Until two minutes ago, I thought I was driving up to McCartyville for a penance service, and just as I was about to head out, a logic-check hit me: parishes never have their Lenten penance services this early! Did I write down the correct date?
Sure enough, it's March 23...so I have--in the words of the great Marty Brennaman, announcer for the Reds, "a break in the action" (or was that the late, beloved Joe Nuxhall?).
I am sorry I didn't post Sunday's homily; I had but sketchy mental notes, so it'll be hard to recreate; but I emphasized the idea of "taking a stand"--because in each of the three readings, that what we see. The faithful Israelite "takes a stand" in the temple, and acknowledges who his ancestors were, how God delivered them from slavery in Egypt, and now he stands before God, with the fruits of his labor, which God made possible. In the second reading, Paul describes taking a stand in professing faith in Jesus; and in the Gospel, Jesus stands between us and the devil.
I pointed out how this happens in baptism--when an adult comes forward, s/he stands up and declares the same faith Paul talks about--and then is baptized. (At 9 am Mass, we had a catechumen preparing for baptism at Easter, so I addressed some of my comments to her specifically, about standing up for Christ.) I talked about what is expected of the godparents and parents, in standing up instead of the child being baptized.
As you might expect, I gave examples of how we must take a stand for our values in the face of our culture, how we may face criticism or ridicule for doing so; and in other places in the world, we would face jail and death. I talked about how we can say something similar to what the first reading said, insofar as the Faith was shared with us, and now we are born again in Christ!
Sorry I cannot recall the rest.
You might find my Sunday schedule interesting.
After I had 7 am Mass, I picked up some coffee and something to eat from my friend Tim (Horton); then I had 9 am Mass at the other parish. I was able to cool my heels--a break in the action--till around 1 pm, when I had a baptism. During that time, I looked up some texts of baptism in Latin, because the family said they'd like that.
We had the baptism following Noon Mass; and four boys from the family wanted to serve, so I had them vest, and they preceded me to the font. I sang several parts of the baptism--the litany and the blessing over the water (I would have sung the Alleluia, but not in Lent of course) and then I administered the baptism per se in Latin: "____, ego te baptizo..."
After that, the family had a gathering the cafeteria, and I attended that for a bit--only to realize I had to get down to Dayton for the Rite of Election. That's a liturgy, usually led by the archbishop if he can come (there are four such liturgies that day, he does two), at which he greets those preparing to enter the Church at Easter and declares them "Elect of God." Most pastors don't seem to go, but I go if I can; I haven't missed yet.
After that, the catechumen and the candidates for full communion (i.e., Christians who aren't Catholic, but wish to become Catholic and will--in our case--do so at the Easter Vigil) went out for dinner together. I got back around 8 pm I think. Finished for the day.
Oops, times awasting! I have a meeting I thought I couldn't attend--now I can. Back to the action!