Convict

Fortune Magazine Photo

Trump was too busy watching the Capitol chaos unfold on TV to do anything about it, advisors told The Washington Post… no photographic evidence has been presented for during or after the insurrection, only before.

The 11 most important lines from Liz Cheney’s blockbuster Fox News interview
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large


Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney sat for an interview with “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace, February 7th 2021

  1. “The oath that I took to the Constitution compelled me to vote for impeachment and it doesn’t bend to partisanship, it doesn’t bend to political pressure. It’s the most important oath that we take.”
  2. “I think, you know, that people in the party are mistaken. They believe that BLM and Antifa were behind what happened here at the Capitol. It’s just simply not the case, not true and we’re going to have a lot of work we have to do.”
  3. “The extent to which the president, President Trump, for months leading up to January 6 spread the notion that the election had been stolen or that the election was rigged was a lie and people need to understand that. We need to make sure that we as Republicans are the party of truth that we are being honest about what really did happen in 2020 so we actually have a chance to win in 2022 and win the White House back in 2024.”
  4. “I think this boat and conference made very clear, we are the party of Lincoln, we are not the party of QAnon or anti-Semitism or Holocaust deniers, or white supremacy or conspiracy theories. That’s not who we are.”
  5. “People will want to know exactly what the president was doing. They want to know, for example, whether the tweet he sent out calling Vice President Pence a coward while the attack was underway, whether that tweet, for example, was a premeditated effort to provoke violence. There are a lot of questions that have to be answered and there will be many, many criminal investigations looking at every aspect of this and everyone who was involved, as there should be.”
  6. We have never seen that kind of an assault by a president of the United States on another branch of government and that can never happen again.”
  7. “What we already know does constitute the gravest violation of his oath of office by any president in the history of the country, and this is not something that we can simply look past or pretend didn’t happen or try to move on. We’ve got to make sure this never happens again.”
  8. “So it should not have gotten to the point that it did. I don’t believe the Democrats have any business determining who from the Republicans sit on committees, but we should have dealt with it ourselves.”
  9. “Somebody who has provoked an attack on the United States Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral votes, which resulted in five people dying, who refused to stand up immediately when he was asked and stop the violence, that — that is a person who does not have a role as a leader of our party going forward.”
  10. “We have to make sure that we are able to convey to the American voters, we are the party of responsibility, we are the party of truth, that we actually can be trusted to handle the challenges this nation faces like Covid, and that’s going to require us to focus on substance and policy and issues going forward but we should not be embracing the former president.”
  11. “You know, it’s really — it’s heartbreaking in many ways, Chris, because, you know, we watched the inaugural speech where [President Joe Biden] spoke of unity, where he spoke of trying to work together in the immediate actions we’ve seen with respect to, you know, things like canceling the Keystone pipeline, it’s heartless. It really is.

All is in Order

Greetings on this the Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Gn 1:1-19; PS 104:1-2a, 5-6, 10 and 12, 24 and 35c; Mk 6:53-56
Note: We are nine days away, an octave, from the beginning of Lent.

Genesis

The first four days of creation establish the Lord’s dominion over the cosmos. The focus in primarily the vast elements of the Universe and the first life of vegetation.

It is good to understand these first four days as the preparation of the Earth for the living place for humanity.

Psalm 104

How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them all—
the earth is full of your creatures;
Bless the LORD, O my soul! Alleluia.

Gospel

Wherever Jesus went.

  1. With haste, people gathered all in need.
  2. Begged Jesus to touch them even if only the tassel of his cloak.
  3. As many as were touched were healed.

In our faith, in how we live our faith, do we do the same?
Remember, it is by the power of God that any good thing happens. But it is within our power to bring people with haste to God. Often the path is through the ordinary kindness and the helping others as friends in need.

We recognize the healer through the healing.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Shattered Restored

Greetings on this the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Jb 7:1-4, 6-7; Ps 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6; 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23; Mk 1:29-39

Note: Preaching today is deferred to the once annual Diocesan Services Appeal. The funding of the Diocese is made entirely of the contribution of the local churches and their parishioners.

