So the next three weeks seem uncertain. But I will offer this observation for those who anticipate some midweek commentary. Having shattered my poor left arm in the aforesaid cycle accident, I found myself in the Santa Paula hospital in search of an X-ray. I peeked into a waiting room that was replete with nervous women waiting for husbands or sons, or their own turn at surgery. One particularly demonstrative lady gave a shout. “A priest! I feel better just looking at you.” I gave her a blessing, and she, all smiles, pointed me towards radiology. (I must say as well that the radiologist—a nice chap named Arturo—also seemed happy enough to have a priest in his care, and told me all about his parish in Oxnard).
I’m glad I wore my clerical garb. Priests wonder if wearing clerics is worth the effort. Some say the black shirt and roman collar throws up a barrier between priest and people. Some say it smacks of clericalism. Some say Vatican II urged priests to get out of the rectory and among the people, and that it did, but dressed as priests. A man of the cloth, after all, should wear the cloth. Folks are so happy to see Jesus and his priests popping their heads into the waiting rooms of life. If they have a right to a policeman dressed as a policeman, and a limo driver dressed in livery, they certainly have a right to a priest dressed as a priest. Is it too much for the people of God to ask of us, who are fed, clothed, and housed by their loving generosity? Is it too much for Jesus to ask of us?