Of the serpent and the garden

I just realised I have committed myself to wake up at 5.30 am this and next Sunday. I am not regretting it because I am finicky in sticking to doing what I had planned to do. I want to stay in the lector’s ministry and the only way I can be sure that I don’t have to juggle work schedule and Jesus schedule is to take the 6.45 am duty.

A few weeks back, our new parish priest started a group call the MC and there were calls to rope us lectors in to help. It is actually quite a simple task of ensuring that things are in order before mass. Since I am quite familiar with the order of mass, I said yes.

This morning, with a list and pen in my hand, I went about making sure that all the things are placed on the right tables, the Gospel and etc are marked at the right pages and the people who are supposed to be on duty are there. Easy peasy, I thought.

After I got things marked with a tick, indicating that all are A-ok, I went to sit down. Then, I turned back to look from my pew and oh oh…big trouble! I can’t find the priest. He was there and he was gone.

My first thought was, oh, maybe Father Andrew need to run to the toilet. (which never happens in church, ok?)

Then, I take another look.

Oh oh…where have all the communion ministers gone? All five or six of them!

It is about time mass start and they disappeared?

Did they have some sort of rugby player kinda group mentoring in a dark corner or what?

Hey! Where are they?

I stood up and walked and put my head out of the church main door.

I have totally forgotten our new arrangement last week where the priest, communion ministers, lectors and altar servers are supposed to line up OUTSIDE of the church. They said the little path that leads to the altar was too short so they wanted a longer line to give the congregation (the folks in the church) a little bit more time to take in the opening hymn.

It was only 6.45am, total darkness and I haven’t had coffee yet.

It is kinda funny how my first duty as an MC gave me the panic that I lost the whole bunch of people who are supposed to celebrate mass.

Church does funny things to ‘learning Catholic’ like me. It is this awesome place with a bunch of serious looking people who seems to know everything. That kind of air is very intimidating to many people.

But nay….I am who I am. I am not afraid.

I will grab whatever tasks thrown my way and trust that Jesus is somewhere around watching. Plus St. Francis Assisi is standing up there looking down, with two pigeons in his hands, above my pew. (we have a statue above)

As for the serpent, the reading today is about the creation. I bet many Christians will not be able to answer these questions without thinking..

1) When did Adam and Eve stopped walking around naked?
2) Did God put on the fig leaves after He created them or when? Who got the leaves?
3) What’s in the middle of the garden?
4) Do you think the serpent is a girl serpent or boy serpent?

And the little serpent landed on my shoulder this morning. I have an hour before going to work. My hubby was in church to drop my # 3 son for church camp. So, we went to Lam Wah Ee coffeeshop for breakfast.

Jesus’s reply to the evil one was ‘ Man does not live on bread alone’. (the background story is Jesus had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights and the setan challenged Jesus that if He is indeed the Son of God, turn the stones into bread)

And the little serpent told me it is ok to eat curry mee and not toasted bread. (I was on vege meals since Wednesday so three little prawns this morning is luxury)

But since I am a catechism class teacher and some of my students do read my blog, what Jesus really said was ‘Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from God’. It means many things are not so important in our lives, like all the material things. What is most important is believing in God’s Word, do God’s Will and have faith in God’s Promises. Just look at the tragedy in Japan. One swoop and everything is gone. In those moments, what matters is we believe in eternal life and a God who saves. Saving doesn’t mean making us live forever and ever on this earth till we are 100 years old but that promise of a Heaven like the one where Adam and Eve roam without anymore serpents who asked stupid question like “Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” Trust me, in our lives, there will be lots of people who will offer us innocent choices and asking innocent questions with bad intention.

So, that sums up my Sunday. 5.30 am wake up. 6.30 am in church. 8 am out of church into kopitiam. 9 am some wanita event. 10.30 am some office with rising sun. 11.30 am back to church for Easter choir practice. 1pm back home. And now, 3 pm I am still waiting patiently for Facebook to finish uploading the photos I took this morning.

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