You look so good!
Why is it those four words can make you feel so good and cringe at the same time? I mean it is usually only said when someone has reached that certain-uhm, age…and you don’t look as bad as they think you should, right? When I was away on my pilgrimage to spend time learning from some of my saint friends, I was able to spend time with Santa Chiara/ St. Clare of Assisi. When I first went down into her crypt, it threw me off a bit to see her incorrupt body (11 August 1253) while hearing people say “oh my gosh, she really looks good for 766 years old.” It’s not too different from what we tell my sister Debbie this week as she turns 60 on St. Clare’s feast day (N.B. hey big sister, only 706 years apart). Why is it so easy to base “goodness” on how someone looks or how incorrupt they are after they die? Doesn’t The Father see the body as something more than how many wrinkles there are or how much someone “looks so young?” Doesn’t Jesus Christ’s triumph over the grave cry out for us to realize something eternal about the purpose of our flesh and how with our soul we are created for only one reason…to praise Him? I know in our society of youth-driven appearances and products, it’s tough to embrace our theological truth that we were not created in God’s image to get old nor to rot in some grave! This week’s holy day of obligation, The Assumption of the Virgin Mary (or The Dormition as it is known in the Eastern Church), particularly begs us to remember this. With the writings of the early Church Fathers and since the sixth century, we hear about August 15 as being associated with her Assumption. Long before the Church broke apart, Christians believed that through her Son the sinless Virgin Mary was assumed into Heaven after she died. Following the atrocities against the human flesh that came during WWII, Pope Pius XII issued Munificentissimus Deus, which officially defined what we have always believed, the dogma of the Assumption. This means that the Church officially recognizes this belief as a true and necessary part of our Catholic teachings. Like all teachings about Mary, it illuminates something more important about Jesus Christ’s promise of eternal life and the Resurrection of the faithful. Our Mass times will be extended so everyone can keep this holy day Sacred (Wednesday, 5:00 p.m.; Thursday, 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 6:30 p.m.).
Pax, Fr. Bline
(Happy 60th Debbers! On the 11th pray for Mrs. Caroline Klasinski, Mr. Peter Ulrich, Ever Rae, JoAnn…& for Ivy Cate Moore’s Baptism)