Monthly Archives: January 2013

Actions Have Reactions ~An Epiphany ~

We had a visiting priest who is known for his wonderful homilies. He gave a homily
and requested that we didn’t come up to him after mass and tell him how wonderful his
homilies are but to pass his homily to others.   Here is his story retold in my words
Recently, just before Christmas, this priest experienced passing some kidney stones that put
him in the hospital for surgery. While he was recuperating, a hospital volunteer came by with a
sealed Christmas card for him. As he put it, “she was ‘older than Moses’ ” and yet there she was
close to a holiday time giving out Christmas cards to patients. The priest put the sealed card on
the table next to his bed without opening it. A day or so later, he developed a fever and the only
relief he felt, was to reach over to the table, pick up the envelope and fan himself with it. He
thought about the volunteer and how her action to be kind resulted in a reaction of gratitude
and thanks from him for being so.

He then spoke on how actions have reactions and sometimes, no actions have reactions. He asked us, “Have you done any actions lately that resulted in reactions”?

His homily on that Sunday’s celebration ~ the Epiphany of the Lord ~ followed. The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek epiphainen, a verb that means- “to shine upon,” “to manifest,” or “to make known.” and was connected to the visit of the magi also known as the three wise men.

The account of the magi is rightly celebrated as an Epiphany of our Lord. The main significance of this account is that God so wonderfully revealed the identity of Jesus as Messiah and King of the Jews to these Gentile magi. It seems to be a wonderful fulfillment of the prophet Simeon’s prophecy, that Jesus would be, “a light of revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:31). To shine upon ~ as the Light of the World. The homily told a story of actions to reactions – of the birth of Jesus, the visit of the magi, the threat (action) of Herod to first-borns, and the flight (reaction) to Egypt to escape it.

We were asked again if we had done any actions recently that resulted in reactions.  He suggested we might imitate the volunteer who doesn’t know that she is spoken of at every mass to many parishioners or that her action resulted in the reaction of comfort to an ailing patient.

What could we do to mirror her actions of giving and sharing? Can we manufacture good reactions? Can we forgive someone we are at odds with? Could we send a letter of forgiveness to someone with whom who we are angry and/or have stopped talking to?

Could we make amends for some miscommunication or a bad attitude? Can we have our own ‘epiphany’ over some matter that we only saw our side on? Can a ‘light of revelation’ be found in the actions of others and our reaction to them? Can we cause a chain reaction of kindness through our actions? We might gather balm for others as well as for ourselves if we see matters in another ‘Light’.

Have you had an epiphany over anything lately? Or about God? If not, think about special feelings or events in your life and see if there is revelation or epiphany that you missed.

I recalled one as he spoke.  Once I had a dream in which God told me He was sending me a gift. It was a pleasant and great dream and shortly after, I received two gifts on the same day which could only be from God.  I wondered if one of them  was the gift of my dream. Off and on I wondered about this.  They were both wonderful gifts.

But which one was ‘my dream gift?”  And one day, much later, I had an epiphany. They were both from God and so are so many other blessings He has bestowed on me. Everything He sends me is a gift.  And in His Wisdom, I felt He sent me two together and knew I would wonder and think on this.  It took a while, but I got it. All good things come from God and all are His gifts to me and I give gratitude not just for one, but for all.

Actions have reactions. And no actions have reactions, too.  Pass along an action that will make someone react in happiness especially to those for whom it will surprise. It will be balm for both of you.

I told the priest after mass that my reaction to his homily is to create this blog article and pass on his words.  I also told him his homiles were wonderful.

We had a visiting priest who is known for his wonderful homilies. He gave a homily
and requested that we didn’t come up to him after mass and tell him how wonderful his
homilies are but to pass his homily to others.   Here is his story retold in my words.
Recently, just before Christmas, this priest experienced passing some kidney stones that put
him in the hospital for surgery. While he was recuperating, a hospital volunteer came by with a
sealed Christmas card for him. As he put it, “she was ‘older than Moses’ ” and yet there she was
close to a holiday time giving out Christmas cards to patients. The priest put the sealed card on
the table next to his bed without opening it. A day or so later, he developed a fever and the only
relief he felt, was to reach over to the table, pick up the envelope and fan himself with it. He
thought about the volunteer and how her action to be kind resulted in a reaction of gratitude
and thanks from him for being so.

He then spoke on how actions have reactions and sometimes, no actions have reactions. He asked us, “Have you done any actions lately that resulted in reactions”?

His homily on that Sunday’s celebration ~ the Epiphany of the Lord ~ followed. The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek epiphainen, a verb that means “to shine upon,” “to manifest,” or “to make known.” and was connected to the visit of the magi also known as the three wise men.

The account of the magi is rightly celebrated as an Epiphany of our Lord. The main significance of this account is that God so wonderfully revealed the identity of Jesus as Messiah and King of the Jews to these Gentile magi. It seems to be a wonderful fulfillment of the prophet Simeon’s prophecy, that Jesus would be, “a light of revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:31). To shine upon ~ as the Light of the World. The homily told a story of actions to reactions – of the birth of Jesus, the visit of the magi, the threat (action) of Herod to first-borns, and the flight (reaction) to Egypt to escape it.

We were asked again if we had done any actions recently that resulted in reactions.  He suggested we might imitate the volunteer who doesn’t know that she is spoken of at every mass to many parishioners or that her action resulted in the reaction of comfort to an ailing patient.

What could we do to mirror her actions of giving and sharing? Can we manufacture good reactions? Can we forgive someone we are at odds with? Could we send a letter of forgiveness to someone with whom who we are angry and/or have stopped talking to?

