Friday, December 10, 2010

Of flutes and mourning

Jesus is speaking to the cynical members of the crowds, the type who have been holding him and John to different standards and finding fault with them both. On the one hand, John is too ascetic. On the other, Jesus is too much of a bon vivant in their sanctimonious eyes.  (Don't you love it that when God came to earth, he was accused of having too much fun?) And Jesus basically tells them, "If I played the flute, you wouldn't dance; If I sang a dirge, you wouldn't cry: You'd stay distant and 'objective,' but without the wisdom that would give your life flavor."
When God plays the flute for us, he wants us to get into the music--to dance. When he sings a mournful song, he is offering us communion with his grief. The flute and the dirge can both express divine wisdom.
I've been hearing the dirge lately, event though we've been singing Christmas joy.  A sister I am very close to has been diagnosed with cancer (though we don't yet know what stage it is). So today's Gospel resonates. "There is an appointed time for everything."  For all I know, my friend's diagnosis could be the announcement of a new mission in her life, and the doctors and nurses who will care for her a new flock for her to shepherd even as they work to restore her well-being. God may well be playing the flute in a mysterious key.
Maybe that's why the opening words of today's Eucharistic Prayer struck me so much that I am using my rosary beads to pray them over and over: "Father, we acknowledge your  greatness; all your actions show your wisdom and love."


Carol said...

I'd never thought to use Rosary beads to pray something (else) that really speaks to me; what a beautiful and communicate-ive idea -- thank you.

Oh dear.. I will pray for your Sister. I wish clergy and Religious might be immune to devastating illness, but indeed, this may be a super-holy journey of more than one. Still, I will be praying for her calmness, easing, fortitude, high spirits, and anything palliative needed, given or done without the slightest fuss.

Caroline said...

Sister: I am so blessed to find you. I lead a ministry in Atlanta, for the unemployed, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. We all face challenges these days. God has seen fit to show me personally how my people feel, and so I look for joy wherever it is presented. There is joy in this piece, and joy in the music I hear and see, coming from Jesus.

Another Ahem .... Caroline McCoy-Hansen

Please keep us in your prayers, and keep our joy in the Lord going!

Anonymous said...

Lord, to whom shall we go?

Come to Me all you who labor and are heavily laden and I will refresh you.

Anonymous said...

Lord, to whom shall we go?

Come to me all ye who labor and are heavily laden and I will refresh you