Ocean of patience The Feast of the Epiphany is one of those very rare Sundays when the same gospel is proclaimed and preached during all three year-long cycle of readings.  We sing all five verses of “We Three Kings” and perhaps all six verses of “The First Noel.” By the way, Saint Matthew never counts the magi; he tells us their were three gifts. Almost every year, one or more people will ask and answer this question: “What would have happened if it had been three Wise Women instead of three Wise Men?”  They would have

• asked directions,

• arrived on time,

• helped deliver the baby,

• cleaned the stable,

• made a casserole,

• and brought practical gifts.

Be sure to continue reading to learn the rest of the story.               ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Most folks — virtually all children — can hardly wait to open a wrapped present with their name on it.  Some people are so pleased with their choice, they share it early. It is so hard to wait for the right time to open the gift.  But when the time is right and the gift is just what the person wanted whether they knew it or not, the wait becomes worth it for both giver and receiver. Sometimes the donor wears a bigger smile than the donee.

So.  Where am I going with this?  Many (NOT ME) are so excited to hear that Catholic churches will be opening soon that some of us can hardly wait.  Remember that some of us SHOULD stay away a while longer — age 65+ or anyone with a serious health condition.

I don’t like to be the Grinch who stole Christmas, my personal suspicion is this MIGHT be two weeks too soon.  I would rather buy the New River Gorge Bridge at a special clergy discount than believe the prognosticators, pundits, politicians, and professionals (who have been wrong again and again) finally got it right.   THE TRUTH IS THAT I THINK NO ONE SHOULD COME UNTIL THE FIRST SUNDAY IN JUNE. BUT as Dennis Miller used to say on SNL years ago, “That’s just my opinion.  I could be wrong.”

Be that as it may, we will be open for Mass on Saturday at 5pm on May 23 and ONE Mass on Sunday at 10:00 am.  (NOTE THE TIME CHANGE.)  Seating for this first weekend will be only for around 70 people on a first come, first served basis.  As much as I might enjoy having people in church for Mass, I really hope no one comes until June.  Look for a letter from me next week with what everyone needs to know before they come to Mass.

SCRIPTURE PASSAGES of the DAY:

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret…     (Psalm 37:7a)

The Lord is good to those who trust, to the one that seeks.

It is good to hope in silence for the Lord’s deliverance.      (Lamentations 3:25f)

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

QUOTABLE QUOTE:

What we need is a cup of understanding, a barrel of love, and an ocean of patience.

— Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

POEM of the DAY:

IT’S JUST A MATTER OF TIME

When grief looms over like a cloud,

and your heart gets broken,

and your spirit’s down,

it all seems like happiness

is but a distant dream,

and it loses its meaning

where it cannot be seen.

And we are lost where it’s dark,

without a song in our hearts,

and we couldn’t believe

it would all pass away.

If we could only hold on to a rhyme,

which could make us remember the light,

then morning might not be so far away,

IT’S JUST A MATTER OF TIME.

If we could imagine once more,

what joys are in store

with the rising of another day;

if we could only hear again

that gentle voice in the wind

reminding us that dawn is already near –

won’t we break out into songs

and cheer each other on and say

IT’S JUST A MATTER OF TIME?

Won’t we be able to bear

the darkness we are in,

knowing it couldn’t help but end and

IT’S JUST A MATTER OF WHEN!

And though the dawn is yet to come,

and the night is yet to end,

though our pain still lingers,

and our wounds are yet to heal,

we rejoice with our hopes,

as though they’ve already come,

certain that our prayers were heard and

IT’S JUST A MATTER OF TIME!

— Jocelyn Soriano (366 Days of Compassion: One Year Devotional)

PRAYER of the DAY for PATIENCE:

A spiritual writer reminds us. “Patience is hard. In our fast-food, drive-thru, one-day-Amazon-delivery world, it’s a lost art.”  It is both a spiritual fruit found  and a virtue practiced in the lives of true disciples. God does not suggest or merely encourage patience. God expects and requires it of us.  If there was a Hall of Fame for Prayers, this prayer would be enshrined.

A Spirit to Know You

Gracious and Holy Father,

Please give me:

intellect to understand you,

reason to discern you,

diligence to seek you,

wisdom to find you,

a spirit to know you,

a heart to meditate upon you,

ears to hear you,

eyes to to see you,

a tongue to proclaim you,

a way of life pleasing to you,

patience to wait for you

and perseverance to look for you.

Grant me a perfect end,

your holy presence,

a blessed resurrection

and life everlasting.

— Saint Benedict of Nursia (ca. 480-547)

THE REST OF THE STORY: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

An old ditty or jingle begin, “Patience is a virtue possess it, if you can…”  The next line cause men to nod their heads or cheer and the woman frown and hiss: “Seldom found in women…”  But final line changes every thing: “NEVER found in men.”

What would have happened if it had been three Wise Women instead of three Wise Men? This is what some men have asked in return.  What they would have said when they left?

• “Did you see the sandals Mary was wearing with that gown?”

• “That baby doesn’t look anything like Joseph!”

• “Can you believe that they let all of those disgusting animals in the house?”

• “I heard that Joseph isn’t even working right now!”

• “And that donkey that they are riding has seen better days too!”

• “Want to bet on how long it will take until you get your casserole dish back?”

FORTUNATELY FRIVOLOUS, FUNNY FINALE, FOLKS:

People who buy turf or sod for their yard lack patience to grow their own.  They want instant grassification.

I had my patience tested today… It came back negative.

Why do you need patience when going to a fitness center? There is a lot of weighting.

I am going to a seminar on patience next month. I can hardly wait.

Ignorance is bless and patience is a virtue,

if you’re stupid and you don’t mind waiting around.

Link to book:

https://www.amazon.com/366-Days-Compassion-Year-Devotional-ebook/dp/B074Z5ZK4M