Could we make amends for some miscommunication or a bad attitude? Can we have our own ‘epiphany’ over some matter that we only saw our side on? Can a ‘light of revelation’ be found in the actions of others and our reaction to them? Can we cause a chain reaction of kindness through our actions? We might gather balm for others as well as for ourselves if we see matters in another ‘Light’.

Have you had an epiphany over anything lately? Or about God? If not, think about special feelings or events in your life and see if there is revelation or epiphany that you missed.

I recalled one as he spoke.  Once I had a dream in which God told me He was sending me a gift. It was a pleasant and great dream and shortly after, I received two gifts on the same day which could only be from God.  I wondered if one of them  was the gift of my dream. Off and on I wondered about this.  They were both wonderful gifts.

But which one was ‘my dream gift?”  And one day, much later, I had an epiphany. They were both from God and so are so many other blessings He has bestowed on me. Everything He sends me is a gift.  And in His Wisdom, I felt He sent me two together and knew I would wonder and think on this.  It took a while, but I got it. All good things come from God and all are His gifts to me and I give gratitude not just for one, but for all.

Actions have reactions. And no actions have reactions, too.  Pass along an action that will make someone react in happiness especially to those for whom it will surprise. It will be balm for both of you.

I told the priest after mass that my reaction to his homily is to create this blog article and pass on his words.  I also told him his homiles were wonderful.

©Marie Coppola December 2016

 

©Marie Coppola December 2016

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy to The Children ~~

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On Monday, January 16th,  America will celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., a minister, activist and a prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929 and was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee at age 39.

His legacy was realizing civil rights in the United States and he is known as a human rights icon.

Some of the highlights of his legacies are:

the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and buses began to operate on a desegregated basis in 1956.

He was a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

He led the 1963 March on Washington where he delivered his famous “I have a Dream” speech to over 200,000 marchers.

In 1964, he became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination, through non-violent means.

He was anti-Vietnam War and anti-poverty, based on religious principles.

He was posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.

He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.

In 1986, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established a U.S. national holiday.

This peaceful, equality and rights Baptist minister had a dream of a world where discrimination would be changed and be made illegal. In the 1950’s, Ameica was not a place where all men were created equal. In many places in the country, discrimination against minorities was legal. Dr. King preached nonviolence and urged all people to be peaceful in their efforts to change inequality in America. His focus was on the future of America’s children.

This focus on children is the basis of my review on a children’s book, entitled “Martin Luther King, Jr. (My First Biography)” by Marion Dane Bauer, published the end of 2009 and is a slim, 32 pages long.

In keeping with Dr. King’s focus on the children of America, the book explains how Dr. King believed what his mother told him as a boy, that ‘he was just as good as anybody’. That encouraged him to want to spread that message to everyone and this book is designed to repeat that message to kids 5 years old to eight years old.

And he did bring about the change that allowed all children to go to the same schools and eat at certain restaurants regardless of their skin color. Dr. King, in his work and acts, allowed that all children could play in the same playgrounds, and dine in restaurants that previously would not let them. And the laws were changed. All children could drink from the same water fountains and use the same restrooms. People became strong in believing that ‘they were just as good as anybody by showing them they could have any seats on buses, in school and lunch counters where it was not allowed before.

This book is excellent for all children and especially for those who feel left out or different or don’t believe that they are not equal or the same as others. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that he and all persons were just as good as anybody else and this book relives the legacy he left to all of us.

 

© Marie Coppola Revised January 2013

The Seasons of Our Lives

 Spring is the birth of our existence, propagating growth spurts of our personalities, hopes, discoveries and dreams. Seeded correctly and lovingly nourished, within 20 years or so, a budding person starts to bloom. This can be a gangly and sometimes disorderly growing crop; supports may be needed. Best grown in a sunny family atmosphere. Enrich generously with good faith. First blossoming is a sight to behold. Transplant into a bigger pot if needed or if roots start to tangle. If drooping occurs, it may be because they were neglected. It’s amazing how they bounce back with the right care and attention.

Summer becomes the harvest which is cultivated from our Spring. Size and growth rates vary. Some become perennials; some are annuals and others are seasonal. Development continues through the 30s and into the 40s and 50s, refined from the acknowledgement, acceptance and sharing of our God-given talents and energies. Occasionally we are pruned, hoed, raked, and sometimes scorched and tested in fire and heat. We become hardy. We achieve self-knowledge, direction and life focus during this abundant time. This is the prime of life in physical and mental abilities. Life can be a single flower, a field of bouquets or a cactus.

Autumn arrives in our 60s and 70s; a dazzling array of acquired self-actualized splendor in that we display wisdom, understanding, compassion and acceptance of ourselves and others. A period of maturity and fulfillment. Thrives if transplanted to new soil or environment. This is a time when we become well anchored and rooted in our lifestyles and values. New life experiences abound at this time — the joys of new ‘Springs’ of grandchildren and relishing the ‘Summers’ of our children. Happiness creates flowering inwardly and outwardly.

Winter is inevitable. It gets cold and dank – it is accentuated in whiteness. For some – it comes quickly; for some it withers away. Life can ebb and some leaves start to fall. Like the frost coming in, there can be loss of life around us. This can happen in our 70s, 80s or 90s. Or 100s. Winter can be a bleak time; colorless, brittle or dry; the end of life’s journey. For others, it can be a satisfying contentment of life’s fulfilled dreams and aspirations. For those who are well nourished, devoid of weeds and religiously fertilized, it will be a blessed transplant into a new life – a spectacular garden of splendor, glory and harmony with God. For eternity.

© Marie Coppola Revised January 2013