Sunday, January 25, 2015

Priest, Prophet, and King (pt 3 of 3)

I was looking for a particular piece of music on youtube a few weeks ago. I happened to find it in the context of the British royal wedding from a few years back. You remember, Kate and whats-his-name. I remember at the time it filled the news and everyone was talking about it for a while, to the extent that it got annoying and I made a point of ignoring it as completely as possible. And so it’s a little surprising to admit to you that watching the entrance procession… it captured me. The music (Holst) was spectacular. The pageantry and ceremony were tasteful and flawless. There was just beauty and elegance and dignity radiating out of everyone.


And then I thought about my niece Mia and her princess obsession. We really need to find her a twelve-step group or something. Maybe it’s not always literal princesses, because I think that word gets applied to basically any female Disney lead character. But they do tend to be princesses, don’t they?

Here’s what I’m saying: there is something in us that responds to the idea, and to the vision, of royalty. Even after having a revolution against the British Crown, would you say that we Americans really have less royalty in our culture? We traded George III for Elvis, Elizabeth II for Beyonce. And even still, when that British Crown family throws a wedding, look how many of us were fascinated.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Priest, Prophet, and King (pt 2 of 3)

We’re going to start with a pop quiz. Answer in your head. What’s a prophet? Seriously now, some of you aren’t thinking about it, you’re just waiting it out. Think about it. Do you know what it means to be a prophet?

Grade time. If you answered that a prophet is someone who predicts the future… I’m sorry, D+ is the best I can do. But don’t feel bad, that’s probably what most people would say if we took this question to the streets. Predicting the future is indeed one of the things that prophets sometimes do, but there’s so much more to it than that, so… D+.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Priest, Prophet, and King (pt 1 of 3) - Baptism of Jesus

If you find what happened at the Jordan River that day a bit mysterious, you’re in good company: John the Baptist was certainly confused at first. Why should I baptize you? Isn’t that backwards? If Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins, why does Jesus need it? If it’s our entry into the Body of Christ, why would Christ himself need it?

The short answer is that He didn’t, of course. Like everything Christ did, it was out of love for humanity. He went down into the waters not to be sanctified, but to sanctify. Not to be saved, but to save. Baptism is the door through which we enter His Church; this is Jesus creating that door.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

And Christmas Comes Once More: Solemnity of Mary 2015

If you were around for Christmas, I promised you the "missing" verse of the carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem." It would have been the penultimate verse:

Where children pure and happy
Pray to the blessed Child,
Where Misery cries out to Thee,
Son of the undefiled;
Where Charity stands watching,
And Faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks,
And Christmas comes once more.