During Lent I am going to blog once per week – starting today. It isn’t that it is penance for me to write, but writing for this is not necessary, and there are always things to be done for/at school. While it is true that there is always something to be done in getting ready for school, writing something is not so time consuming as to make me irresponsible. So, though writing is not a penance, it is a discipline. Discipline is something I always need more of. Tonight is a good night to begin because we just found out that our three-day Presidents’ Day weekend has been extended to four days because of possible icy morning roads.

Do you remember that long ago I wrote about finding $20 in the middle of a Colorado street? I also found hedge clippers and a toothbrush still in its packaging within a short time after that. Well, yesterday I was walking back from Mass and was picking up some scraps of paper that were around Seton, when I noticed a gift card on the sidewalk. I was about to throw it away with the trash, then I saw that one could check the balance of the card by calling and punching in the 19 digit code on the back.

I walked into the house, picked up the phone and began punching #’s. I expected the automated voice to tell me that the card had zero balance. But to my surprise the electronic lady said that the card had a balance that was greater than the value of the bill I had found in the street. (Those weren’t her exact words.) When I found that $20, my sister Barb told me that she felt sorry for the person who lost it. She also said that she thought it must have something to do with a drug deal gone bad. (Barb has always had a vivid imagination.) I ended up putting the $20 bill in the collection basket rather than buying as much ice cream as I could with it.

Now, what are my responsibilities with this gift card? Let’s suppose that the card has something to do with food – maybe a card for a local grocery store. What would you do? It’s Lent. Buying $20+ dollars worth of ice cream is not in the spirit of the season, but what if I bought $20+ worth of tuna fish? I’m bringing up things that don’t really apply to this card – in the spirit of the season of Lent we might call this a “red herring”. (We’re doing the fallacies in logic now.)

But it does lead into something else I wanted to talk to you about. Denver XXIV Carolina X Just in case you missed it, Denver won Super Bowl 50, which I want to call Super Bowl L since it makes no sense to me to have 50 be the only Super Bowl without a Roman numeral. It’s not the game that is important to me from last Sunday – I only saw the last CXX seconds of L and that was pretty dull. I want to tell you about the continuation of a tradition that was begun by Mr. Hadro.

It was many years ago that Mr. Hadro, who is a rabid Redskins fan, determined that Super Bowl Sunday (Roman numeraled or not) is the day of greatest excess in America. He decided to counteract this by making a trip into DC to bring food to the homeless on the day of the game. The Seton response was good and the tradition was begun.

So once again this year on the Sunday of L (aka 50), lunches were loaded into vehicles along with clothing and blankets and other donated items, plus all the items that were in the Seton lost and found. First, a word about the lunches is in order. Mrs. Carroll and I decided to take religion classes over to Food Lion (for which I had not found a gift card) and have the students purchase fruit, snack, chips, bread, meat and cheese for sandwiches, and a boxed drink. The students were great about this. We returned to school, and the students put the items in lunch bags, except for the sandwich items which were put together later. Father Vander Woude said Mass that Friday, so he went down to the teachers’ room where the lunches were on the counter and blessed the food.

Sunday morning rolled around, and I joined the students and parents who went into DC. (This was only the 2nd time I had gotten to go on the trip.) We followed the route that Mr. Hadro and Col. Duda had worked out years ago, but when we went to the first two parks, there were no homeless at either one. We finally found a park that had many homeless and the students began handing out the lunches. The homeless were kind and grateful and a number of them said, “God bless you” to the students. After the park we went to a homeless shelter to give out the rest of the food and clothing. Again, we found the people grateful and kind. I asked a number of them how they had made out during the big snow storm (30” in Manassas), and they had no complaints. They said they had done fine. Super Bowl L was on the minds of many of them, and I had little success in trying to get some of them to root for Denver. “Cam’s the man” was the phrase of the day.

Today’s Gospel was “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.” It is amazing to find that when you think you are doing something for the least of His brothers, you actually find yourself feeling inferior. I asked one man sitting on the stairs leading into the shelter and who had a red, swollen eye how he was doing. (The eye looked very painful.) He said, “I’m doing fine. How are you doing?” And he asked the question in a voice that showed greater concern about me than I had about him. I wish now I had talked with him more.

Maybe I need to go looking for a homeless person and give him the card. It will then surely be put to better use than I would make of it.

Jezu, ufam Tobie.