I’m thankful that Easter isn’t just one day; rather, it’s a season. And even Easter the day is an octave, it’s eight days, so today’s readings are Easter readings still. So this is like re-doing last week, having the big day again but with and among the people who want to be here, rather than the crowds who for some reason had to be here.
And I know I’m being snotty and judgemental and awful. And I’m sorry. It’s something I need to work on.
But the readings are great and so is the music and we’ve got incense and sprinkling of holy water. It’s a beautiful Mass, although the choir is somewhat rearranged. Bill has put Ellen over on the right, next to Jenny who was the cantor at our wedding.
And the first reading is from Acts, and it’s of a similar piece to my favorite in Acts. In fact, today’s reading is the specific one for Year B, but the Worship book lists an alternate reading for any year, from the second chapter of Acts, my total favorite: “All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need.” The Year B reading, the one today, has the similar:
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.
Either way I love the total c.f. with one Karl Marx and his “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Okay, so everything doesn’t especially square with his “religion is the opiate of the masses,” but we can’t have everything. I like to tell people that the Democratic Party is too conservative for me, that I myself am somewhere to the left of Fidel Castro. Or, I like to remember the story Peter Case told when I saw him at the old 9:30 Club. The Berlin Wall had recently fallen, and a friend of his had remarked that with the fall of Communism, he was now awaiting the fall of Capitalism. “What’re you, an anarchist?” someone asked. “No,” the friend replied, “I’m a Christian.”
And that helps me some, because I certainly haven’t sold my house and given the proceeds to the Church. And I still want more stuff, much beyond what I need. And so that’s more to work on too.
And then there are the relics. The Knights of Columbus are sponsoring a pilgrimage of relics of six priests who were martyred in Mexico during the persecution of the Church in the 1920s. They’re in a beautiful silver reliquary that’s stationed just inside the sanctuary. Father Caulfield invites us to venerate them after Mass, and he urges us to pray for their intercession. I wrote recently about the unlikely event of ever having my life threatened for my faith, and how I failed even in the abstract to demonstrate even a minimal amount of strength. And so here now are six martyrs, and we’re not talking like ancient Rome or anything, but in recent history, within the lifetime of my grandfather, himself a Knight of Columbus and after whom I am named. And so after Mass we kneel at the communion rail and I pray for the strength of faith.
And so now I think about maybe finding out more about what the heck was going on in Mexico in the 1920s. Some sort of revolution, I guess. Probably influenced by that Marx fellow.