I prefer early morning Eucharist on Sundays. There is less traffic and need not struggle for a parking space. There is no overwhelming acoustics and intimidating high pitched hymns by an enthusiastic choir which make even the celebrant a minor participant (like how the videographers take the control of the couple at the wedding). Those who come for early morning mass are the early risers and that definitely do not include young couples with babies who get restless after a few minutes of initial excitement seeing the lights, swinging of the thurible and the emerging smell of the incense. So, there is less distraction! Another attraction for those flocking early morning is the sermons that are short (whereas the homilies in the day masses may have disproportionate socio-economic-political-financial ingredients).
I do get a chance to do the ‘Reading’ occasionally as there won’t be too many alter boys competing for it early in the morning. Today, I got the opportunity to read to the congregation and the content was apt as the new year, just a day ahead. St Paul wrote: “In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
Yes! Our discussions in the name of politics, religion etc. sometimes go overboard both in social media and during face-to-face chats. We enter into foolish arguments. We also enter into arguments with fools! Both can only lead to avoidable strife. Scriptures of all religions advocate peace and harmony. But, people become communal, ethnocentric and intolerant in the name of God and God-men. Can 2019 be free of (or have less of) unworthy and unproductive arguments? May be that would be good for our peace, happiness and mental health!
“Your opponent's wrong doesn't automatically make you right. Most fights aren't about who's right; they are contention over degrees of wrongness.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich, ‘Making Wishes’ (Quote from Goodreads)
© Sibichen K Mathew (Views are personal)