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7 Things to Do When You Can't Receive the Eucharist

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I know there are a lot of posts out there about COVID-19 right now. Rest assured, this article is not going to be about social distancing, infection rates, self-quarantining, hand washing, or toilet paper. Instead, I'm going to address a consequence of the pandemic that is affecting a growing number of Catholics around the world: many of us can no longer go to Mass on Sunday (or any day) to receive the Eucharist. This article will not tell you that there is nothing to be sad about, or that this has happened before, or that everything is going to be fine. Sorrow - and even anger - are natural and appropriate responses to being separated from the Real Presence. But I do think there are things you can do to ease the pain a little bit. Here are seven things you can do while you wait for the world to go back to normal:

This is the Way: What We Know About Mandalorians - Part II

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In my previous post, I explored what we had learned about Mandalorians in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as the tie-in graphic novel Son of Dathomir. You can see my list of observations here.

To review, here are the revelations I pointed out from the Disney+ series The Mandalorian:
The Mandalorians were all but wiped out by the Empire in an event referred to as "the Purge." Din Djarin is part of an underground group of Mandalorians on Nevarro.During the Purge, the Empire stole most of the Mandalorians' supply of beskar, the alloy with which Mandalorians forge their armor.As a child, Din was rescued from a Droid Army attack by Mandalorians - one of whom had the Death Watch symbol on his armor. He was adopted into their culture. Din is referred to as a "foundling."Mandalorians are never supposed to remove their helmets. If they ever remove their helmets in front of another living person, they can never put them back on again. Din has …

This is the Way: What We Know About Mandalorians - Part I

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Last November and December, Disney+ subscribers were treated to the first ever live action Star Wars television series, The Mandalorian. In addition to the show's main focus - a man protecting a mysterious child from a galaxy of threats - we also got some details about Mandalorian culture.

But this was not the first mention of Mandalorians in the on-screen Star Wars universe. There were thousands of words published about the history and culture of the warrior race. However, since those books are no longer considered an official part of Star Wars continuity, I will be focusing the two animated TV series which featured Mandalorians - Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels.

Geeky Catholic Sunday: Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 20:27-38

Highlight: "The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage."

Reflection: This is a hard passage for married persons and those who are called to marriage. Isn't marriage important? Isn't the bond that I have with my wife holy? So why won't I have that bond in heaven? The key to these questions lies not in diminishing the importance of matrimony, but in understanding why it is important. Marriage is a sign of the union that God desires with us. But once we've gotten to our heavenly destination, we don't need the sign that led us there anymore. As close as I am to my spouse, I will have an even more perfect intimacy with God in heaven, God willing. I will also have a perfect closeness to all the other members of the body of Christ, including - God willing - my wife! So it's not a matter of losing…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Reading: Luke 17:11-19

Highlight: "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?"

Reflection: As a child, I always expected this gospel passage to end like one of Grimm's fairy tales or Aesop's fables. I thought that since the other nine lepers did not thank Jesus, their disease would return, and only the one grateful leper would be permanently cured. But that's not how God's mercy operates. Jesus knew that only one leper would return to thank him, but he still cured all ten. So really the emphasis of this story is not on the nine lepers, but on the one. What can we learn from him? One thing is that is important to recognize God's hand in the good things that happen in our lives. And once we recognize that, we should thank God. The more we adjust our attitudes to focus on gratitude for God's blessings, the more we will be able to conform our lives to God's plan. So think of some ways that God has blessed you, and thank him for t…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 16:1-13

Highlight: "You cannot serve both God and mammon."

Reflection: The parable of the dishonest steward has never really made sense to me. I just can't figure out what the steward did that was so praiseworthy. His job was in danger because of his dishonesty, but he ends up saving himself through further dishonesty? What kind of message is Jesus trying to send? Here's the best I can figure out. The steward acted greedily and foolishly, but in the end, he showed mercy to people that owed his master, in the hope of receiving mercy after being dismissed. He prioritized relationships over wealth, after realizing that his dishonest wealth would be taken away from him. I think that what Jesus is saying is not that this steward was a paragon of virtue that we should emulate, but rather that even sinners sometimes recognize something that we don't. They realize the importance of mercy and friendship. The goods of this world are temporary. If we cher…