This year our parish will not celebrate the baptism of the catechumens/Elect at the Easter Vigil – such as the times of living in pandemic. It is our practice to practice immersion at the Vigil, but alas, this year that moment will be missing from the Liturgy. And so will one of my favorite songs, one that we use to call the Elect to the waters of Baptism. Missing from liturgy this year, but available online. Enjoy!
It has been a long week of preparing for the Triduum. In normal times, the staff and volunteers are knowledgeable and dedicated, plans were made well in advance; the Triduum happens with good work and not a lot of “who-what-when-where.” In normal times. These are anything but. This year was learning to live stream, work on audio enhancements, lightning, and so much more – all of which was new to us. Live streaming means that you also have to work out new means and pathways of communication and connection with the parishioners. Social networking was already part of our tool-kit, thinking through how to use all the channels in the best way possible for this occasion… we figured it out. Took on some new endeavors… all the while the staff is working in remote and volunteers are prudently staying at home. Lots going on, fewer people – at least fewer to do it the way we have done it in the past.
But, its 1:30 pm on Saturday. All is in place for the Vigil and Easter Sunday. Time to take a breather. That is when I read this article about the next wave in “panic” buying in the times of Covid-19. It was interesting, have me a chuckle, and I thought worth sharing. Makes you wonder what will be the wave that follows.
The weekly bulletin and this column are a good thing. I enjoy writing; I enjoy the process of thinking about what I want to write, starting to write, and then sometimes watching the column take on a new direction of thought. Now and again by inspiration or necessity, I might write a whole month of columns or more at a go. Late in the month of February, I had produced pastor columns for the first weekend in March (First Sunday in Lent) all the way through and including Easter Sunday. Check that off the “to-do list.” Then life changed as the world declared a pandemic, the churches closed, and the world found out it was a lot safer to be at home. Some columns did not need to be redone: Unmasking (March 15) and the two columns on “Habits of the Heart” (March 22 and 29). When I made the decision to stay with them and not rewrite them in the light of these pandemic days, I thought that they were still appropriate to the moment at hand. In looking at the columns again this morning, it was a good decision. Continue reading
One of the most daunting single verses in Scripture is “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48) In the Greek the word used is to be teleios just as our God in heaven in teleios. In our spoken English we take “perfect” to be mean without mistake, without blemish, spot or stain. The challenge comes in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount when we have just been told how to live and understand the commandments, how to live more deeply and more fully. But even if we accept the challenge, we know there are limits to our humanity. We are going to fall short. We will not be perfect. Continue reading