Tolerance, Pentecost, and Love

We human beings have a tendency to get on each others’ nerves. Living in close proximity to each other can cause conflicts. We don’t see eye-to-eye. Each of us has our ticks. Sometimes we don’t co-operate very well. We annoy each other.

We need a way to coexist peacefully. Which brings us to the virtue that reigns supreme on today’s popular airwaves. We try to live together in peace by practicing the magnificent virtue of…TOLERANCE!

Continue reading “Tolerance, Pentecost, and Love”

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Transfiguration

As no darkness can be seen by anyone surrounded by light, so no trivialities can capture the attention of anyone who has his eyes on Christ.
–St. Gregory of Nyssa

…Therefore, we do not dwell on the dismal whimper with which the Georgetown Hoyas ended a once-promising season. Maybe we can dwell on the prospect of the injury-hobbled Hokies making an NIT run.

…Every year St. Joseph gets two days, today (March 19) and May 1. On May 1, our Holy Father Pope Benedict will declare his predecessor to be among the blessed in heaven. That will be the day when we can stop praying for the happy repose of John Paul II and start praying to him…

…Here is a homily for the Second Sunday of Lent:

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. (Matthew 17:1-2)

On the second Sunday of every Lent, we read about the ascent of the Lord Jesus, Peter, James, and John up Mount Tabor. The second Sunday of Lent brings precious memories to my mind, because three years ago today, I began a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I got to see Galilee, to climb Mount Tabor, and then make my way to Jerusalem.

When the Lord and his closest apostles went up the mountain, they, too, were beginning a pilgrimage. It was the pilgrimage that faithful Jews made to Jerusalem for the Passover feast.

Continue reading “Transfiguration”

May God Lay Aside the Violence

Jonah by Michelangelo

Jonah went to the enormous city of Nineveh and informed the people that the Lord intended to destroy the place in forty days. In other words, the prophet presented himself as a sign to the Ninevites, a sign of the transcendent justice of Almighty God.

The king of Nineveh saw the sign and believed. Speaking on behalf of the whole city, the king repented of his injustice and declared that all the Ninevites would lay aside the violence that each had in hand.

The king took for granted that he and all his people had violence in hand. This was a fair assumption. One does not like to generalize, but we can safely say of ourselves that we sinners generally have some kind of violence in hand. Maybe not shedding blood. But violence to someone’s good name, or violence to someone’s vulnerable feelings, or violence to good order and someone’s rightful place. Our egos are voracious; they make us do violence, often under-cover.

So, talk about a good thing to do for Lent: to recognize the violence I have in hand for what it is, and lay it aside. Because look at what happened next in the Book of Jonah: When the Ninevites laid aside the violence they had in hand, the Lord laid aside the violence He had in hand.

We know the Lord is meek and gentle. But we also know that He is unfailingly righteous. He is perfect peace in Himself. But His omnipotent truth and justice destroys evil and deceit. Do we think the tsunami in Japan was a formidable force? The truth of God will roll like a tsunami over all lies, and it will make the north of Japan look like a kiddie pool. God does not will violence, but His willing of peace does violence to disorder, selfishness, and pride.

So, dear brothers and sisters, let us lay aside the violence we have in hand—the jealousy, grudges, turf wars, one-upmanship, gossip, selfishness, pettiness, meanness—let’s lay it all aside and beg God with desperate hearts:

Easter time. Something to look forward to.
Lord, we know that in justice we deserve condemnation, but have mercy on us anyway, forgive us, and help us!

…In the first game of the NCAA tournament, four players fouled out. Sportscaster lingo: “DQ” for disqualified. Five fouls? Dairy Queen.

By the by, the Dairy Queen density of southwest Virginny crushes the DQ density of metro Washington. Not even close. At this moment, there are 16 DQs within twenty miles. (Total number of Dairy Queen in the Archdiocese of Washington? Five.) Cannot wait for Lent to be over.

A Tale of Four Parts of the Metropolis

I have made quite a few local peregrinations, inside and outside the Beltway. In my travels across the metro area, I have made a few little observations.

There are distinct differences among the towns, the counties, and the states, all within 25 miles of the U.S. Capitol. I will try to synthesize my observations for your consideration and comment. Allow me to draw the following distinctions…

District of Columbia: heavy rush-hour traffic
Montgomery County: cruel rush-hour traffic
Prince George’s County: cruel and unusual rush-hour traffic
Northern Virginia: free parking on the roadways in the afternoon

P.G.: dysfunctional local government
Montgomery: over-functional local government
District: not-as-bad-as-it-used-to-be local government
NoVa: no local government

NoVa: Pentagon
P.G.: FedEx Field
District: White House
Montgomery: White Flint

Montgomery: golf
District: aggressive bicycling and/or art films
P.G.: creek fishing
NoVa: Civil War re-enactment

P.G.: megachurches
Montgomery: megaplexes
District: megaphones and/or megalomania
NoVa: meatloaf

NoVa: Virginia Beach
Montgomery: Cape Cod
District: Outer Banks
P.G.: Ocean City

Dist: Redskins
Mont.: Redskins
P.G.: REDSKINS
NoVa: Redskins

Montgomery: Never knowingly entered P.G. County
NoVa: “Where is Laurel? Never heard of it. Is it in America?”
P.G.: Germantown is near Germany
N.W. D.C.: Bethesda or bust
S.E. D.C.: Largo Town Center or bust

Montgomery: Major religion: Catholic
NoVa: Major religion: Catholic
P.G.: Major religion involving both black and white people: Catholic
District: Major religion: None

NoVa: Hooah!
P.G.: Go, girl!
Dist: Check, please.
Mont: Were you speaking to me?

Mont.: I-270
Dist: Metro
P.G.: Walking on the shoulder (in dark clothing at night)
NoVa: Slugging

Mont: Clyde’s
Dist: Chef Geoff’s
NoVa: Cheesecake Factory
P.G.:

P.G.: Obama
Dist.: Obama
Montgomery: Obama
NoVa: Obama

Dist: Ethiopians
Mont.: Jews
P.G.: Horse-farmers
NoVa: Schismatic conservative Episcopalians

Montgomery: Bertucci brownie
P.G.: Three Musketeers
District: dieting
NoVa: Dairy Queen

Montgomery: Saab or hybrid
District: Smart Car
P.G.: Chevy Impala
NoVa: Fuel-efficient S.U.V.

P.G.: Family room
Montgomery: Deck
NoVa: Finished basement
District: Sidewalk cafe or 7-11

Now, let me hasten to add that what we all have in common outweighs these minor differences. The good Lord makes his sun shine and his rain fall on both the bad and the good in all the jurisdictions. A Big Daddy is 25 ounces in all of them. We are really one big happy family of a metropolitan area. It just takes all day to get from one side of it to the other, because of the traffic.