On the internet I read plenty of complaints that the Catholic Church received PPP funding during the pandemic. This would be an individual parish request depending on their circumstances. In our local case we were doen 60% in contributions at the height of the pandemic and we ended the year at about 30% down. The PPP smoothed out the wild swing in contribution and the payment of wages.

Job

If you are familiar with the book of Job you can appreciate the depths of hardship from which he speaks. His own experiences and those of others coalesce into a montage of agonies. This is a part of what is known as Job’s First Reply. Job reviews the collective agonies of the human experience and is left shattered by what he sees.

Psalm 147

Here the psalmist reminds us the Lord is active even where we cannot tell He is present. He heals, rebuilds, he keeps an eye on all peoples and all creation. The lowly will be rememberd and the wicked cast to the ground.

Obligation

Saint Paul reminds us of our common obligation to remember those who are suffering. For the sake of the Gospel, that is the efficacious reception of the Good News of Jesus Christ, he maintains we must be a slave to all and weak in the eyes of the world. Our power and our wealth and our strength must be from and of Christ alone.

Gospel

Jesus working out of the House of Peter brings relief to the current-day Jobs. All who were ill or possessed by demons were healed.

Then he says Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.

And that is the work of the Church. Heal people in body and spirit.

Find Job, help him.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Happy Anniversary

Final Resting Place – Graveside Service

Greetings on this the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Readings: Mal 3:1-4; PS 24:7, 8, 9, 10; Heb 2:14-18; Lk 2:22-40

This will be the third installment and the common Grief page links all three.

https://deacongerrypalermo.blog/grief/

Friday, February 5th, 2021 will be one year since the death of my Mom.

I love the phrase “My Mom” or “My Dad”.

Whenever someone is talking to me or in a pastoral setting with me I always listen for how we identify the other important people in our lives. Sometimes I listen for the name and sometimes I listen for the identity.

Your Name is how we know you different from everyone else.
Your Identity is how we know you are known by others.
Your Name and Identity often get intermingled by their meaning and the changes in life that occur.
Abram becomes Abraham. Jacob becomes Israel. Simon becomes Peter. Saul becomes Paul.

In heaven, “I shall also give a white amulet upon which is inscribed a new name, which no one knows except the one who receives it (Rev 2:17b).”

Who were you?
During the 1st year of grief we get a glimpse or new insights of who they were. Mom was Mom, yes. But she was also niece, granddaughter, grandmother, sister, etc. In the early days of grief we get a powerful reminder with the visitations, and funeral/burial practices.

Throughout the year, usually, we gain further insights. Random people contact us with a new connection made, distant people are notified with stories to share, old letters read, photo albums reviewed and other gems of ‘who’ come into view.

Who are you?
If you believe that we continue on (no judgment here on how/what you believe) then no doubt in the times sensing way, we wonder ‘who are you now?’ For some belief systems: regeneration, for others, a dream-filled journey on the river, for another, nothingness and for others still, a participation in the Divine Life in a new and spectacular way.

Who will you become?
If the old saying is true, “The only constant is change”, then we must wonder the question, “Who are you becoming?’ How are you changing? For my tradition we speak of moving from purgatory to the beatific vision as one major shift. The other would be what does it mean to say, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working (John 5:17).

Grief is a processing of all the above. In a very real way, how we engage these questions about the loved one lost is how we understand ourselves: were, are, and will be.

Simeon Solution
Perhaps Simeon’s answer is the best of all. After a year of bereavement and grief, gaining reflection of all we know and hope to be we can join the perspective of Simeon:

Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.

Luke 2:29-32

Be at peace
You were, you are and you will be. May your name change too. Expansive in love, tolerant in judgment and merciful to all in need including yourself.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Legion

Greetings on this the Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Heb 11:32-40; Ps 31:20, 21, 22, 23, 24; Mk 5:1-20

Note: There are many ways to understand this gospel reading today.

The major point is Jesus’ power over all situations and human conditions even if they number as a legion.

Just like in the 4th Sunday reading even the demons name Jesus: Jesus, Son of the Most High God.

