Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Dash of Your Life

You might be surprised that the music director is not going use this week’s Parable of the Talents as a plea that you share your musical abilities with the church. 

One reason is that the talents in the story refer to money. 

The other is that my focus remains on how the gospel fits into the mini-season of the last Sundays of ordinary time. 

The Parable of the Talents is the first half of a chapter which is concluded next week. This concluding story depicting the final judgment is found only in the gospel of Matthew. 

As I reread the readings for these last three Sundays I thought of a poem title; “The Dash” written by Linda Ellis. Here is a link

The poem highlights the significance of the dash between dates of a person’s birth and death. 

Perhaps this often repeated quote by a former pastor (Fr. Dino Zeni) when he preached at funerals summarizes it well: 

 “It is not important how or when we die. 
What is critical; is how we live.” 

I am also reminded of a lesson learned from my father. 

Mom and Dad were coming to Saturday evening mass. I was playing at mass as well as the 2 p.m. first communion which preceded it. When the communion ended I went to a nearby diner to have a cup of coffee. 

As I pulled back into the church parking lot I saw my dad under the hood of a car which I did not recognize. It wasn’t until I walked up to the car that I realized what had transpired. The owner of the car had been stuck since the end of the communion mass. A severe speech impediment prevented him from asking for and receiving help. My father; the good Samaritan had initiated the conversation and offered to help. 

As we gather at mass praying John Becker's setting of the  Litany of the Saints I will be thinking of my dad; Vincent J. Mauro, his birth on Dec. 11, 1933, and death on May 4, 2013 but most importantly I will be thinking about the dash in between. 

I invite you to do the same for someone whom you love.

Blessed to be in ministry at St. Mary’s.


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