Monday, January 3, 2011

Blog #96 Liturgical celebrations: what? why?

Blog # 96 Liturgical celebrations : what? why? A song book, a home video of Grandma's 80th birthday party, a recipe book, seeds, Christmas, Easter, Pentecost. What do all of these have in common? There is something real in each of them that comes from the past and reaches to the present, inviting a response. Sing it again, play it again, plant another row of tomato plants, bake another cake. Remember Grandma. See her wonderful smile again. Introduce her to her four year old great-grandchild even though she died at the age of 87 six years ago. This is how we loved her on her 80th birthday. This is how she sang for us. This is what she said about Grandpa who had died seven years before. It is different, yes, but yet true, and also the same as it was when we were there with her thirteen years ago. The video helps us remember. Watching it again helps us renew and grow in our love for her. It is not just another TV show. We keep it and plan to watch it again. It is similar with the other items listed above. Seeds for more tomatoes. New and different tomatoes but the same breed we enjoyed last season , and connected with them in the seed. It is something like this with the feasts we celebrate throughout the liturgical year. Something real happened in the past. We believe. We remember. We sing it again. We watch it again. Jesus is born, and in our official liturgical celebration we are there. In another liturgical celebration Jesus claims to be God. Jesus teaches. Jesus dies on the cross in our liturgical celebration on Good Friday. We remember. We pray it again. We are there. In our liturgical readings Jesus asks of us the same questions He asked Peter and the other disciples. He gives us the same message He gave in Jerusalem. He offers us the same love He offered in Bethany. We are invited to respond, to make it our own. The same recipe, a new bag of flour. God's love in Peter. God's love in us. In our next blog we will apply some of this to the Feast of the Epiphany which we celebrated yesterday.

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