Thursday, November 26, 2015
MAKING THE BEST OF IT
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR
First, just a reminder that it’s time to get out your copy, used or new, of From Holidays to Holy Days: A Benedictine Journey Through Advent, and join me and a large group of friends on a spiritually minded walk through the “holiday season.”
A MAN FOR TOO MANY SEASONS
My Benedictine liturgical sensibilities have been sorely tried during the past week or so. As we come to First Sunday of Advent, I have been teaching my New Testament students in some detail about the Passion and the Resurrection of Jesus.
Then I had to prepare three (3) homilies for the Solemnity of Christ the King, and a briefsermon for our school’s Thanksgiving prayer service. On top of this, about two weeks ago I discovered what I think is the theme of a new book that I’m writing. Having done one on Advent/Christmas and another on Lent, it seems to make sense to turn my attention now to the Easter season. So this weekend I’ll have lots of vacation time to devote to writing about -- right! Easter!
I decided during my meditation this morning, however, not to fight the dizzying mixture of seasons, but to make the best of it. It turned out to be an easy task, actually.
We tend, because of our liturgical calendar, to separate the mysteries of the “Christ Event” into these separate little stand-alone packets, such as the nativity, the baptism in the Jordan, the transfiguration, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and so forth. I’m being forced by circumstances, though, to experience several of these mysteries all at the same time, and it’s been an enriching experience.
By writing an advent homily while outlining a chapter of an Easter book and correcting a test on Christ’s Passion and Death, I’m getting a feel for how all of these aspects of Christ’s life interact with and nourish one another. The shadow of the cross is cast all the way back to the infancy stories, and the saving mystery of the resurrection is celebrated in the readings of the First Week of Advent.
Each time two of these mysteries bump together in my thoughts, they each shed a new light on one another. So, I’m actually looking forward, in a strange sort of way, to spending Advent composing reflections on the resurrection.
A WORD ABOUT DONUTS
Every year our school invites alumni who have contributed to the school to come back for a visit so we can express our gratitude on “Donor Appreciation Day.” When the day was announced last year, one of the students told Fr. Edwin that he was getting all psyched up for “Donut Appreciation Day.” (Hey, I mean, why not?)
Every year on a Thursday in late November, our nation celebrates “Donor Appreciation Day,” on which we can pause and give thanks to God for the countless gifts bestowed on us as individuals and as a nation. Have you noticed that now people don’t talk about giving thanks on “Turkey Appreciation Day.” (Hey, I mean, why not?).