eating well and dancing give us joy!

during the depression, my father lived in hooverville in seattle. this area is now known as sodo. he told me that he hoped he could eat one meal a day during that trying time.
yes– that is the smith tower in the background
before and after

so when he had an opportunity to join the us coast guard in 1936, he jumped at the chance. he told me that one great thing about the military is that you get three meals a day. today, we might say that the worst thing about the military is you get three meals a day!

because of these and other life experiences, my father knew thankfulness in his life. we all have to cultivate thankfulness out of our life experiences. thanksgiving opens us to all sorts of graces our God has to offer us in the world.

in the gospel (matthew 22: 1-14) for this weekend’s masses, we continue to deepen our understanding of the kingdom of God. it’s a party, a celebration and we are invited. the good and the bad alike are welcome. imagine the tasty food, lively music that gets our feet moving and utter joy in the air. yes– this is what God wants for us!

there is a pure graciousness to being in this celebration. since we do not deserve this party or make this invitation/celebration happen, we ought to have a profound heart of thanksgiving for God’s generosity and love for us. therefore, our thankful hearts open us up to the grace of being in God’s reign here and now! deep joy accompanies those who really know what it means to live in this kind of Presence of the divine.

and this way of being shapes our words and our actions to others and our world.

but not everyone understands or lives it out in their way of being. in the allegory, this is represented by the man not dressed correctly for the occasion.

perhaps these folks are those who profess belief in God but by their actions live for other gods in counter style of life. non-kingdom of God actions can include a show of indifference or contempt for people who are different, an objectification and taking advantage of women and vulnerable people, greedily taking and exploiting resources given for the benefit of all, an indifference to people– like refugees and migrants– who suffer, and an abuse of power that enriches the already wealthy. you yourself can add to this list…

i’m not referring to our personal mistakes or sins. God always forgives those with a contrite and repentant heart. the way of being in the kingdom of God is marked with thanksgiving and joy. selfishness and wretchedness, as ways of being, are anti-kingdom of God signs.

social media is a fascinating tool in which we show share part of ourselves with others. just a few weeks away from general election, we are being bombarded with various political posts. the various messages that we send and receive can give us insight into how we are living in the gift of God’s kingdom. we can participate in political nastiness or offer gracious messages. self righteous messages clothed in religion can be an extra abhorrent anti kingdom sign. bringing grace into our messaging can be instruments of the Spirit.

are we enjoying the meal, dancing and singing the graces of God in the world and our lives? or are we at the party spitting into people’s food and tripping them up as they dance?

may the Spirit lead and guide us to a deeper way of being in the kingdom of God. may God’s presence fill our hearts and minds with the gifts of thanksgiving and joy. may our actions witness to the sheer graciousness of God’s love for us and our world.


  1. RoseMary Roblez says:

    Its it wrong father art to not vote…i don’t trust either party


    1. frarthurcmf says:

      good morning rosemary. i understand the feeling. although neither party is perfect, it is still our responsibility to participate in the good of our society and world. we can trust in the Holy Spirit to help and guide us to do the best we can. that is all any of us can do; God understands us


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