Monday, March 23, 2009
I'm sorry I failed to give you all a heads up about yesterday. I was too busy changing altar cloths from purple to pink and back to purple again.
That's about how much time you had to lighten up a little during Lent.
Sorry if it's my fault you missed it.
On the other hand, if you missed it because you didn't show up for Mass yesterday when everything was pink for a minute....you'll want to head to confession before you trip and fall down the basement stairs.
Yesterday was Laetare Sunday. Laetare as in "Regina caeli, laetare, hallelujah!" for you old people who remember that song. Such a glum tune for such a cheery number.
Laetare is Latin for "rejoice". But that was yesterday.
Yesterday we paused for a moment (just a couple of days past the actual midpoint in Lent) to remember that our story has a very happy ending and to remind us that it is all very worthwhile to give up our coffee or our favorite TV show, our mindless internet surfing or several meals. We stop to rejoice for a moment because Jesus will rise from the dead.
But, that was yesterday.
Today, it's nose back to the grindstone. We are on the homestretch. This is the time of year when I like to re-crack out the story of St. Jonas of Hubahem, because just when you think you are suffering, you can think about what happened to him.
St. Jonas was a Christian man living in Persia. Persia has never been a good place to live for anyone, ever, it seems. St. Jonas was asked to worship the sun and moon and the King of Persia. He said, "No, thank you. I would rather worship the immortal King of Heaven than the mortal King of Persia." That didn't go over very well.
The pagan Persians beat him with clubs. They threw him in an icy pond over night but he didn't die, so they hauled him out, cut off all his fingers and toes and smashed him in a wine press. Then they cut him in half and tossed him down a well. They posted guards at the well so that his Christian buddies couldn't fish out his relics.
I often have wondered if the Persians threw his fingers and toes down the well, too, because if they didn't, they clearly didn't know much about relics.
This story should get you back into the swing of things for Lent. It always works for me. We're purple again.