Removal of all demons is a combined act of exorcism of a person and symbolically of the entire heard of swine. While the single person was healed and he remained with the community, he obviously was a witness to the saving power of God. The formerly possessed healed man preaches to all of the Decapolis.

We pick up this story again in Mk 7:31 forward. After telling his healing story to the 10 cities… Jesus comes back, heals the deaf man with a very physical earthy technique. Then the deaf healed man, preaches to all of the Decapolis.

Have confidence in Jesus.

Bible Study:

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Faith and Reason

Our Lady of Florida Retreat Center

Greetings on this the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Dt 18:15-20; Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9; 1 Cor 7:32-35; Mk 1:21-28

Note: There is a wonderful synchronicity of the Week Three Saturday and 4th Sunday of Ordinary time readings. Back to back they are powerfully mutually supportive.

Saturday

Saturday Readings Heb 11:1-2, 8-19; PS Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75; Mk 4:35-41

Six time Saint Paul invokes Faith as describing the core reason Abraham trusted God. He did as he instructed. He reasoned that the Lord would keep his promise “I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth “. Therefore his son Isaac would be raised from the dead after the sacrifice. He reasoned the God who protected him already all this time would be able to do such a marvelous thing.

In the Gospel reading Saturday, Jesus asked the Apostles a question of faith. This happened immediately after his supernatural act of Calming the Seas. Who is this person that even the Seas (the most powerful forces of the natural world) obey him!

The Responsorial Psalm reminds us the reason God is generous is simply.

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.

John 3:16

On Saturday – the natural world obeys God and His Son.
On Sunday – the supernatural world obeys God and His Son.

Sunday

In the Sunday 1st reading, Moses describes a two part promise:

  1. A prophet like me will the LORD, your God, raise up for from among your own kin; to him you shall listen.
  2. But he careful to NOT listen to another. The test is simple. If a prophet presumes to speak in my name an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, he shall die. Note: for our purposes we are free to understand this as ‘Can’t do? Don’t listen to him/her then.”

Responsorial Psalm
But if he DOES speak and it DOES come to pass “Harden not your hearts.”

Unrestricted Devotion
Saint Paul describes the difficulties of ordinary life and pleasing the Lord. A married man or woman cannot, he reasons, be completely attentive to the Lord because of the anxieties of married family life. He isn’t advising against but promoting the superior unmarried life dedicated to the Lord.

Gospel Reading
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.

On Sunday – the supernatural world obeys God and His Son.

We can trust the teachings of this one they reasoned because he commands the Seas and the Spirits, even the evil ones must obey him.

Trust the Lord in all your difficulties.

Do NOT listen to the ones who preach the prosperity gospel on the one hand and the other goup preach a vengeful God on the other hand. They do not speak for God. They do not do what the Lord does in a life of Beatitudes.

Jesus can be believed because he can do what he promises to do: free us from sin and make us children of God. Then he went about doing these things: curing the sick and feeding the masses.

He predicted his death and resurrection and ascension.

He can be trusted.

The height of today’s gospel reading is that Jesus freed a man from the influences of evil. Everyone else had no idea. Maybe the man himself had no or little idea he was under an influence of possession. But at the simple sight of Jesus the demons could no longer harm him and were expelled from him. Even when you didn’t even know you needed the help!

Choose life. Choose wisely whom you listen to. Do they live the Beatitudes? Do you?

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Structural Failure

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Readings: Heb 10:19-25; PS 24:1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6; Mk 4:21-25

Wisdom of the Saints
Let the people proclaim the wisdom of the saints.

Saint Thomas Aquinas an amazing theologian in the line of scholasticism. His hallmark work Summa Theologica (theological summary) has made for great progress in Catholic theological development and the understanding of the relationship between God and man and the salvific economy.

In his eloquent ways he describes the entrance into the sanctuary by the new and living way Christ opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh (Heb 10:19b-20).

But in the wrong hands…

Structural Failure
There was a certain hospital in town that was renowned for its amazing organization. Highly compartmentalized the hospital’s efficiency and ability to care for injury and illness was unsurpassed among all the hospitals in the world even.

