I didn’t nod off until after one this morning, and I was so anxious that I convinced myself to turn off my alarm. (On odd days when I can’t sleep, knowing the alarm is going to ring often keeps me from relaxing.) It wasn’t a bad idea; I woke up a little before 6, but since I hadn’t slept enough, I forced myself to lay back down. I woke up at 8:30, threw my clothes on, and rushed out the door just in time to meet my 9 AM pickup. So much for, “I don’t need an alarm today.”
in all of this, I’d forgotten the one reason I really get up so early on Sundays—early morning coffee before Mass, finished just in time to keep the hourly Eucharistic fast. So I did not get my coffee. And poor, dear Mrs. H took a zombie to Mass this morning! I mulled through the Opening Rites in a fog, was semi-awake during the Readings, and finally managed to be alive around the Sign of Peace. My head was splitting, the choir sounded like clanging metal, and I’m fairly certain my eyes were closed during much of the Intercessions.
But we did get an amazing homily on one of my favorite Gospel stories—Jesus and the leper. Their beautiful exchange is always so touching to me, and I found myself repeating after the deacon as he read today. This is a small part, Mark 1:40-42:
A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
Father gave an excellent homily about showing the light of Christ to those “lepers” in our lives, whether they be men and women who, like the leper in the story, are ill, or simply people we don’t want to associate with. Are we being Christlike to those men and women? After all, what makes the Church beautiful is her openness to all people; we have to remember that Jesus calls all to share in the promise of the Gospel, not just the people we like the best. Food for thought on this beautiful, cold Sunday.
My coffee is getting cold by now, but my morning deprivation got me thinking about how much I like my little routines. I’m just that type of person—I need “me” time, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But how often have I been rude to a friend or neighbor because they were “interrupting” my quiet time with music, activity, and noise? It’s something to think about as we approach the beginning of Lent; when things don’t go our way, do we accept this small splinter of Jesus’ cross and suffer it for the good of our brothers and sisters, or do we become indignant and ugly, choosing instead to tear them down?
We don’t always get our morning coffee, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to be complaining zombies. On the contrary, Jesus demands we “take up [our] cross” and leave ourselves behind. We are not called to be sorry, complaining zombies. We are called to be Saints. In fact, we are saints now, as St. Paul reminds us. We are set apart for the joy of Heaven. If only we will make do without our morning coffee, for just a little while—we will have an eternity of Maxwell House. Or at least, I like to think so.
I know it’s so silly, but I like to think heavenly ambrosia tastes a bit like dark roast and coffee cake. Happy almost Lent everyone! May your coffee be always hot, and your faith always fervent! God bless you!
In His Sacred Heart,