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By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, February 23, 2014

Traveling during his term as Vice President, Thomas Jefferson requested a room at Baltimore’s principal hotel.  The Vice President was traveling alone, without secretary or servants; it had been a long trip and it showed in his clothes and appearance.  The proprietor, not recognizing his distinguished guest, refused him a room.  After Jefferson left, the proprietor was informed that he had just turned away from his establishment the Vice President of the United States.

The horrified innkeeper immediately dispatched his servants to find Mr. Jefferson and offer him whatever accommodations he wished.  A servant caught up with the Vice President at a small inn several miles down the road.  Jefferson sent the servant back to Baltimore with this message: “Tell your master I value his intentions highly, but if he has no room for a dirty farmer, he shall have none for this Vice President.”

By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, February 16, 2014

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, he had the videotape of their wedding converted into a DVD as a surprise for her.  The plan was a quiet dinner and a movie – their movie.  But she was not able to keep their date.  She died rather suddenly two months shy of their anniversary, after a five-month battle with kidney cancer.

The night of the anniversary he put the DVD in the player and watched, smiling, laughing and crying all at the same time as he re-lived that perfect day.  His oldest teenage son wandered into the room and grabbed a seat.  There was his dad on the screen, not much older than he was, and his mom – stunningly beautiful.  He didn’t stick around to watch the whole thing – he later said he felt like an intruder.  A younger brother poked his head in, but he, too, quickly disappeared.  When he returned, his eyes were swollen red – not a word needed to be said between father and son.

By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, February 9, 2014
At the first pre-season workout, the new football coach meets with this year’s team.  Last season was a disaster.  This year’s squad is made up of a few veterans whose best years are behind them; the rest are second-year players who didn’t see much action last year and rookies who have never played a down of pro ball.  The coach says to this work-in-progress: “There is a great deal of talent in this locker room.  I know you can play.  You wouldn’t be here if I thought otherwise.  We can surprise this league by playing to the level we are capable of.  Our goal is a title.  Nothing less.”
By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, February 2, 2014

We all know Anna.  She has survived wars and depressions, suffered all manner of intolerance and bigotry, coped with every challenge and disappointment.  With her late husband, she worked hard and struggled through lean times to raise her family, seeing to it that all her daughters and sons were educated, established and loved.  Now, well into her ninth decade, her greatest joys are the children of her grandchildren.  Anna is a source of joy, inspiration, and grace to family and friends.  Every moment of her long, fruitful life has quietly but brilliantly reflected to all the light of God’s love in their midst. 

Anna, whose name means “grace” and “favor,” walks among us today within our own “temples.”  For Luke, the elderly prophetess Anna is an icon of the faithful Jew – the “remnant” who awaits the coming of the Messiah and the restoration of Israel’s covenant of justice and compassion with God.  Luke identifies her as a member of the tribe of Asher, a northern clan of Jews who suffered great hardship during the Assyrian occupation eight centuries before Christ.  She is a familiar figure around the temple who devotes all of her time in prayer and fasting in the women’s court of the temple.

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Deacon Ron answers your questions.

Comments

Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

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