Today…and all tomorrows

This morning I think back to a long ago church service I remember vividly.

In my tradition (Catholic) each Sunday there is a Gospel reading from the Christian scripture, followed by a homily by the Priest based on the scripture.

On this particular Sunday, a visiting Priest read the text which includes the phrase “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mark 12:31 – my grandmothers 1911 Catholic Bible).

Then the Priest sat down,  And sat, and sat, and sat….

He didn’t say a word.

Then the Mass continued, without comment.

I’ve always remembered that wordless homily.  Maybe he just wanted us to think about where each one of us fit into the meaning of this word.


If you’re interested, in the post I started Nov. 3, and completed early on Nov. 7, is available here.


Sometime after the Presidential race is decided, I’ll write my personal opinion about the future.

Presidential inauguration is Jan 20, 2021

The 117th Congress convenes Jan. 3, 2021


COMMENTS (more at end of post):

from SAK in Europe: Excellent, love it!

from Barry: Yaaaaay! Rejoice!

from Laura: Time to celebrate, Dick!!!

from Paul: Being a pk [peachers kid] and caring about my faith traditions and my Dad’s life calling I learned about the 3 year common lectionary from him.  I also remember Peter Eichten giving the “pre-mass” talk and asking, “is Joan of Arc [Catholic Church] too political, No” and then feigning sitting down, there’s a lot of power in simplicity and silence, “Love thy Neighbor” is always a challenging one and big enough to stand alone on those 3 words.  We are all so happy with the election results, the sense of relief is massive across our country. Have a great week!

from Susan: I guess I can love my neighbor but not the things he says or does. Like I can love my children but not some of the things they do or say.  As it is with Biden, I cannot love the fact that he subscribes to killing babies.  Apparently, in his “quasi Catholic” faith he does not value the right to life. Shame on him or anyone who can vote for him.  Trump is rude and crude, but at least he is pro-life.  I could never vote for anyone who is not pro-life.

Response to Susan from Dick: There is another biblical verse: Judge not lest you yourself be judged, or words to that effect.  Sorry, I happen to have huge respect for Biden.  The ‘baby killer’ word seems to be going around again.  I’ve heard it from someone in North Dakota, and Illinois, and now you. “What WOULD Jesus do?”  Who judges what a “real Catholic” as opposed to a quasi Catholic is?  I don’t think all pro-lifers are pro-life, by the way.  Sorry I’m short with you, but you’re insulting me (probably without knowing you were). Here’s what I wrote about abortion years ago – I’ve been following this topic for many years.).  Oct 12, 2009: Abortion. Read it carefully.

Response to Susan from Carol: My cousin who lives abroad sent out an e-mail to relatives asking those who supported Trump to explain why.   This is part of my response (now updated, as THANK GOD Biden won):

We have a tantrum-throwing, self-serving, corrupt, dangerous toddler in the White House.  Four more years of this and we either would not even have had an election or, more likely, the results of it would’ve been pre-determined, and no one would have any confidence left in their vote making any difference.  (You know, like those “other” countries we’ve always shaken our heads about…)
This country has been going to hell and all I ever hear as far as excuses from some of you is abortion.  Abortion isn’t going away, no matter who is on the Supreme Court.  Trump has been so using you on this issue (one thing, at least, which he’s brilliant at). 
Saying that Biden (or anybody else, anywhere) supports abortion makes my blood boil.  [And that Biden, “Subscribes to killing babies” is a totally despicable thing to say.]  I am pro-choice.  And I hate abortion.  I wish there were never need for another one.  But my lifetime view on this (in spite of the fact that my upbringing was rightwing evangelical conservative) was formed early on when my young neighbor/friend had to drop out of school because her drunken father raped and impregnated her.  This was before Roe v. Wade, and with 12 kids, her family was dirt-poor.  It surely was impossible to travel to another state or country for an abortion.  Even then, I knew that was wrong.  I have other stories…
The article [linked here] is terrifying to me.  Our country just dodged a very big bullet (altho’ it’s not yet over).  And still we have the “one-issue voters.”  Incredible.  Life is not all black-and-white – altho’ maybe it’s easier if you don’t have to think.  And I agree that “prolife” is often a misnomer.


3 replies
  1. norman hanson
    norman hanson says:

    Dick: I am afraid that silent homily will be tested heavily between now and January 20, 2021 by supporters of both candidates but especially by those who supported Trump. Don’t know what Mark might have to ad to his verse if he were here today upon seeing the divides in our country enhanced in many ways by Trump.

    • dickbernard
      dickbernard says:

      I’m just floating an idea, which is really not a new one. I’ll expand on the ‘neighbor’ idea, perhaps as soon as tomorrow in a separate blog. Check back to the site once in awhile! Obviously, the experience in church that day was a powerful one, and I don’t think I was alone in the pews. The Priest boxed us in to our own attitudes – we couldn’t escape into such things as complaining about a boring sermon, or too long, or getting into politics. He forced us to think about our own part in the matter. Anyway, check my blog in the next days, for “neighbours”.

  2. Vincent Petersen
    Vincent Petersen says:

    I’ve done similar with the Gospel. Especially with texts that are most poignant. Like on Good Friday – what else could one say?.


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