Jim Mayzik SJ                   Everything Matters
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Current homilies

Prince of Peace and God of Power and Might.

I presided at the wedding of one of my former students yesterday, and the church was full. Do you know how rare it is, first of all, to have a wedding in a Catholic church these days, much less have one with over 200 people in the pews? Young Catholics regularly now choose destination weddings on a beach or in an exotic location overseas, presided over by their best friend or their father. 

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It's a matter of love.

A week ago when we were at our Alpha Retreat in Connecticut, we passed the city of Bridgeport, and I saw signs for an event called Swim Across the Sound. They do it every year—hundreds of swimmers racing across 16 miles of the Long Island Sound to raise millions of dollars for cancer care. Three years ago I was there, not to race, but to film it all from a boat.

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Feeling with

Recently I was with one of my former students, eating great quesadillas at Chipotle.  We were talking about a movie I had recommended called My Dinner with Andre, which deals essentially with the question of the guy in today’s gospel story, kind of like, 'what's the meaning of life'. I find myself having that conversation with young people often these days.

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Freedom.

It's the beginning of July, and on Thursday the fourth we'll celebrate our freedom once again with flags and fireworks and flaming frankfurters. It's a good time, the beginning of summer, the beginning of July, time to take some time off, let go, enjoy your freedom.  That’s what the fourth of July is about, right? Freedom?  Glory…. GLORY Halleluia!


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To fly again.

I looked at the wings of the plane as the pilot announced we were beginning our descent over Cambodia.  They move, you know, the wings of a plane: bending up or down, sometimes as much as 15 feet either way, as they surf the winds that swirl in the skies above our heads. I thought about the aerodynamics that lifted the wings and held us aloft like birds in the air.

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Oh glory.

Not long ago I was minding my sister’s dog Yogi, and every day of course, I had to take him out for walks like good dog owners do.  We had some spectacularly beautiful days: clear skies, bright April sun, warm breezes on your face—perfect days for a long dog walk, with lots of time to think about your life.

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You hungry?

Whenever I think about family, I think about food.

Maybe it goes back to my mother, who like many mothers, was the center of our family, and whenever I think of her, I think of the meals she made for us.

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What are your wounds?

I’ve been recently sampling some shows on Netflix and HBO and Amazon, and in many of them—even the comedies—there is such a cynical view of the world. Many of them have characters who are young adults, and they are often self-absorbed and cynical about life, and their issues are familiar to anyone who has friends or children in that stage of their lives.

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No cross, no glory.

I’m thinking about those cloaks they threw down on the muddy ground. Throwing your cloak onto the ground was a sign of submission and showing respect. They were pretty important pieces of clothing.

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Mercy, mercy, mercy.

She sat there alone in the hallway of the studio, waiting to be called to audition for my film, her fingers doodling in the sand. The ad for the audition said: mature woman 60-70 years old needed.  I could see her through the window of the rehearsal room, and I thought of my Aunt Anna.

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Don't you dare laugh.

I think I was on my third or fourth ravioli and the bread was great and the wine was better and we were having a good conversation about some movie, my friend and I, and of course I secretly harbored the opinion that my celluloid observations were far more brilliant than my companion's because after all I am the filmmaker, am I not, but anyway the dinner was, as I said, going down well in this quiet little restaurant, until this... disturbance began.

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Purpose.

I was in the Tivoli diner, down the street from the church, and I was with one of my former students.  He’s struggling with questions about his career.  He’s not sure what he wants to do anymore: what direction to take in a job, where he should live, even whom to love.

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The plus sign.

If you’re like me, I see the advent of Uber and Lyft cars in the city as a very mixed blessing.  On the one hand, they are very convenient, no doubt. On the other hand, they are definitely clogging up our streets and slowing down traffic immensely.

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