The “dumb dad” is the entertainment industry’s go-to character for cheap laughs. But what message are these men sending our boys?
Today’s readings are a celebration of the Law of God. We should rejoice that we have a Father who cares enough to instruct and guide us.
If you come from a large family, or have untrustworthy friends when it comes to the security of your food, you may at some point, have licked your food before walking away from it—you know, to make sure that no one would take it. If you haven’t done that, you’ve probably at least once in your life, used a sharpie to mark your plastic cup at a party, or written your initials into an article of clothing in case it gets separated from you. We mark stuff to make sure that people will know it’s ours, and not try to take it—it’s human nature. Well, it’s not just our nature; it’s God’s nature, too.
I’ve always loved that quote by Shakespeare (inspired by Socrates), “To thine own self be true.” It, unfortunately, offers that same pitfall as the free will argument. Being true to ourselves should bring us more in line with our true nature—to be more like God in whose image and likeness we are created. But for many, being true to your self gets mixed up with being true to your selfishness.
People can be so annoying. Pretty much everyone in the world has “friends” (or even family) who they never hear from…until they need something. Or there’s the person that every single time you run into them you get the “broken record” run down of everything going wrong in their life. You might see them coming and duck to avoid them, but they find you…oh, they find you…and they don’t take a breath. There’s no getting a word in here!
Today we hear of Jesus’ first miracle—turning water into wine at a wedding. It can be a reminder that, even when we think we don’t have what we need, Jesus works with what we do have and makes it into what we were looking for.
The most believable lies have an element of truth to them. In the TV series Heroes Reborn, when Erica Kravid told everyone that there was going to be an event that would wipe out almost all life on earth and that she had a plan to save them, she wasn’t lying. There was going to be a cataclysmic event, it was going to wipe out humanity, and she did have a plan to save humanity. She didn’t divulge that her plan didn’t include everyone—or even most people. She only intended to save a few, hand-selected people.
They just don’t make movies like they used to
More than once, I have shown my kids movies from my youth that I had a nostalgic fondness for—ET, The Goonies,
all of the Muppet Movies, The Dark Chrystal, Willow, The Princess Bride, Star Wars, Indiana Jones (the list could go on and on!)…those movies are classics! However, every once in a while something pops up in these movies that I had either not noticed to begin with, or had completely forgotten about, causing my husband and I to shoot each other uncomfortable, sideways glances.
I regret nothing!!! But, I do wish I had remembered some of that was in there before I showed them to my kids.
It’s in that spirit that I want to recommend to you the movieLabyrinth, which I made my family watch in honor of the passing of David Bowie. (Yes, “made.” Most were willing, but there are always one or two dissenters).
Here’s what to know before the show…
Today’s celebration of the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord comes with options for the first and second readings. The first readings are from different parts of the Prophet Isaiah. One echoes the words that the Father speaks at Jesus’ baptism and the other echoes the Gospel (quoting Isaiah) from the second Sunday of Advent—make straight the paths of the Lord. The second readings include a speech from Peter as he is about to baptize the household of a pagan who received the Holy Spirit and a teaching on the free gift of salvation that Jesus offers each of us—not through our own earning, but through our acceptance of Christ’s charitable love toward us. The Gospel is Luke’s version of the Baptism, in which we see Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all present together at once—the Trinity revealed. It is the moment that a symbolic ritual became reality. It is the moment that God chooses to introduce himself to each of us personally—that we become adopted children of God and receive our vocation to be priest, prophet and king.