Mexican Fire Plant

Since the world is ending soon, it’s time to spend some quiet time. Do you take time out of your day to be just in silence and quiet? Like 5 or 10 or 15 minutes? Man, I can only speak from experience, but finding some quiet time is a great gift, and it doesn’t cost anything. Light breathing exercises through the nose calms down all the crap in our lives. This freedom is precious. I remember reading about a guy who was in prison and who from time to time during his boring days would shut out all the junk in his confined life by quietly shutting down his mind and listen. It helped him through his routine-filled days and were his bit of freedom. Now what do you do with two-faced liars? Rick Synder is one of them doing what he said he would not. And for what? Well if he had taken my advice and breathed quietly for a minute or two he too would have realized that the “right to work” law he signed into law yesterday in Michigan is not very helpful in this economy for two simple reasons, no bargaining for better wages and benefits and no bargaining for better wages and benefits. I just know down deep that something is about to pop in Michigan, and it may not be all that pretty. Speaking of pretty…

Fun fact for the day– The Christmas poinsettia (some pronounce it with three syllables point-set-ta, while others pronounce it with four syllables, point-set-ee-ah. I call it the Christmas Flower so there), anyway this flower was named after a botanist (a flower guy) and US diplomat Joel Roberts Poinsett who died on this day in 1851. While ambassador to Mexico, he was impressed by a brilliant red flower that bloomed at Christmas. The Mexicans had called it the fire plant. So Joel took some of the flowers back to his place in South Carolina to grow in his greenhouse (is he a flower coyote?)…and in spite of not speaking English they did grow. The plant was later renamed poinsettia in Joel’s honor. (I’m really not sure why, unless the name Mexican fire plant didn’t catch on or something.)

Today’s reading comes from Matthew (Mt 8:5-11)

a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”
The centurion said in reply,
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes;
and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes;
and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.

This is a great story. The Roman dude who has a sick servant, not his kid, but one of his workers who is deathly ill asks Jesus to heal him. How cool is that. And when the centurion , thinking himself to be unworthy, objected that this Jewish preacher would actually come to his house asked him to  just say the word of healing from where he was, he was rewarded by being named the Roman poster boy for faith. The moment was so memorable that the words of the Roman were inserted into the daily liturgy of the Eucharist. It is in those moments of quiet but deep faith that really good things happen. It is the quiet time. The Roman guy didn’t have blind faith he had a faith of knowledge that things would be OK. His faith was very practical not mystical. That is a tough kind of faith, the faith that everything will turn out OK. Some might even say it is Pollyanna-ish, it’s not. It’s how we live our moments, day by day…in the end things will work out, but first I need to turn off Fox News and breathe…

and so it goes…..