JULY 23, 2011 - YEAR A

Published on Monday, 18 July 2011 16:32

Genesis 29:15-28
Psalm 128
Romans 8:26-39
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
Homilist: Cindy Parkhurst

As some of you might know, I'm a book nut. I can't seem to have a conversation of any length without talking about something I've read. So, this morning is no exception.

I'm a bit of a sucker for survival stories.  I guess these stories inspire me in the midst of my own circumstances that sometimes seem difficult.  I recently read a book called Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand.  This is the incredible survival story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner from Torrance, CA that fought in WWII in the Pacific Theatre.   As a bombardier in the Air Force he faced incredible missions every day and survived, sometimes against all odds.  When his plane went down over the Pacific due to mechanical difficulties it seemed a cruel twist of fate - to have survived grueling enemy attacks only to go down because of poor maintenance.  The story of Louie's survival for 43 days at sea with virtually no food or water and his subsequent capture and ordeal as a Prisoner of War in various Japanese prisoner camps is the real heart of this story.   How one man endures all the things he endured is a testament to the human spirit.

How did Louie survive intact? How was he able to overcome the post traumatic stress that plagued him after the war? This is what I love about survival stories - what is it that helps people conquer their circumstances?

Open the attached PDF file (below) to read the rest of this homily.

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