like a dramatic punch line to His last important words to them, and to us.

They were & we are, to carry on His work of building the Kingdom of God right here on this Earth.  And, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish that work.

Jesus, knowing the human weakness of His followers obviously placed a lot of importance on the strength of the Holy Spirit to motivate and sustain them.

We can’t get away with saying, “I don’t have the ability or the strength to build the Kingdom”.  Of course, we don’t, but Jesus reminds us it is not our strength, but that of the Holy Spirit we are to use.

We are to step out and begin in faith, and if our endeavor is of God then the Holy Spirit will see it through.

We have the local Church to supply the Sacraments & grace to strengthen us, to feed us the Eucharist & the Word of God, and explain that word on a regular basis.

As adults, we learn many of the practical things we need to know to take our place in the everyday world.

But, most importantly, on this day, Mother’s Day 2013, we should remind ourselves who our first teachers were during our early formative years that built the foundation of our lives that is now ready to be used by God to build on and accomplish His purposes.

Our parents that’s who and especially our Mothers or those who nurtured us in every aspect of life.

Do you want to build the Kingdom?  Call on the Holy Spirit.

Do you want to live life to the fullest?  Call your mother

“Nature Abhors A Vacuum” (In Any Form)

When a vacuum forms in nature, forces are set into motion in direct proportion to the strength of that vacuum.  The greater the vacuum the greater the force to relieve it and to return to equilibrium.

There are a number of ways to define a vacuum besides the physical state.  There is the vacuum of understanding, where we just don’t get it.  There is the vacuum of knowledge, where we are lacking something that would help up ‘get it’.  In all cases of lack, or vacuum, forces rise to relieve that lack.

One form that affects all of us in our work-life is the vacuum of leadership.  If a supervisor fails to do his job, he is in effect, creating a vacuum.  In order to relieve that lack, someone else will rise up to fill it, and often, it is the wrong person that steps forward to relieve the lack of leadership.

There are psychological vacuums where we feel some lack deep within ourselves and seek to find something or someone to fill that lack.  However, in our insecure state we should be careful not to take the first available volunteer who steps forward.  There is safety in many counselors.

So, Aristotle was correct when he coined the phrase, “Nature abhors a vacuum”.  It behooves all of us to look for the vacuums or lacks that arise in our lives and be very selective about how we allow them to be relieved.