The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Homily for October 4, 2009: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted by deacon greg kandra

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Jean-Therese Delacroix

posted October 5, 2009 at 6:53 pm


I know this is kinda irrelevant (and way off of the bat in terms of timing too), but maybe it would be helpful to tell the guys at the Catholic Blog List (http://catholicblogs.blogspot.com) that you have relocated by sending it to catholicblogs@yahoo.com. (I had to do that once when I decided to close my first blog and move to a second one.) That might also save a few major headaches for those who are still searching to get Beliefnet. Thanks!



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 5, 2009 at 7:54 pm


Thanks, Jean-Therese! Good idea. Dcn. G.



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Homily for October 4, 2009: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

When he was 16 years old, Dan Powell was playing football at
a Boy Scouts camp when he was tackled, and suffered a traumatic injury.  He broke his neck.  Dan was left a paraplegic, paralyzed
from the chest down.  He never walked
again.  In spite of that, he ended
up going to college – and even became a rocket scientist for NASA

But
his life was incomplete. 

He
joined an online dating service and met Lori Coates, a pretty, engaging,
36-year-old technology manager. 
The two of them exchanged emails for a few weeks.  Lori knew about his disability but was
determined to try and see past that. 
Finally, they arranged to meet. 
They went out to dinner.  And something just clicked. 

That
was in the summer of 2008.

In
the Washington Post a year later, there was a write up about how they met and
fell in love, against improbable odds. 
A friend of Lori’s put it simply: “She loves to laugh and he makes her
laugh,” she said.  “He brought out
a huge heart in her.”

And so it was that this past
summer, Dan and Lori married in a big Catholic wedding down in Arlington,
Virginia.  At the reception, when
they were announced for the first time as Mr. & Mrs. Dan Powell, he rolled
in on his wheelchair, beaming, with Lori on his lap.   

They
were beginning the ride of their lives.

 I
read about stories like that and I can’t help but appreciate more deeply the
words we hear today from Genesis: “It is not good for the man to be alone.”

That
poignant passage from the first reading is part of the creation account – and
it is a reminder that the crowning achievement of God’s creation was that bond
between a man and a woman.    That bond is the final thing He created – the one element that was missing from
paradise.  

With that, the world became
complete.  But that doesn’t mean
God’s work was finished.  You’ll
recall that Christ’s first miracle was at a wedding – in a beautiful symmetry,
his earthly work began where his Father’s ended: with the union of a man and a
woman.  In Christ’s hands, His
Father’s creation continued.

The result was, literally, a
miracle. 

And the great work goes on.

(Continue after the jump…)


When he was 16 years old, Dan Powell was playing football at
a Boy Scouts camp when he was tackled, and suffered a traumatic injury.  He broke his neck.  Dan was left a paraplegic, paralyzed
from the chest down.  He never walked
again.  In spite of that, he ended
up going to college – and even became a rocket scientist for NASA.

 But
his life was incomplete — and not only because he couldn’t walk. 

He
joined an online dating service and met Lori Coates, a pretty, engaging,
36-year-old technology manager. 
The two of them exchanged emails for a few weeks.  Lori knew about his disability but was
determined to try and see past that. 
Finally, they arranged to meet. 
They went out to dinner.  And something just clicked. 

That
was in the summer of 2008.

 In
the Washington Post a year later, there was a write up about how they met and
fell in love, against improbable odds. 
A friend of Lori’s put it simply: “She loves to laugh and he makes her
laugh,” she said.  “He brought out
a huge heart in her.

And so it was that this past
summer, Dan and Lori married in a big Catholic wedding down in Arlington,
Virginia.  At the reception, when
they were announced for the first time as Mr. & Mrs. Dan Powell, he rolled
in on his wheelchair, beaming, with Lori on his lap.   

 They
were beginning the ride of their lives.

I
read about stories like that and I can’t help but appreciate more deeply the
words we hear today from Genesis: “It is not good for the man to be alone.”

That
poignant passage from the first reading is part of the creation account – and
it is a reminder that the crowning achievement of God’s creation was that bond
between a man and a woman.   
It is the final thing He created – the one element that was missing from
paradise.  

With that, the world became
complete.  But that doesn’t mean
God’s work was finished.  You’ll
recall that Christ’s first miracle was at a wedding – in a beautiful symmetry,
his earthly work began where his Father’s ended: with the union of a man and a
woman.  In Christ’s hands, His
Father’s creation continued.

The result was, literally, a
miracle.

And the great work goes on.

That, I think, is part of the
meaning and purpose of marriage: to continue God’s work.  It is to make life possible, and
collaborate in the ongoing creation of the world.   

That is why it is not good for the
man to be alone.

That is why we need another.  In day to day living it is even more
fundamental

Because we need someone to listen
when we’re frightened…to console us when we’re sad…

Because we need someone to finish our
sentences and get our jokes…

We need someone who has a spare key
when we get locked out…

And sometimes you just need a hand
to hold.

For all that and more…it is not
good for us to be alone.  

In the gospel, Christ reaffirms
that.  And he blesses the fruits of
marriage: children.  “Let the
children come to me,” he says. 
“For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” And he takes the
children in his arms. 

It is a beautiful image for us —
especially this day, as we mark Respect Life Sunday. These readings
collectively pay tribute to life — God who creates it, and Christ who embraces
it. 

And at the heart of it all is
marriage.  That is how it all
starts.  

Those of us who are married know:
it is a thing of wonder.  Of
course, sometimes you wonder what you were thinking when you married that other
person.  But sometimes, too, you
wonder at the mystery of it all. 
For all the clashes and conflicts, the negotiations and compromises,
marriage is, by its nature,  a
thing of joyous, unending optimism.  

It is all about what will be.  To decide to build a life with another
is to proclaim, publicly, the power of possibility.  It is to declare faith in the future.  When a man and woman stand before God
and say “I do,” they are saying, really, “I do believe.  I do believe that my tomorrows will be
better because of this person I marry today.  I do believe in starting a family.  I do believe in continuing what began with that first man,
and first woman.  I do believe it
is not good to be alone.”            

In
this way, countless men and women who enter into marriage affirm that mystery,
and proclaim that they will care for one another, no matter what. 

They proclaim that they believe
that that their future together will be brighter because this other person is a
part of it.   They are saying:
we are part of a chain, a story stretching back to the beginnings of time.  And they are saying something more: we
want to continue the story, by becoming a family to one another, and welcoming children,
and letting God continue His creative work in the world.

I can’t think of anything more
pro-life than that. 

And isn’t that a wonder? 

Being pro-life is about being open
to life, every blessed second of it, in all its wonder, and disappointments,
and challenges, and setbacks, and joys.   It is saying “Yes” to the ongoing miracle of creation,
no matter how small, or needy, or old it might be. 

It is Lori Coates, standing tall in
her white wedding gown, but bending to gaze into the eyes of Dan Powell, in his
tuxedo, in his wheelchair, and seeing someone both beautiful and imperfect –
and loving him.

It is Dan Powell gazing up at a
woman who can do what he can’t, and be what he isn’t, and feeling grateful and
giddy and in love.

It is seeing in that other person
not just a life…but Life.  
The continuation of the human story.  A brilliant and generous gift. 

And what a gift.

This Respect Life Sunday, embrace
that gift, as Jesus did.  Put your
arms around it.  And thank God for
it.

After all: more than any other, it
really is the gift that keeps on giving.  

 



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Katie

posted October 4, 2009 at 10:05 pm


You forced several hundred people to admit and face their loneliness today. Maybe a few left happy, knowing that they are “completed”.



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Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives!

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below.

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »




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