For those of us who resist de-decking the halls…
It’s nice to know that the Christmas season still includes a few more days, ending at the Celebration of the Baptism of the Lord this Sunday.
It’s an intriguing mystery to go from the infant Jesus to his full adulthood in a mere seven days. With the exception of the story of the Lost Boy, we aren’t given much about the early life and childhood of Jesus.
If you have a sense of humor, you might want to fill in the gaps by reading Lamb, the Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. It’s irreverent and hysterical. It opens with this passage:
The first time I saw the man who would save the world he was sitting near the central well in Nazareth with a lizard hanging out of his mouth. Just the tail end and the hind legs were visible on the outside; the head and forelegs were halfway down the hatch. He was six, like me, and his beard had not come in fully, so he didn’t look much like the pictures you’ve seen of him. His eyes were like dark honey, and they smiled at me out of a mop of blue-black curls that framed his face. There was a light older than Moses in those eyes.
“Unclean! Unclean!” I screamed, pointing at the boy, so my mother would see that I knew the law, but she ignored me, as did all the other mothers who were filling their jars at the well.
The boy took the lizard from his mouth and handed it to his younger brother, who sat beside him in the sand. The younger boy played with the lizard for a while, teasing it until it reared its little head as if to bite, then he picked up a rock and mashed the creatures head. Bewildered, he pushed the dead lizard around in the sand, and once assured that it wasn’t going anywhere on its own, he picked it up and handed it back to his older brother.
Into his mouth went the lizard, and before I could accuse, out it came again, squirming and alive and ready to bite once again. He handed it back to his younger brother, who smote it mightily with the rock, starting or ending the whole process again.
I watched the lizard die three more times before I said, “I want to do that too.”
The Savior removed the lizard from his mouth and said, “Which part?”
I love that last question! Which part of following Jesus are we compelled to follow? This week, the power of Baptism unfolds before us. Almost all of us have been baptized. Imagine embracing the gifts it conferred in the spirit of “I want to do that, too!”
Mass is at 10 .m. and at 5 p.m. Both gatherings are held at 7117 Washington Ave. South. Hope to see you! Friends, family, wayfarers welcome!
An Ecumenical Catholic Community
cháris Χάρις khar’ece