Tuesday, July 07, 2009

No Homily this weekend

As a priest, I have few weekends that I have totally "off". The Code of Canon Law, the official "law book" of the catholic church seems to envision that a priest would only be away from his parish three weekends per year. AND there's a way of looking at it in which the code wants us to be gone during the week and back for the weekend. Most priests don't view it that way, however.

I was gone to Wichita, Kansas for a wedding on Saturday. I concelebrated on Sunday at mass but didn't have to preach, thank goodness. That's why there's no homily. However, I do have the beginnings of a homily that I will preach in the future...

The wedding was for a former student who has become a very close friend in the past few years, both while he was a student and after. I've been priveliged to have the situation happen a few times in this campus ministry assignment where a young man or woman and I have such great experiences together and work so closely that we want to keep in touch after they leave and it develops into a pretty deep friendship. That's what happened with Jeff, the groom. In fact, I was a groomsman in the wedding because of our friendship. He said that there would be sufficient numbers of priests so he wanted me to be closer, to be a groomsman. I was flattered so I accepted, something that I'll likely never do again despite the fact that it went really well this time. It wasn't weird to wear a tux because it wasn't really all that different than wearing my dress clerical clothes. It wasn't even all that weird to participate in mass as a part of the congregation instead of as a concelebrant. The weird part was having a woman on my arm as I entered and exited a room. I haven't done that for a very long time and it just wasn't symbolically right. I'm not supposed to be in a "couple" situation. I have forsaken that for the sake of the Kingdom. On the one hand, it's good to know just how deep my celibacy is felt in me and it's good to be able to explain that to people in the future why I don't feel comfortable doing this.

I've learned that I am a person that often has to learn things "the hard way." I should be able to see how things will play out before I do but I often don't and end up wishing I would have done something different. It's just who I am. I hope it makes me a better confessor. I know people make mistakes. It's not like we plan them. There are times when the lesson that was learned from the mistake was "worth" making the mistake in the first place.

1 comment:

Hillary said...

Glad to hear you had a good time. i think it's really interesting that you thought walking down the aisle in the company of a woman was uncomfortable - to me, that's just escorting someone, no different than ushering, or doing other chivalrous acts like opening doors. Not necessary, but nice and usually appreciated. Maybe you saw it as symbolic of the marrying couple and the action being somewhat more imbued with sexuality. I probably would have seen it as "oh, nice, they were able to find symmetric attendants, and they're all close friends of the couple!" Maybe that's how you regarded it until you actually did it? Thanks for sharing anyway. We'll have to smother you with hugs sometime. Right after chinese food. (I don't mean smothering you in chinese food, lol)