Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Smelly Shepherds

I'm bored with politics... at least blogging about the ancient social activity that is suppose to bring peace and goodwill to the common man, but for me only seems to bring distrust and angst. So, I'll try blogging my contemplations from time to time. I'm part of a new Oblates of Mary lay organization, under Fr. Dennis Brown. For the second time in our short Catholic life, Pam and I are going through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius with him as our spiritual director. In short, the idea is to contemplate a Biblical scene, put yourself into it, and gain some spiritual fruit or lesson from imaginatively being there which you can apply today. So here goes.

I'm one of the shepherds in a pasture outside of Bethlehem. We see angels in the sky trying to talk to us. We're scared and start to run not knowing what this is. When we figure it out (how we figure it out I'm not sure) we start to argue. (All good stories have conflict.) There are four of us. One of us is a skeptic and doesn't even darken the synagogues' door step. The other is all excited and starts jumping up and down quoting obscure passages from Scripture....he's nuts. The third is a dim wit and will follow the last person he talked to or fed him. And the fourth is wanting to go back and sleep off his drunken stupor. But when Mr. Faithfilled wants us all to go see this baby in the middle of the night, I think he's off his rocker... angels or not. I mean, in the daylight the villagers wouldn't let us in the gate without taking a bath.... it's been a week and we've been living with sheep. And then there's the problem of leaving the sheep in the middle of the night with only drunk and knocked out Rocky to watch them.... not a good idea. And what would you think if you looked out your house window in the middle of the night (I mean the men back then probably has enlarged prostates, too) and saw three suspicious guys wander into town that shouldn't be there? You'd call the cops, except there was no telephone, so you'd take your stick, rouse your neighbor, and case them out of town as if they were thieves.

So, going to see Jesus, isn't that easy, even if he was born a few hundred yards away. But, in the middle of the night.... wait, how do we know the baby is awake with his parents? This might be the first night they've gotten him to sleep on time, and they're bushed and fast asleep. Wouldn't we be waking them up? "Hey, Joseph wake up Mary so we can see the baby!" Watch out he's got a biggger stick.

So, I'm wanting to believe that we should go see Jesus and bug his parents, and raise the ire of the town folk, especially when the sheep we're suppose to be watching run off into the dark. I have my doubts, because I know that unless God does this, with me an unlikely, unworthy, smelly, otherwise-occupied, and sacred sinner -- it will not happen, and we will all be ridiculed by those that know us.

Now, what was that you saw in the sky? Naw, it was a dream, go back to sleep.

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