Catholic Inklings

Musings and sharings on my devotion to an ancient religion.

Preparing Our Hearts and Homes: Breaking Open the Word at Home

Today’s readings have two major themes—hope and vigilance. We hope in the second coming of Jesus and we are vigilant in our efforts to live his love more perfectly in our lives every day. Did you ever see a stump or a tree that you thought was dead and a little sprout starts growing out of it? That is often what faith is like. Sometimes, we feel dry or sad, or like we are alone, but then a little sprout of hope enters our hearts.

Our first reading from the Prophet Jeremiah tells us about the “just shoot” from the line of King David. Jesus is that shoot—things looked really bad for Israel at the time that Jesus came into the world. Life was hard and scary and the people wondered why God wasn’t helping them. Then, Jesus came. He came to bring hope where there wasn’t much and he taught us how to remember that God was always with us, even when things looked bleak. The seed of hope is what God plants in us to begin our preparation to receive the healing that Jesus came to bring us.

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He Will Come Again: Breaking Open the Word at Home

As Catholic Christians, we believe that Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth to live among us as a human being was to offer us salvation. This is one of the times during the year when we think a lot about how we have received that invitation. We are reminded that Jesus will come again. This is something we look forward to—we even say it in a few of our regular prayers! “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end” and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come” are part of our Creed. A major point that is made at the end of today’s Gospel is that, “of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Sometimes people pretend that they know when Jesus will come back and they try to scare people with it. But, we know that God would never do anything to hurt us and we are not afraid. Jesus brings healing and peace to anyone who wants it.

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Oh, The Superhumanity!

The second that we got to the train station—before we even parked—I spotted some co-attendees for my first-ever Comic Con. The red cloak and Thor’s hammer were the first things to clue me in. Costumed folk were everywhere on the way to the convention, and as I walked the streets of New York with my husband, we played many rounds of “Cosplay or Everyday?” Some I was able to figure out and some remain inconclusive for me.

My husband and I met the first Godzilla suit actor, Haruo Nakajima, and got his autograph for my son, who has wanted to be a kaiju actor since he was four. Doing that for my son made my day, but seeing the cosplayers, the merchandise booths, the life-sized TARDIS, and the exhibits was amazing—I’d like to do that every year.

But my favourite part was attending a presentation by Scott Snyder (Batman writer), called “DC Entertainment Spotlight on Scott Snyder.” Snyder shared the challenges of writing and all of the rejections he faced before he got anywhere (that was great for me to hear). However, his best insight was when he shared about his vision of Batman.


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Economy of Love: Breaking Open the Word at Home

Today’s readings share the theme of freely giving—sometimes with uncertainty of what will happen as a result of it, and sometimes in complete confidence that we will be taken care of as a result. The widow of Zarapheth took care of Elijah out of her own poverty—she and her son had only a tiny bit of food left and then they would not have any way of getting more—when Elijah appeared needing help. The law of hospitality at that time required that she should feed him and her heart said that she should, too. As a result, they were taken through their hard time and blessed with more food than they could have had if they didn’t share.

The second reading speaks of Jesus’ free giving of himself for our salvation—it was such a perfect gift that it only had to be given once to be effective.

Then, in the Gospel, Jesus makes an example of the woman who lived on a very fixed income offering all that she had—her security, her retirement, her everything—to God with no fanfare and no apparent trepidation. She appears perfectly free—not just in her giving—but in her trust that God will provide for her. There’s a certain economy in giving when it comes from a place of love—free for the one who is given to because there are no strings attached, and free for the giver because they attach no strings. It’s where true joy comes from because it is how we are most like God.

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