Monday, February 23, 2004

I am so excited

It always seems to sneak up on me. A few weeks of Ordinary Time and then another liturgical season is upon us. My lenten practices and sacrifices are often, shamefully, chosen with great haste because I haven't given sufficient reflection to them in the weeks before Ash Wednesday. I love the simplicity of Lent. I smile as I drive around town and see the Protestant communities advertising "Ash Wednesday" on their billboards -- if only they would come fully to the Banquet Table. I love how our churches are more full during Lent. And I wonder what happens with everybody's schedule after Lent: so many seem to find time to come to Mass and Stations during Lent; where is that time to be found afterward? And this Ash Wednesday 2004 in particular. Oh, I am so excited for the opening of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"! I read in the newspaper yesterday that AMC Theatre staff in Oklahoma City are apparently claiming that they have sold more "Passion" tickets in OKC than any other AMC Theatre in the country. Wow! Yes, we are in the Bible belt. I know prudence dictates that we not prematurely "hang our evangelical hats" on this movie, before even viewing it. However, it frustrates me how many Catholics have only heard the scurrilous accusations of anti-Semitism hurled at the movie and so are left with the impression that "Catholics aren't supposed to see it". Even if that were the case, why can't we arrive at that kind of humble posture before doctrinal matters that the Church does authentically and authoritatively teach? Anyway, here's to getting excited about having a dirty forehead...

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