Wednesday greetings to you all, and Happy February!
I volunteer on my parish's liturgy committee and we met last night to discuss Lent, as well as the liturgy we celebrate to honor African-American Heritage Month.
Our reflections and deliberations were centered on the gospels of the Lenten Season. Then we all looked through and reflected on the collects. It never ceases to amaze me that a very diverse group of people can get together and read scripture passages that we have heard for years and find things that never really struck us before. The cycle of scripture readings offers us such a great richness in our Catholic experience. I often tell friends who say, "How can you even stand going to Catholic Mass; it's just the same thing over and over again," that the prayers, readings and ritual patterns may repeat over and over again, but it is me who is different each and every time I hear them or celebrate them. I guess this is what life-long ongoing conversion is all about. That came home to me very poignantly last night. The Gospel of the Transfiguration for the Second Sunday of Lent ends with this line: "So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant." For me, that has been a question at the center of my faith life. I know and believe that Christ rose from the dead and as a baptized person who has "put on Christ," I often wonder what rising from the dead means for me. Rising from the dead, not just in the sense of the end times, but in my every day life.
I love this volunteer work at my parish. It puts me at a table with Catholics who are living the challenges of family life and married life. It helps this theologian to be more rooted in the day-to-day lives of the Catholics with whom I worship. I am so grateful for this gift.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.