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Showing posts with label Memorial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Memorial. Show all posts

Saturday, August 29, 2020

RIP Chadwick Boseman - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

RIP Chadwick Boseman

I am a comic book fan.

I was in the Marvel camp, and the Avengers were my crew.

The Black Panther was an Avenger, but he was not in the regular part of the line-up. He came around when the team was in trouble, he would help them get out of jam.

He was a super-soldier, like Captain America, only different he powers came from another source, something ancient, something spiritual, something magic and African. He seemed to be the equal of Captain America in nearly every way, and Chadwick Boseman personified him perfectly.

I woke to the news of Mr. Boseman’s passing and it made me really sad.

Watching the news I saw a number of tributes to him and the sadness has not passed, it sticks around because Mr. Boseman did something unique through his portrayal of the Black Panther, something he did not achieve in his portrayal of Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown; in the persona of the Black Panther he became a living icon.

He appeared in four Marvel movies as T’Challa, first as prince then as king of the mythical African country of Wakanda. The movie, Black Panther became the first superhero movie to be nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards, it was nominated for a total of seven, and won three.

Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa was the reason (as far as I am concerned).

One of his co-stars referred to him as regal, and I absolutely agree. He was positively regal, he walked like a king, not like the head of some sick old dynasty, but as a leader a person of substance, confidence and compassion.

His work generated the movement hashtag Wakanda Forever, he inspired people, and he is already missed.

He was a born and raised in South Carolina, a graduate of Howard University, a husband and a hero.

Wakanda Forever!  

Saturday, August 22, 2020

A Homily - The Annunciation, Mary Queen of Heaven, A Holy Day of Obligation (Year A)

First Reading – Ezekiel 43:1-7 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 84(85):9-14 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Psalm 118:36, 29
Alternative Acclamation – Matthew 23:9, 10
The Gospel According to Matthew 23:1 - 12 ©


First Reading – Isaiah 9:1-7 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 112(113):1-8 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Luke 1:28
The Gospel According to Luke 1:26-38 ©


The Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, The Annunciation, Mary Queen of Heaven
A Holy Day of Obligation (Year A)

Be mindful!

It is wrong to place write about the fears and prejudices of human beings, human morality, xenophobia, and to write about them as if they belonged to God.

Know this: God does not interfere in the lives of human beings, the creator of the universe does not intervene in our politics.

All lands belong to God, all seas, all planets, all stars, all galaxies; everything and everyone that is in them belong to God, we dwell within God, and not one thing exists without God.

Be wary of the sentiments of the psalmist. God did not end the captivity of Jacob, the people did.

This is not blasphemy, this is not hubris. It is a greater hubris to think that God loves a special people above all others, far more prideful than to come to the understanding that that the Israelites escaped the bondage of Egypt under their own power.
Always bear this in mind:

The things you ask God to do for you are in truth a statement of your intentions for how you want to live your life and the things you want to see happen in it.

If you wish to ask God for things and tell God about your desires, that is fine, just know that whatever it is you wish for, it is incumbent on you to make those things happen, and if you should seek divine sanction for your intentions, limit that to you desire to live a lawful life, to understand God’s will, and to transcend the human condition.

God has given us the gift to know and desire a holy way of life, but God will not live that life for us; the burden is on us to make the choices that keep us on the path of justice.

God’s law has been written on your heart, you may see the path toward its fulfillment reflected in the face of your neighbor, you may see it there when you see yourself looking back at you in their eyes, and know that God is with you.

As we traverse the narrow way, and walk the path of truth, you must remember that the closer we are to understanding it the easier it is for us to deceive ourselves.

Look to the myths of concerning the fallen angels, remember how Icarus fell when he flew too close to the sun, these stories carry the wisdom of this, and look to the corrupt and the false prophets who are near to us.

When you petition God; do not petition God for favor. Do not ask God for special treatment, do not ask God to prefer you over any of God’s children, and do not promise to do for God what is not within your power to do... that is not the way.

Do not lie to God or yourself when you petition God. Do not ask from God what it already lies within your power to do for yourself, rather, be wise and ask for wisdom.


The way is one of humility.

The way is the path of love.

It costs us nothing to be polite.

Be humble, walk humbly, perform humble service.

This is the way of God.


The prophet errs when he ascribes a divine motive, or more, divine action to any event that transpires here on Earth.

God the creator of the universe, God made us in freedom; as individuals God made us in freedom, and the whole creation God made free as well.

God does not confer glory on anyone, not on any tribe, not on any nation, not on any church; God does not seek glory for God’s self.

All such talk is vanity, springing directly from the hearts of men, coming through the mouths of men, falling on the ears of other men.

The prophet was wrong to speak of glories, his error being the error of human ambition, representing the limits of the human imagination.

However, the prophet was right to speak of this: to speak of hope like a light shining in the darkness, which once perceived gladdens the heart and brings joy.

Hope is the way of Jesus and hope leads to God.

Be mindful!

God’s light shines on us from beyond this world, we will not see the fullness of the divine light until we have left the world behind.

Say it again, and carry the knowledge of it in your heart:

God does not intervene in the lives of individuals or in the course of human history.

God has made us, and the whole of creation free. We are radically free.

Praise God, that is wise, be thankful for existence itself, but do not look to God for favor, or justice. In this world, those things are always determined by human agency.

