17 Sunday A

Fr. Jude Botelho:

Today’s first reading from the Book of Wisdom reports God’s apparition to King Solomon in a dream at night while the newly appointed King had come to the sanctuary in Gibeon to offer sacrifices. The Lord starts a dialogue with a wide-open proposal to the king: “Ask what I should give you.” What a unique opportunity to get whatever he wants! Solomon does not miss his chance. But his prayer and request is surprising. Solomon starts by praising God for his great love for his father David; he then confesses his unworthiness and inadequacy in governing his people and finally asks for the gift of an understanding heart to discern what is right and wrong. God heard his prayer and granted him his request.

16 Sunday A

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

The first reading from the book of Wisdom praises God for his care of all peoples and for judging all things justly. God shows his strength when people doubt the completeness of his power and his wise judgements. God could act instantly if he wanted all peoples to act according to his will alone. But God is patient and merciful and gives mankind the freedom to make mistakes and to undo the damage done. With forbearance he leads us and governs us. We thank God that he is not like us!

15 Sunday A

Fr. Jude Botelho:

Guerrilla Goodness –Kindness grows
A woman in a red car pulls up to the toll booth at the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge. “I’m paying for myself and the six cars behind me,” she says with a smile. One after another, the next six drivers arrive at the booth, money in hand. “Some lady up ahead already paid your fare,” says the collector. “Have a nice day.” The woman, it turned out, had read a note taped to a friend’s refrigerator: “Practice Random Kindness”. Judy Freeman spotted the same phrase on a warehouse wall, 75 miles from her home in San Francisco. When she couldn’t get it out of her mind, she finally drove all the way back to copy it exactly. A few days ago I heard from a friend in Marin County, California. She had jotted the phrase down on a restaurant place mat after mulling it over for days. “Here’s the idea,” she says. “If you think there should be more of something, do it – randomly. Kindness can build on itself as much as violence can.” A passer-by may plunk a coin into a stranger’s meter just in time. A group of people with pails and mops may descend on a run-down house and clean it from top to bottom while the elderly owners look on, amazed. A teenager shoveling snow may be hit by the impulse and shovel his neighbor’s driveway too. Senseless acts of beauty spread. A man plants daffodils along a roadway. A concerned citizen roams the streets collecting litter in a supermarket cart. A student scrubs graffiti from a park bench. It’s a positive anarchy, a gentle disorder, a sweet disturbance. And you can’t be a recipient without feeling a pleasant jolt. If you were one of those commuters whose toll was paid, who knows what you might have been inspired to do for someone else? Like all revolutions, guerrilla goodness begins slowly, with a single act. Let it be yours.
Adair Lara in “Glamour”

14 Sunday A

“Do you have any idea who I am?" 
The Los Angeles Times published the story of a commercial airline flight cancellation which resulted in a long line of travelers trying to get bookings on another flight. One man in the line grew increasingly impatient with the slow-moving line.  At last, he pushed his way to the front and angrily demanded a first-class ticket on the next available flight. "I’m sorry," said the ticket agent, “First I’ll have to take care of the people who were ahead of you in the line." The irate man then pounded his fist on the ticket counter, saying, "Do you have any idea who I am?" Whereupon, the ticket agent picked up the public address microphone and said, "Attention, please! There is a gentleman at the ticket counter who does not know who he is. If there is anyone in the airport who can identify him, please come to the counter." Hearing this, the man retreated, and the people waiting in line burst into applause.   We are like this man. We have forgotten how to wait patiently. In today’s gospel, Jesus invites us to learn his meekness and humility. (Tony Kadavil)