Saturday, April 25, 2009

Prep parents and volunteers have transformed the Kelly Fieldhouse for our "Hawktion" fundraiser tonight. The photo is just a small corner of the gym illustrating some of the creative art works. The theme is GREEN.

I look forward to dining tonight at these tables with five hundred guests.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The new Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square

I enjoyed a visit to the new site of Episcopal Academy, now coming to the end of their first academic year in Newtown Square. We Preppers may be envious of all the green grass, the beautiful view from the center-piece chapel (the view extends over a valley and woods behind my right shoulder), the several academic and recreational buildings and the five or six playing fields, all of which were in use on Saturday afternoon.

The occasion for my visit: watching our lacrosse team beat them!

The differences between the mission of the Prep and the mission of Episcopal seem evident in the setting and architecture. But I do believe that it is possible for the Episcopal campus, too, to nurture men and women with and for others

Early spring at the Willows in Radnor Township

I always like to think of the plaza in front of the Church of the Gesu as a gathering place and not, as we usually use it, a parking lot. Yesterday this basketball team gathered there on the church steps. They had just come from the Kelly Fieldhouse to the right of the church and I caught them as I walked by. Their heads are hanging and it appears that they lost their game. But they will recover and be as strong as the columns under which they review their play.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Holy Thursday-Good Friday April 2009

We have very limited knowledge of the kingdom of God to come. We have an image of that kingdom taken perhaps from imaginative pictures of Eden before the fall of Adam and Eve. Or we craft an image taken from our favorite experiences. But Jesus provides us his leading image, with frequent mention in the gospels, the image of wedding feasts and other meals of celebration. And this evening we commemorate how Jesus put his own stamp on the meal above all others, the Passover meal that celebrates freedom, a memorial of the Exodus of the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt. For us who have not known slavery in any civil or political sense, the meal celebrates the power of God through Jesus’ death and resurrection to forgive our sins and free us for the works of love.

Adopting Jesus’ image of the meal as the experience of heaven might lead us to imagine ourselves sitting in luxury at an elaborately set table surrounded by our favorite foods and our best friends and family. And a gospel story or two confirm that God reserves some such places but for the poor Lazarus and for other poor and hungry. In our own images of God’s kingdom, however, it is useful for us to consider the whole picture. Maybe God would rather we wait on table or prepare the meal in the kitchen or be the rancher presenting the choicest meat or the farmer the choicest fruits or vegetables. Images of waiting on table or cooking can take the place of the usual ones we make up for ourselves: heaven’s champion tennis player or lead singer in the heavenly choir. What a pleasure to take some of these banquet positions without the danger of running out of joy and energy and with perfection of service and product always within reach.

In this evening’s ideal setting for a heavenly banquet, Jesus, as he celebrates Passover, provides us with the image of how he himself will always behave. It is so humbling to watch him. He takes the role of a trusted household servant and bathes the feet of his friends. This action appears at a moment in time but it is a gesture that informs all of human existence. It is the gesture that defines for Jesus his love for us and his deepest desire to be of service to us. It is the gesture that defines how we ourselves are to live.

Monday, April 06, 2009

My friends Maryann and Joe Farrell invited me to be part of the wedding party for their son Peter who married Stephanie Wong on April 4 in Newton, MA. Stephanie is pictured also here with her brother Michael after she had changed into her "goodluck red" dress, her one concession to Chinese wedding customs!
I enjoyed seeing the three other Farrell kids and their families, seven children in all. And I was able to tell Maryann that I meet graduates here at Saint Jospeh's Prep that fondly remember her brother, Bill Moody, SJ.