Consider the gospel for today.
Whatever the truth is regarding the birth of Jesus, a man who would have been known by his family and his people as Joshua son of Joseph, if in fact there was such a child born to Joseph and Mary, if Joseph and Mary were in fact historical persons, the mission of Jesus as reported in the scriptures, the way of Christ is not served by false narratives.

The stories of Jesus’ birth, the annunciation as we have it presented here, these are myths, they are propaganda and lies.

The way of God is not served by lies, because God, the creator of the universe, the God of all people is the God of truth.

First Reading – Ezekiel 43:1-7 ©

The Vision of the Coming of the Glory of the Lord to the Temple

The angel took me to the gate, the one facing east. I saw the glory of the God of Israel approaching from the east. A sound came with it, like the sound of the ocean, and the earth shone with his glory. This vision was like the one I had seen when I had come for the destruction of the city, and like the one I had seen on the bank of the river Chebar. Then I prostrated myself.

The glory of the Lord arrived at the Temple by the east gate. The spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; I saw the glory of the Lord fill the Temple. And I heard someone speaking to me from the Temple while the man stood beside me. The voice said, ‘Son of man, this is the dais of my throne, the step on which I rest my feet. I shall live here among the sons of Israel for ever.’

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 84(85):9-14 ©

The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

I will hear what the Lord God has to say,
  a voice that speaks of peace,
  peace for his people and his friends.
His help is near for those who fear him
  and his glory will dwell in our land.

The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

Mercy and faithfulness have met;
  justice and peace have embraced.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth
  and justice look down from heaven.

The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

The Lord will make us prosper
  and our earth shall yield its fruit.
Justice shall march before him
  and peace shall follow his steps.

The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

Gospel Acclamation – Psalm 118:36, 29

Alleluia, alleluia!

Bend my heart to your will, O Lord, and teach me your law.


Alleluia, alleluia!

You have only one Father, and he is in heaven; you have only one Teacher, the Christ.


The Gospel According to Matthew 23:1 - 12 ©

Practice What you Preach

Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.

‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’


A Son is Given to Us

The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone.

You have made their gladness greater, you have made their joy increase; they rejoice in your presence as men rejoice at harvest time, as men are happy when they are dividing the spoils.

For the yoke that was weighing on him, the bar across his shoulders, the rod of his oppressor, these you break as on the day of Midian.

For all the footgear of battle, every cloak rolled in blood, is burnt, and consumed by fire.

For there is a child born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.

Wide is his dominion in a peace that has no end, for the throne of David and for his royal power, which he establishes and makes secure in justice and integrity.

From this time onwards and for ever, the jealous love of the Lord of Hosts will do this.

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 112(113):1-8 ©

May the name of the Lord be blessed for evermore!


Praise, O servants of the Lord,
  praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed
  both now and for evermore!

May the name of the Lord be blessed for evermore!

From the rising of the sun to its setting
  praised be the name of the Lord!
High above all nations is the Lord,
  above the heavens his glory.

May the name of the Lord be blessed for evermore!

Who is like the Lord, our God,
  who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the heights to look down,
  to look down upon heaven and earth?

May the name of the Lord be blessed for evermore!

From the dust he lifts up the lowly,
  from the dungheap he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes,
  yes, with the princes of his people.

May the name of the Lord be blessed for evermore!


Gospel Acclamation – Luke 1:28

Alleluia, alleluia!

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!
Blessed art thou among women.


The Gospel According to Luke 1:26-38 ©

'I Am the Handmaid of the Lord'

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

The Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, The Annunciation, Mary Queen of Heaven
A Holy Day of Obligation (Year A)

Monday, June 3, 2019

The Greatest of All Time

Muhammad Ali left the world three years ago, the greatest of all time is gone

Muhammad Ali held the world in his hands, the greatest of all time, lives on

I heard the news of his passing, I woke in the middle of the night
I heard the news of his passing, I listened to the stories and cried

Ali, the greatest of all one has died

Of all the heroes I ever fell for, he was the one that was truly alive
The only one I ever prayed for, the only one I thought Could make a difference in our time.

Ali spoke to the heart, he spoke for justice and freedom, he told the truth, he spoke of love

He spoke to the world the same as he fought, he fought for everyone

He spoke in rhythms that dazzled, in words that hurt
He floated
                        He stung
                                    Like the butterfly
Like the bee
With the symbols of his fame he struck the powers of the world

He was a prophet in our time, he praised and he scolded, sharp tongued in his youth

He remained a silent witness in his old age, after his voice was taken from him

I remember the day in 1980 when I heard the news that he had lost

Muhammad Ali lost! Ali would never fight again!

All the kids on the school bus murmured, Ali was not the greatest of all

The world stopped making sense.

Muhammad Ali gave my generation permission to be ourselves, be bold, and brag
            Be good, do right

Muhammad Ali taught us to question, to challenge authority, to shun war

He taught us to risk the things you desire most, to give up titles, and money, and fame

Muhammad Ali let them go for things that matter most to him

Ali taught us to serve the truth, seek justice, do good as long as we draw breath
He was the greatest of all time

Ali handcuffed lightning and put the thunder in jail

His star rose like the sun
Three years ago it set

Muhammad Ali will never be forgotten, for as long as the world shall spin

Given First (as an essay) - 2016.06.04