January 13, 2010

Everything Old is New and Delightful

After an overlong hiatus, I'm back. In the interim, I've discovered the joys and pains of fatherhood with our first baby boy, Zion -- now 7 months old -- who never ceases to amaze me.

One of his favorite toys is a cow that, when pressed, sings "Jingle Bells" in a series of enthusiastic moos and bovine grunts. I let the song play whenever I'm feeding Zion because it helps distract him from his boredom at being seated for the stretch of time it takes to finish his rice cereal. The thing is: it doesn't matter how many times he's heard the cow moo, no matter when I press the cow's head, Zion looks up and smiles with all the boyish joy he can muster. He's probably heard it several hundred times by now. And yet, once it starts making its joyful sound, the experience is new for my son every time.

I wonder why we Catholics can't have that same attitude whenever we go to Mass. It's the most magnificent thing in the world to be able to worship God through the Eucharistic celebration, and yet every week I see at least two people (sometimes more) who look like they'd rather be somewhere else. Their faces are dour, sour, sad, often ambivalent. You can almost hear what they're thinking: "Here we go again."  Or maybe "I've heard that homily before." And yet we say we are the Church of the living God?  More like the living dead.

What we have is so precious and so beautiful, this faith of ours, and we take it for granted. We think of the Sunday Mass as a weekly duty that can be easily over and done with in an hour, instead of preparing for it with an expectant heart and fully participating in it with joy and thanksgiving.

We should all take lessons from Zion, who at 7 months, can enjoy the same old thing like new every time, because he finds beauty and happiness and value in it. 


  1. Wally Arida3:16 PM

    Congratulations, Lionel, on this wonderful and blessed addition to your family. Welcome back.

  2. Thanks, Wally. Hope all is well. God bless.