Saturday After Ash Wednesday

As I sit here in my office with the windows open enjoying a beautiful mid-March day, I can’t help but marvel at God’s works.  Grass is turning green, birds are singing, and things couldn’t be more beautiful.  The “other Saint Patrick’s Day Parade”, the one that runs through downtown Saint Louis should be over by now and the day is glorious.  The annual Saint Pat’s Day run was this morning and my son Tim reports on facebook that he finished the five miles in 37 minutes.  Way to go, son!

I call today’s parade the “other” parade because the “real” parade, the one that runs through the Irish part of town, the one sponsored by the Hibernians, takes place on the correct day, March 17.  Weather forecasters tell us that Thursday will be an even better day.  Considering that I’ve stood in the snow to watch a few times, that’s really good news.

I mention Saint Patrick’s day because (1) it’s topical; (2) I’m part Irish; and (3) Patrick was an Irish saint.  As proud as I am of my Irish heritage, I have to admit that we’ve really made a mess of our Patron’s feast day.  Patrick was a good and holy man who gave his life to converting the Irish people.  We mark his feast day by dressing up like a bevy of green clowns, singing saloon songs, and getting falling-down drunk.  We consume tons of corned beef, a delicacy that is mostly unknown in the Emerald Isle.  In fact, historically beef was a delicacy in Ireland.  Anyone who owned a cow was considered to be quite well off.

So as I sit here pondering God’s many gifts, I pray that my Irish brethren might keep their wits about them today and this-coming Thursday.  Don’t celebrate so much today that you can’t make it to mass tomorrow.  It is still Lent, after all, and while you’ll see priests and even bishops wearin’ the green, let’s not let the party get in the way of remembering Lent is all about.

Sláinte! what

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