8th Sunday in Ordinary Time Mk 2/14-22
It's quite by accident that this Gospel appears on the Sunday before Lent starts, but it is appropriate as a warning that we should not parade our penances for everyone to see and admire. It also tells us at least indirectly that we would be a lot better off and so would everyone who has to put up with us if we complained a lot less.
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Once upon a
time two couples who lived in empty nests decided to spend a couple of weeks in the desert
during the worst part of winter. They had bright hopes of playing tennis and golf, hiking
in the hills, riding horses, swimming every day an exorcising all the demons of winter
under the gentle warmth of the desert sun. Well, there plane was an hour late landing
because the airport was closed by rain and high winds. That was only the beginning. All
the locals said we really needed the rain for the wild flowers and to avert brush fires.
The visitors held their peace till they heard that for about the fortieth time. One of the
men said they were taking money in the city on the false pretense that it was warm in the
winter. They went hiking one day and found themselves caught in a downpour - with
lightening and thunder. Then they tried horseback riding, but the horses were so
frightened by the snow that they wouldn't leave the stable. The golf course was flooded.
So there was nothing else to grin and bear it and play bridge. The problem with that was
that one of the men was so furious about the bad weather that he spent most of the time
complaining and hence missed several opportunities to make a bid because he wasn't paying
attention. Pretty soon no one was talking to one another. Finally the snow and the rain
and winds ended and the sun came out. It was the last day of their trip.
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