I was walking down the street after Mass this morning when I passed one of the Protestant churches in town. On the signboard outside, beneath the four names of the female minister, the church announced: “No Services until after Labor Day.” I’m not sure this post couldn’t end here, but let me share a few thoughts that occurred to me by the time I reached my office, a couple of blocks away.
If I didn’t go to church for the next six weeks, something inside me would grow cold. That something is already lukewarm now and then, and it wouldn’t take long for it to freeze up entirely.
An argument can be made here for a full-time celibate priesthood, don’t you think? Father Barnes is away for two weeks, but he never would have left for more than a day if he didn’t have Father Hennessey, our wonderful “permanent” guest priest, to fill in for him.
Finally, it occurs to me that if God really exists, and His Son Jesus Christ really appeared on earth 2000 years ago and remains present in the Eucharist today, then a minister taking six weeks off is a bit like installing a hammock in your office and sleeping the summer away while your boss is working 24/7. If I were the boss, I’d fire you.
But maybe that’s just me.
(Note: Bliss Hammocks did not endorse this message.)
ADDED Wednesday 8/4/10:
Faithful follower of this blog Mujerlatina has suggested this alternate illustration, noting that it shows “the legendary Johnny Appleseed who imbues the perfect qualities of a folk hero on vacation: au natural; earthy; contemplative and, for the priests' sake, celibate! He was like a St. Francis of the Americas.”