So, yesterday I wrote about Day by Day as part of my spiritual journey. Today, I want to talk about mass last night and the wonderful run I had this morning. Let me start, as I do almost every day, with the run. Today, I ran my first 20 in training for Philadelphia. I haven’t usually done 20 this early in my training before. But this time I am training for a pretty serious time. I’d like to be able to run my 7:20 pace not just for the first 20 miles but through the whole thing. That would put me at 3:12:08. And my bigger goal is to hit 3:10:00. That would require running an average pace of 7:15. Can I do it? I don’t know but I am going to try.
In the mean time, I have signed up for a 20 mile race Labor Day weekend. It is difficult to impossible to predict how warm it will be that weekend, but it will be nothing like the weather in November for the Philadelphia Marathon. I want to prove to myself that I can get an official 20 mile time below 2 hours 30 minutes just once. This will be attempt #4. I wasn’t really trying all that hard in attempt #1. And attempt #3 was a complete failure. So, showing that I could run a 2:43:10 today—without really working all that hard and finish with six sub-8 minute miles is a good sign.
The 20 miles today put me up to 1328.2. That puts me 8 miles south and west of where NE 10 St intersects US 400/US 54 and is right around Kingman, KS. A Catholic church in Kingman is St. Partrick’s. I don’t recall reading before working on today’s blog entry that St. Patrick wandered in Britain for 28 days after he escaped from Ireland when he was taken there against his will. While I would not wander for 28 days and the marathon is only 28 miles, there is definitely a bit of kinship that a marathon runner would feel with St. Patrick.
Mass time this week was dictated by my running schedule. Specifically, I went to 4:30 mass yesterday at St. Pius X and had the opportunity to hear Father Sam. The readings included the story of Elijah finding God in the whispering of the wind from 1 Kings. This is a great story about finding God in all sorts of ways that do not require anything really exciting. God can be found in little things. The beauty of friends supporting friends in running. (My friends ran with me from mile 7.8 to mile 14 today—one say it was to pay me back for running some miles with her when she was doing very long training and I didn’t need as long runs. I certainly wasn’t keeping score on “running favors” but I did appreciate the thought.) Or the beauty of the sunshine rising and reflecting off the Legg Mason building in Harbor East as we ran the promenade. The responsorial psalm was from Psalm 89. Verses 13 and 14 (the last part that was read to respond to) end with “Justice shall walk before him, and prepare the way of his steps.” I don’t know if many people associate John the Baptist with justice. But forgiveness, particularly for those who are repentant, is an important part of justice. Even more than that, the consequences of not being repentant reflect God’s sense of justice. It is also interesting to see a line that looks so much like “prepare the way of the Lord” in the Psalms. When I take the time to do the analysis the interconnections are always amazing.
Finally, the Gospel was from Matthew (as it is for this liturgical year in general) 14: 22-33. This passage is when Jesus has dismissed the crowd after feeding the crowd with 5 loaves, then the disciples go out to the boat. Jesus walks on the water toward them and invited Peter. As long as Peter stayed focused he could walk across the water toward Jesus. When he lost his focus, he sank and Jesus rescued him. This is fascinating to me because it goes along with the things I wrote yesterday from the song Day by Day from Godspell. Even in his homily Father Sam mentioned our spiritual journeys, talked about the day by day experience, and talked about the waves that were coming at Peter as distracting him from his focus. He was having difficulty seeing Jesus more clearly and following Jesus more nearly. One of the hymns was “Be Not Afraid” which ties in with what should happen when the focus on Jesus is clear.
As a side note, Father Sam also was a little loose with is reading of the Gospel text. Jesus told peter to “Come”. Father read it as “Come on.” I like his more modern interpretation in cases like this.