One day a severely injured man appeared at the front door.
Bleeding profusely he presented himself.

  1. The attendant immediately said, “You have a bleeding wound, go to the door marked “BLEEDING”.
  2. The man proceeded down the hallway to find the door labeled “BLEEDING”.
  3. He entered and the new attendant immediately said, “You have a upper body wound, go to the door marked “UPPER BODY”.
  4. The man proceeded down the hallway to find the door labeled “UPPER BODY”.
  5. He entered and the new attendant immediately said, “You have a left arm wound, go to the door marked “LEFT ARM”.
  6. The man proceeded down the hallway to find the door labeled “LEFT ARM”.
  7. He entered and the new attendant immediately said, “You have a lower left arm wound, go to the door marked “LOWER LEFT ARM”.
  8. The man proceeded down the hallway to find the door labeled “LOWER LEFT ARM”.
  9. He entered and the new attendant immediately said, “You have a wrist wound, go to the door marked “WRIST WOUND”.
  10. But… in that section of the hospital there was no door labeled “WRIST WOUND”.
  11. So he found a door with no label and went through.
  12. He found himself in the alleyway with no way back.
  13. And he died there.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn
Quoting him regards Pope Francis, “He’s doing with the Church, and even beyond the Church, what Ignatius wanted to do with the Spiritual Exercises – to take a person where she is in her life, in her situation, and lead this person step-by-step with discernment to a full commitment to Christ.”

Gospel Today
Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.

FURTHER…
He also told them, “Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Choose Life

Today I am giving you a choice.
You can choose life and success or death and disaster.
Choose life! Deut 30:15, 19b.

Call to Action

A long time ago, 2004 I think, we had a small committee meeting at Church to discuss what positive thing we could do to promote life affirming decisions. One man, a very good man, father and husband suggested we all get the new license plate type called Choose Life. The idea was adopted and so we did.

To this day I always renew my car license plate as a Choose Life plate. The plates are cute and generate ad hoc conversations with out-of-towners. It offers a chance to talk about postivie support for women.

The funds collected go to support abortion vulnerable women in crisis pregnancies who would commit to carrying their unplanned pregnancies to term and making an adoption plan for their babies instead of aborting them.

Simple idea, big impact. No coerion. Women have had enough of coersion. They are tired of it. The whole Right to …

Derivatives

When you file your federal income tax return you can choose to participate in The Presidential Election Campaign Fund to change the way Presidential elections are financed.

So, why can’t we have a Choose Life contribution option on federal tax returns?
So, why can’t we have a Choose Life contribution option on property tax bills?

Funding Family Friendly Programs

Why can’t we do that?

Is the moral risk of government dependency greater than the lose of life? How so?

Stop telling me what holiness is. Start showing me what holiness does.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Learn more about the Choose Life movement here:

https://www.flchoose-life.org/index.php

Choose Life, Inc. is a non-profit organization that raises and distributes funds through the sale of the Florida Choose Life specialty license plate. In 2011, House Bill 501 directed the plate’s funds be sent to Choose Life, Inc. for distribution to qualified agencies within the county where the plate was sold. Qualified agencies must be life affirming pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes or non-profit adoption agencies that counsel for adoption and are not involved with abortion in any way. There are over 250 such agencies in Florida.

Consecrated Path in Common

Greetings on this the Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Readings Heb 10:11-18; PS 110:1, 2, 3, 4; Mk 4:1-20

Note: From the USCCB CCC 916. The state of consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a “more intimate” consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God. In the consecrated life, Christ’s faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come.

Upon the Heart

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying:

This is the covenant I will establish with them
    after those days, says the Lord:
“I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them upon their minds,”

Parable of the Seed

Each baptized person shares in consecration by baptism. A setting apart and setting down. A change of path and change in mode of thinking. While most of us are not in consecrated orders specifically we do have this charism to share.

The parable of the seed is about the pathways we select and why we select a particular path.
Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?

Bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.
How? In your perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom.

Don’t take a different path!

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry