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Showing posts from March, 2019

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Fourth Sunday of Lent 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

Highlight: "'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.' . . . But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him.'"

Reflection: The message of this parable is not just that God forgives us if we come back to him and repent; it is how he forgives us. No matter how spectacularly we fail, God will not only take us back, but he will celebrate our return. Take a moment to ponder the glory of God - the glory of one who can lift us from the lowest depths of sin to the eternal heights of heaven.

Geeky Quote: "He didn't chase them away. Even though he yelled at them. And was always mean. And he stole batteries he didn't need." "Well, of course not." - Rocket Raccoon and Peter Quill, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

Prayer: Father, I have sinned against you so many times. Thank you for your infinite mercy, for always taking me back every time I stray. Amen.

To get t…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Third Sunday of Lent 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 13:1-9

Highlight: "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?"

Reflection: Jesus gives us some great insight into the role of suffering in our lives. The fact that bad things happen to us does not necessarily mean that God is punishing us for something we've done. (The "problem of suffering" is a much larger issue, one which I have personally grappled with, and which I wouldn't be able to explain in a short reflection.) However, that does not mean that there is no punishment for sin. In other words, we shouldn't let suffering keep us from the righteous path, but we also shouldn't think that it is arbitrary, and act as if there will never be consequences for our actions.

Geeky Quote: "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." - The Dread Pirate Roberts, The Princess Bride

Prayer: Lord, give me the strength to persevere t…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Second Sunday of Lent 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 9:28B-36

Highlight: "But he did not know what he was saying."

Reflection: Peter was so amazed by what he saw, that he started spouting off the first thing that came into his head. The experience was so wonderful that he didn't want it to end. So he proposed building tents so they could stay there on the mountain forever. I think that Peter, James, and John were given a taste of heaven on that mountain. Not just the image of Jesus in his glory, but the sensation of pure happiness and contentment. But it was not destined to last forever. They had to come back down the mountain. Jesus would go on to be arrested, tortured, and killed. The good news for us is that, if we are so blessed to experience a joy like the Transfiguration at the end of our lives, it will last forever. We can build all the tents we want, because we will never have to descend from the mountain.

Geeky Quote: "Frodo heard a sweet singing running in his mind: a song that seemed to co…

Higher, Further, Faster: A Review of Captain Marvel

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Last weekend, I braved a winter storm to go see Captain Marvel. I absolutely loved it, and I have a bunch of things I want to say about it. If you haven't seen the movie yet, don't worry. I start off with a spoiler-free review. After that, there's a spoiler warning and a poster of Goose the Cat you'll have to scroll past before I get into any spoilers.

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The First Sunday of Lent 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 4:1-13

Highlight: "When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time."

Reflection:  Try as we might to live a life of holiness, we will inevitably be tempted to sin. Even if we are able to resist at first, it seems like the trials will never end. And we only have so much willpower, right? The first problem with this approach is thinking that we have the power to resist temptation on our own. But the other thing to consider is that these trials come in waves. They don't last forever. The devil wants us to think that our two choices are succumbing to temptation right now, or white-knuckling it for the rest of our lives. But all we have to do is pray for the grace to make it through that one trial. We just need to take it one temptation at a time, like Jesus did. And if we fall (which, since we are human, will happen from time to time) we go to confession, ask forgiveness, and try to make it through the next temptation (with Go…

Geeky Catholic Ash Wednesday 2019

Gospel Reading: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Highlight: "When you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden."

Reflection:  As far as I know, the Gospel reading for Ash Wednesday is the same every year, so it is probably one of the most heard Mass readings in all of Scripture. I assume everyone is familiar with the message not making a big show of fasting. We're not supposed to spend the whole day complaining about how hungry we are, in order to show off how "holy" we are being. But doesn't the practice of wearing an ashen cross on our foreheads all day contradict this message? As I prepared this reflection, I've come to the conclusion that the two messages do not contradict each other, and here's why. The ashes represent our mortality. "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return." They are a sign for us to let go of earthly attachments and draw closer to Christ. …

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 6:39-45

Highlight: "Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother's eye."

Reflection:  I think the lesson a lot of people take from this parable is that we shouldn't judge others, because we aren't perfect. But if you read carefully, that's not exactly what Jesus is saying. True, he does say that it is hypocrisy to point out the splinter in your brother's eye while ignoring the beam in your own. But Christ's solution is not to ignore the splinter; it is to remove the beam, and then assist your brother with the splinter. To continue ignoring the beam is not only hypocritical, it is also ineffective. You won't be able to see clearly with the beam in your eye, so you won't be any use to your brother in trying to remove the splinter. If I go out binge drinking every night, I won't be able to help my friend attain sobriety. We are called to help our neighbors turn…