Monday, August 17, 2009
What Would Jesus Do?
Last week I took Moy Moy to Mass for the first time in months. Since I re-upholstered her wheelchair, I haven't been able to take her anywhere in the car because it no longer folds. Her outings have been limited to walks through the neighborhood for which she travels in her fancy (but also unfoldable) stroller.
When Cathleen came home this summer, she brought a bright new folding chair for Moy, making us a two-wheelchair family (probably a first in the city).
So I took her to Mass at last.
Our Bishop, Patrick Nair, has recently retired and moved to our parish and we are all thrilled to have him here. He's a smart man and he gives a good sermon. But he disappointed me this Sunday.
Moy Moy, as most of you know, can no longer eat through her mouth. She uses a G-Tube for nutrition - both physical and spiritual. Since the tube went in, she has been receiving Communion at Mass in the form of the wine, since I can just pour it right in. Each priest has taken a little time to get his head around it, but most of them have adjusted.
This Sunday, it was the Bishop's turn.
I spoke with him before Mass, explained what we needed and why and he agreed. At Communion, he gave me back the little cup I had given him for the purpose, but he looked very nervous about it. After Mass, he came up to where we were standing in the parking lot chatting with other parishioners and without greeting us or even glancing at Moy Moy, in Church for the first time in months, said "What did you do with the cup? How did you purify it?"
I reassured him that I had brought water to clean it with and that that water was also given to Moy, and he relaxed and then remembered his pastoral role, blessed Moy, greeted Dad and Cathleen and carried on.
Now I do understand his preoccupation with the sacred wine. I know that's part of his training as a priest and that we should never be casual or disrespectful of the Body and Blood of Christ. But I am almost certain that Jesus himself wouldn't have worried. I think Jesus would have been so happy to see his daughter back in the congregation he would have rushed over to embrace her, not to question whether the cup she had received Him from had been washed properly.
In fact, he had a lot to say about cleaning vessels when he was on the earth: "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? Give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you."