Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quasimodo...Eucharist....Mercy.....Beatification...Funnel Cakes....

This could be one of the most sanctified weekends of the year! Although, it may feel like an ordinary, post-cataclysmic tornado weekend, we have a lot going on!

The introit of Sunday's Mass will begin with the phrase : "As newborn babes, desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation: If so be you have tasted that the Lord is sweet" (1 Peter 2: 2-3). In Latin, the translation of the term "as" or "in the manner of" is "quasimodo" (in the mode of). And, yes, that's also the name of the Hunchback of Notre Dame as he was discovered at Notre Dame's door as an infant on Quasimodo Sunday!

The introit also recalls that this is the season where Catholic newbs are being introduced into the mysteries of the faith. They were baptized and confirmed last week, now they are being cultivated to be strong Catholic Christians through further knowledge and instruction.

Segueing into the next subject, EUCHARIST! This is the Sunday we also give first communion to our children at St. John's. Although, "first holy communion" is part of the full initiation of a Catholic, over the years it has been sort of displaced (the original order of initiation was Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist). Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith and is central sacrament of the Church. Some of the girls, doubtless, will be wearing little white dresses with veils. The symbolism is of a bride wed to the Eucharist. It's a lifelong union begun with Eucharist. The spotless brides, humbly take...umm...what..the...



Ahem...These little kids who will take their first communion are making a commitment. It is up to their parents to see how long that commitment will last. But I digress and I promised myself I won't rant...maybe at the pulpit tomorrow....we'll see.

Ok, Mercy! Tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday. Long story short, a Polish nun, Sr. Faustina had a series of personal encounters with Christ. He showed her these rays emanating from His heart (the colors of OLE MISS!) and told her of His Divine Mercy. Full story here. What's sort of amazing is that this is the only Sunday dedicated to a personal devotion on the Catholic calendar. Most other "personal devotions" ie; experiences of a subjective nature that are beyond the realm of apostolic or scriptural teaching are at best relegated to optional holy days. One wonders....

Oh, by the way, that Polish nun? She was also canonized by a Polish pope! Pope John Paul II and coincidentally, he will be BEATIFIED tomorrow. Beatification means he will be named "blessed" as his cause for sainthood continues forth toward canonization. He died six years ago on the Saturday before Quasimodo/Divine Mercy Sunday. As he was being funeralized (did I make that word up? Spell check says I did), crowds were shouting "Santo subito!" which is "Sainthood now!". Seems someone was listening! Pope Benedict XVI, among many things, has seen to it that his cause be expedited. Who says the church moves slowly? Tomorrow, Rome will be full of pilgrims, especially Poles who will crowd in to witness this glorious proclamation.

Oh, speaking of crowding. Our town Double Decker Festival is today down on the Square. The Knights are selling funnel cakes with some of the proceeds going to help relieve tornado victims. Good cause. Good cakes. We are also selling Drawdown tickets for our First Inaugural Drawdown for the building fund in front of the Lilly Pad.

And, that's about all I can report this morning. I seriously want me some funnel cakes.