THE WORTHLESS AND THE PRICELESS

This reflection is based on Matthew 13:44-46.

“Worthless” and “priceless”: These are two words in the English language that at first may sound synonymous, but they actually mean exactly the opposite of each other.

Dollar_symbol

“Worthless” can be taken quite literally–it means something that has no worth, plain and simple. “Priceless,” on the other hand, must not be taken literally because it refers to something that is so extremely valuable that you can’t ever tag a price to it. Because he can’t take them with him, a dying man’s riches are worthless as he lies in his deathbed, but the love of the people who have spent the last few days and nights by his side, holding his hand and praying for him–that’s priceless. “Priceless” is a word we reserve precisely for the stuff that money can’t buy. Continue reading THE WORTHLESS AND THE PRICELESS

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MARY POPPINS WITH A CAMERA

finding-vivian-mayer-poster-mThis reflection is based on Matthew 13:24-43.

Last week I caught a film called “Finding Vivian Maier” on my flight to Toronto. It’s a fascinating documentary on an immensely gifted but secret photographer. She worked as a nanny during the day. Think Mary Poppins without her umbrella but armed instead with a Rolleiflex. Continue reading MARY POPPINS WITH A CAMERA

THE ART OF UNDERLABORING

This Gospel reflection is based on Matthew 13:1-23.

Sower-farmer

Because we must’ve heard this parable thousands of times before, more often than not, we fail to notice the somewhat questionable agricultural method used by the sower in the parable. He goes out to the field, we are told, and scatters seed in every possible direction and–soon enough we find out–on every possible type of soil. What kind of farming is that?A line from an old hymn that alludes to this parable goes, “We scatter seeds with careless hand.” So true! When we think about it, that’s exactly what this sower looks like he’s doing: scattering seed carelessly, with utter disregard for something as basic as soil quality.  Continue reading THE ART OF UNDERLABORING