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HOMILY: Blessed, Broken, and Shared

Love this Christmas homily….

Leaven in the World

Christmas (Mass at Midnight) | December 25, 2015

Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted weekly at Leaven in the World prior to a given Sunday. To see the archive of all his posts, just click hereSalesian Sermons

PROTIP: Before reading on, be sure to take a look at the Sunday readings here. This homily focuses on the Gospel reading.

So I must begin this homily with a confession.

I loved the Teenage Mutant Turtles when I was kid.

Now, I know that they have redone the series since then, but I grew up with the original cartoons.  And they were the best.  

As a Turtles fan, I had everything I was supposed to. Sheets and pillowcases. Check.  Lunchbox.  Check.  VHS cassettes of all of the episodes. Check.  Action figures.  Check.  Nerf gun that shot plastic pizzas.  Check.

But the one missing piece of the ensemble was…

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5 PM Friday Tune

HT to Dawn Eden, author “A Woman in the Seminary

Let’s keep the fires of justice burning…

Today we celebrate the birthday of Ida B. Wells, whose passion for justice burned brightly throughout her life.

This article shares some details of her various acts of bravery.

“I AM WHO AM”: God’s Destruction of Low Self-Esteem

I had never thought about low self-esteem this way, framed by the story of Moses arguing about his inability to fulfill God’s call:

“in the haze of negativity, God is saying, ‘I AM WHO AM. I am good, therefore you are good too. I am love and I sent love down to earth so that you might know love and be capable of love. I am holy , therefore you can and, if you trust in My plan for you, will be holy.’ “

Jon the Evangelist


Have you ever struggled with something in life? That’s a pretty dumb question. We’ve all struggled in one way or another. The better way to ask the question is have you ever looked in at yourself only to be let down by what you’ve seen? Have you ever said or thought, “I am a failure. I am tired. I am lost. I am not good enough.” I know I am not alone in having said and/or thought those statements before. It is easy for us in a society that practically demands perfection of us to occasionally get down on ourselves and overanalyze our mistakes and failures. 

Well this is not a new thing. In the third and fourth chapters of Exodus, we read Moses discovering the Burning Bush and there God spoke to Moses and calls him on a mission to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Summarizing…

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Dismantling my vision and Dejerria Becton

This long, uncomfortable history must be faced, for the sake of our children.

Accidental Devotional

The greatest gift teaching has given me is that I see all kids as my kids. I’ve taught a wide variety of students and I claim all of them as mine. I have a pretty open door policy in my classroom. If you have ever been on my attendance list then you can come calling. If you need something come see me, but I reserve the right to holler at you in the hallway when you are acting a fool. You are mine. You are my kid until you graduate and often beyond.

When I saw the video of DaJerria Becton wearing a swimsuit with a grown man brutalizing her in the name of justice, what I saw was my student, what I saw was my kid. I teach freshmen. 14 year olds going on 15. I watch the way the girls twist in their seats and try out new…

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See 13 Great American Woman Suffragists

An important day, and the women who made it happen:


June 4 is a big day in the history of American women: it was on this day in 1919 that Congress passed the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed them the right to vote.

The achievement was a long time coming, built on decades of hard—and, in some cases, contentious—work by scores of dedicated women and men. (It also, coincidentally, came six years to the day after another important moment in the history of worldwide women’s suffrage, the day that British suffragette Emily Davison was trampled to death by the King’s horse at Epsom.)

These 13 women—commonly known as suffragettes, though that term more specifically refers to a group of British suffrage supporters—were crucial to that cause.

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This Side of the Sky

OOB-JodyRobertsI was driving to a meeting Thursday evening and heard this heartbreaking, lovely interview on NPR in which Tom Parks shared about his beautiful daughter Molly and his desire not to hide her ultimately fatal struggle with heroin addiction. His love for Molly shone through the whole piece and a few lines of this poem began to rattle through my head. It took time for these verses to take shape, and I hope they honor this brave father and his family:

This Side of the Sky

Without you, my love
there’s always a cloud,
a crack in my heart
where your laughter lives now.

I hope you’re dancing in heaven, and
the angels greeted you with open arms.
But it’s far too soon for me —
I’m standing on this side of the sky
Learning to say good-bye.

Every sunrise, every rainbow
without you reminds me
of eternity, and every breath
I breathe brings me closer to home.

Someday we’ll be dancing in heaven
joining the choirs of angels
praising God.

Until that time,
I’m standing on this side of the sky
learning to say good-bye,
shining with love for you.

Photo credit: Jody Roberts / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA


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