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Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

29 September 2012

Reflecting on James 5: 1-6

Last week I had the oddest experience.  I happened to visit the house where I lived for several years with three wonderful friends in the 1980s.  It’s weird, but I actually know the guys who live there now, five (!) sweet young men who are delighted to live in community, praying and working in various jobs in the Archdiocese.

As soon as I walked into the house I was dumbstruck at how TINY it is!  How did four young women ever maneuver in this TINY house for all those years?  And how did we have so many fun parties, and friends for dinner, and a piano, and lots of singing and celebrating?  How ever did we have so much fun for so many years, and seal friendships that have endured for decades, in such a TINY house?

I looked at the guys living there now, happily moving around and making dinner in that TINY kitchen, contentedly making lesson plans and putting on their shoes for a run in nearby Washington Park.  Someday, after they are married and have “moved up” into larger digs, they will say what my friends and I say: the years we spent in that TINY house were some of the happiest of our lives.

In those days everything I owned fit into my small bedroom.  Now I need a whole house and a huge garage to hold my stuff. I think of the letter of James today, and reflect for the millionth time on what a relief it would be to put all my stuff in a big bonfire and let “the flames devour it”.

Do you ever feel that way?

How can you experience the freedom of having less?

As I write this, the father of  my dear friend Jean Haley, who owned that TINY, wonderful house that became home for so many friends for so many years, is struggling in the hospital.  Please remember Ralph Haley in your prayers this week.  He was a Prisoner of War under the Germans and suffered immensely in service to us all during that terrible war, yet returned to marry and be dad to five children who have loved him deeply their whole lives.

For Jean, and Mary Fran, and Diane, and Margaret, and Cindy, and Leslie, and Colette, and Mary, and all the friends who made that tiny house a mansion of love.

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Ordinary Time - Cycle B

One Comments to “Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B”

  1. I really believe that having less does free us tremendously, but our society has become so fixated on having more that we have lost sight of that. We keep hoping that more stuff will make us happy, but in reality, it only makes us more unhappy. And then we wonder why we are so unhappy when we have everything that is supposed to make us happy – nice houses, cars, etc. It’s easier to just keep accumulating stuff in the effort to be happy, than it is to face ourselves and admit that we need God. I have recently begun purging my house of all my “stuff”, as we are thinking of putting it on the market sometime next year. It is not easy, but it does feel good knowing that you have less of the past to hold onto, and more of the future to look forward to. I like that feeling.

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