This is a new section entitled Sunday Musings. It consists of thoughts, observations, and experiences that I have during or immediately after Sunday Mass.
It is a semi-regular feature; I will update it on Sundays as I feel inspired to do so.
1. Don’t Judge a Beard by its Cover
As we sang the opening hymn, the procession passed by me. I had to do a double-take. It’s a visiting priest, I thought. Look at that beard! It’s overtaking his face. And then more thoughts: I think he missed his exit. The Orthodox church is downtown.
It turned out that he was a Franciscan friar and had the most gentle, welcoming voice, reminding me of John Michael Talbot (below), one of my favorite Christian vocalists. The beard isn’t too far off, either.
2. The Ambience of an Evening Mass is Better
Because of my oldest son’s birthday tomorrow, I attended the 5:30 pm Mass today (Saturday). I don’t know, but there’s something about the (lack of) lighting that made this evening Mass more intimate and special. The candles were more brightly illuminated, and there was more of a mystical feeling in the air. I loved it.
3. More Bible
Of course we Catholics hear Scripture readings each Sunday from the Old Testament, Psalms, New Testament Epistles, and the Gospels. However, it’s great to hear a homily that is totally about the Bible (not that other homilies are bad).
The priest elaborated on the Gospel reading (Matthew 5: 17-37) and spoke in detail about how Jesus was the new Moses who taught the new Ten Commandments from the hillside (Sermon on the Mount) just as Moses received the tablets from the mountaintop. Eye opening indeed.
I encourage Catholics (and other Christians) who are reading this to delve into the Scriptures more to find these little nuggets of inspiration. It will deepen your faith tremendously.
4. Summarizing the Homily in One Statement
I liked how the priest today summarized his entire homily like this: “So, the word of the day is: the law of grace.” Boom. Succinct and effective.
5. Franciscans Always Make Me Think
There’s something attractive about Franciscans. It must be their vows of poverty and way of life. It’s so… impacting.
The friar this evening was wearing brown sandals in stark contrast to his flowing green vestments. As I watched him distribute the Eucharist, I couldn’t stop admiring his pure joy and humility.
Driving home, I usually turn on my iPod or listen to talk radio. Tonight, however, I spent the whole commute thinking about how I could be more like that kind friar. I didn’t even catch his name, but I’m still thinking about him. Wonderful.