Michigan Avenue (north of us) has been barricaded and the stage is up. People are already (so the news tells me) there, hoping to be part of the audience for the extravaganza: Oprah (I don't even need to add her last name) is filming a show and the city of Chicago is doing her bidding.
I don't have anything against Oprah. Actually, given the reputation her show has for giving out really good freebies, I'd be there myself today ("free" is my favorite word). But there is just something a little...creepy about a single celebrity being able to commandeer the principal street of a major city. The sound of helicopters overhead does nothing to mitigate that sensation.
I had an errand to run, so I admit I took the long way. And a camera. Everything was quite impressive (except, so far, for the crowds: I thought the audience area would be filled up by now; instead, it seems not to have reached the halfway point). Police are in evidence everywhere, keeping gawkers like me moving past things like...the black Cadillac SUV parked on the bridge (followed by a white camper/trailer) and the red double-decker, atop which the First Lady of Chicago was already at work. (If you look really hard at the photo, you will see a bright salmon-colored arm stretched out at the center of the bus...)
Anyway, Chicago crowds are always nice, and the weather is good. So, too, was the music. But at 5:00 I won't be there to see what the give-away is (I may yet rue that!); I'll be at Mass for the real Queen of Chicago--on her birthday. Did you notice the Responsorial Psalm? "With delight I rejoice in the Lord": wow! How very Marian: "My spirit rejoices in God my savior." In Mary, there were no impediments to that rejoicing which God has actually created us for. This is what God has "hidden from the wise and the clever [and the 'rulers of this age'] and revealed to little ones." God made us to delight in him, the way he delights in the Beloved Son and the Son in him. This is our deepest mystery and vocation!