September 22, 2016 – Thursday in the 25th Week of the Church Year

Saint for the day: Thomas of Villanueva (1488-1555)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Ecclesiastes 1:2-11    –    Psalm 90    –    Luke 9:7-9

“”I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.” (Today’s Alleluia verse.)

We don’t get much of a chance to “chew” on from the Book of Ecclesiastes. Just today and Saturday but this scripture reading from the first chapter is familiar to us and that’s what sparked my going back to my favorite quote.

It’s not from scripture but resounds with what we’ve just heard. It was voiced by one of the black Baptist ladies that I worked with at the Anchor Rescue Mission in San Francisco in the late 60’s. I was helping serve the meal to the 80 or so “guests.” It was my first time dishing out the hearty stew and I asked “sister” Bernice Cunningham “How do I know how much to serve each person so that we don’t run out?” She told me, “God will take care of that. You just serve each one with enough.” But that’s not the quote that I want to focus on. What she said later, when we were just about finished is the one that has stuck with me all these years.   While I was still serving the stew the first people were already finished and coming back with their trays. One person had not eaten all of the stew and in one swift move sister Bernice Cunningham grabbed the bowl, dumped it back into my pot and said, with a twinkle in her eye, “fifty years from now ain’t nobody gonna know the difference!” That’s my quote for the day!  Amen!


Today’s very short Gospel hints that Herod was “curious” about who and what Jesus was all about but he didn’t follow through. Rather he expended his energy snuffing out anyone who was a threat to his position. And, more than fifty years later the only thing we remember about him is that he was a tyrant and brutal ruler.


On the other side, the Church always gives us examples of saints like Thomas of Villanueva to help us see what is really important in our life’s pursuits. Amen.