I am probably one of the hardest to impress Catholics. I expect exceptional homily and sermons. Before I go further, I only learned the difference between homily and sermon yesterday. Anyway, both are boring stuffs in church and unless and until one hits your nerve, they make no difference.
Homily is basically the Word of God broken (as in explained in easier to understand language what the Bible reading was) for the congregation and sermons are the real live examples and the ‘kong yeh sou’ that not many priests are good at.
Seriously. Some priests are so fantastic with their sermons, it made you feel like God is talking and solving your problems. Some priests just made you want to pull off the mic and speakers cables and mute him.
I attended mass on Saturday evening because it was animated by my class. I attended mass again this morning because I am on duty. It is just mere 13 hours. I was praying for a different priest this morning because I will die of boredom if I hear the same thing in a lapse of 13 hrs (6 pm Sat and 6.45 am Sunday).
Last week, I was so frustrated after I failed to ‘feel’ anything after mass. Yesterday I too wasn’t very inspired though the Form One and Form Two students were fantastic. Love the liveliness of having youths in church, jumping, clapping, singing and praising God.
But I need to connect with God. I need to unload. I need to get the angsts out of my system.
That’s the whole purpose I go to church. To get emo or joy or feeling the embrace of love. Not because it looks nice to be there or the assurance that I probably earn another Bonuslink point for free tickets to heaven. I go to church because that’s the only time I dare to face those troubles, lift them up to the Lord and believe that He will resolve it for me.
Father B’s sermon is good today. It is not easy to touch on the Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. This is one part of Christian faith that I can’t digest. I mean, we know with our human minds that it is impossible to rise from the dead, so don’t try kidding me, no matter how big your theology degree is. I don’t believe and no amount of things you say can make me believe.
I quickly took out my notebook and pen when I hear a good sermon. Father B said sometimes we are engrossed in our predicament that it becomes more important than others.
We are buried, stone bound, tied up and we become uptight. The grave referred can be a thing, a place which we are comfortable with. Familiar grounds.
Then, Father B talked about the reading from the letter to the Romans. About a spiritless life. Just like how one can lost the bubbles.
And there are four things. One is the external extremes such as things imposed upon us, physically crowding our lives with people pressuring us.
The second is the reactive like feeling oppressed, active restraints, feeling separated and/or change of environment.
Thirdly, it is the emotional extremes of being overpowered, things become dark, we stumble, something died within us, feeling helpless and feeling trapped.
Fourthly, spiritual restraints where we live a purposeless life. Only when God comes into our life, God will gives us the freedom. But we don’t want God (or something like that), then we feel meaningless.
And then, Father B tied these to our lives, how we can see things differently. How we can help others to get out of these shackles or graves. How parents must believe in something for their children, spouses for each other and etc.
God tells the community to free someone. Whether it is political, emotional or spiritual. That’s when I go Aha aha aha, I get what you are saying now Father B. I understand the graves and the ‘call out’ and such.
Father B goes further and said if God asked us to remove the stone, then we must do something.
And the other profound reminder is ‘If you don’t appreciate life here (on earth), you can’t appreciate the life there (heaven).
Maybe none of my notes make sense to anyone but it is something I want to jot down. I felt very emo after all those and glad I have someone to pour out some of those angsty feelings building up. And then, she told me about someone I knew many years back and how he has cancer again.
We parted ways and I got soooo sad about the person. I have forgotten the past for a while. I have forgotten how so many kind people have crossed my path before I turned to Christianity. I guess I buried those sad past too deep, I forgot them. It is good to forget but Lent is the time when I always recalled why I turn to Jesus Christ.
My son died on May 1st 2002. I asked Doc C to pray for him on Good Friday 2002 which was sometimes around this time. A year later, I was on my way to be a Catholic.
One can become lifeless, have very little need for God when one forgets the bad and live only in the good. So, yeah, it is a bit of tears here and there, but I know that part of Lilian still lives in me.
Fast forward, I met a nice couple and interviewed them for a story. When I got into their home, the Touch of the Master’s Hand was on the wall. It speaks volume to me. It is a reminder to me.
Reminder to self, don’t ever forget the Master. The One whom I was baptised in 2003. He does Great Things. In Him, through Him, in Unity of the Holy Spirit. That’s what I am. That’s what you are. Just that sometimes, we forget.
For that, thank God, Lent is meaningful to me again.