Tuesday, April 4, 2017

What They Have Been Saying (Part II) Palm Sunday Cycle A



Previously on Designated Survivor…….

My 14 year old daughter and I have been hooked on Designated Survivor and watch it when we’re together on Monday nights.  Before watching the second half of the season this past month we did a mini-binge re-watching the first and last episode from the fall.  I get chills each time Kiefer Sutherland pulls the blinds of the safe-room open.  


A few weeks ago, a high school choir from Minnesota sang at our 9 a.m. liturgy.  In the weeks prior to their arrival I wondered (OK, I worried) about how they would perceive liturgy at St. Mary’s.  I didn’t expect them to come away with a Designated Survivor-like “Wow!” I just hoped that they wouldn’t describe their experience like the mwah-mwah-mwah of the adult voices on a “Charlie Brown Christmas.”  


As one of the 2 fathers on the parish staff that aren’t priests, I think a great deal of what young people take away from liturgy.  Part of this is personal.  I know that despite attending Catholic high school, my younger daughter will probably follow her older sisters’ lead and find the church less and less relevant in the upcoming years. 


What about your children?  Are they on board? Or are they just plain bored?  What about you?


Previously at St. Mary’s….

A man is dead and has been buried in a tomb for four days.  Another man commands him to come out.  The women shriek, “No! The stench,” but Lazarus comes out of the tomb bound head to foot. 
That’s a pretty good story- line.  How about this week?  A man is betrayed by the members of his group and dies on a hill.  Wait a minute is this the Gospel of John or a Designated Survivor spoiler?  


A song from last week (the week Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead) remains at the forefront of my thoughts.  It was for me and several people with whom I spoke; a moment of powerful prayer and participation.  The verses to “Roll Away the Stone” (#179) give voice to our human doubts by ascribing them to what “they” have been saying.  The voice of faith enters on the chorus exclaiming; “Roll away the stone, see the glory of God.” (See more of last week’s liturgical notes at www.stmarysnutley.org.)  


Are our children bored or are they saying something different? Might they be saying “Our doubts have been dismissed and our questions have gone unanswered by adults who haven’t taken the time to consider their doubts and find answers to their questions?” 


I do not know.   Here’s one thing I do know.  


A small group from the Minnesota choir presented me with this dilemma just before mass was about to begin.  What they said brings a smile to my face each time it comes to mind:  “If we are singing during communion, when can we receive the Eucharist?”  


Blessed to be in ministry at St. Mary’s,


Bruce

 

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