Second Sunday in Advent 2012
They will come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves, so goes the old spiritual. Do you know what a sheave is? I did because I have been on a wheat farm and know that the bundles of wheat gathered up at the harvest in the olden days were called “sheaves.” Now who says the internet doesn’t have useful tidbits for ice-breaking turning uncomfortable silence into interesting conversations. During this time of waiting aka shopping season, we are hoping that our harvest of good will will be abundant enough to last us through the freakin’ year. (Of course we have to get by the 21st of December at 11:11 – Doomsday). I guess that after that date fiscal cliffs will just be a footnote for anyone who survives the end of the world stuff. Seems that the Mayan culture reached its end-of-the-world time way before 2012 so we are looking to them for guidance? Odd. Speaking of doomsday and sheaving…
Fun fact for today- Today is the feast of St. Juan Diego. He was the Indian, probably in his late ’50′s when Mary, the mother of Jesus appeared to him. His background is a bit sketchy. We think he was a widower. His Indian name is Cuauhtlatoazin which translated (yes, you can thank me for this service) “one who speaks like an eagle” indicating that maybe he was a wise man. Personally if an eagle spoke to me I believe I would be committed. But that is neither here nor there in the great scheme of things. On December 9 1531, about 10 years after the Spanish conquest, Mary appeared to him for the first time. It wasn’t in a big church but along a country trail, not even a road. Here’s the kicker, she told him to tell the Bishop to build a church on the site of the appearance to replace a pagan shrine that existed there. According to Juan, Mary was dressed in traditional Aztec clothing and spoke to him in that ancient language. Guess what, the big Bishop didn’t believe a peasant like Juan and refused to do what he asked. This happened a few times and finally in her third appearance to him, she asked Juan to gather some roses that were growing nearby (remember it was winter…so no roses or flowers for that matter). He was told to wrap them up in his cloak and take them to the Bishop. When Juan got to see the Bishop he unfolded his cloak, the flowers spilled out and on the inside of his cloak was imprinted a painting of Mary. The Bishop about peed his red cassock when he saw the image. The rest his history. The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe was built near the spot of the appearances to Juan Diego. The picture on his cloak shows no signs of deterioration even after 500 years, and artists have been unable to duplicate the combo of materials used in the paint. Juan Diego, the simple man, was canonized a saint on July 31, 2002. (This is the third event to take place on this date that I recall writing about, July 31st is the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, the day Solanus died, and the canonization of Juan Diego. All three very cool people).
The reading for today comes from the Book of Psalms (Ps 126:1-2,2-3,4-5,6)
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
Harvest is a time for rejoicing and even though the harvest season has passed, we still benefit from the fruits of the harvest through the cold dark winter of our calendar year. I don’t presume anything insightful, just what I know and how I stumble through life. I told you early on in the over 400 entries on this site that every morning when I wake up I am surprised. I am surprised to wake up. I know people live to be a ripe old age and I shouldn’t think about death so much, but I have known to be ripe from time to time and it’s just a matter of time before I become old. I have noticed that each year I live seems to fly past faster and faster. It was just yesterday that my daughter got married and now Christmas is upon us already. Every week I send out 3 or 4 resumes looking for ESL jobs all over the place. I can imagine the people receiving
my resume and being impressed, then they look at my picture and say to themselves, “too bad he’s so old. he’ll probably break our health care system.” But each day that I wake up I check my email inbox for a response of some kind finding only adverts for Viagra or Russian brides or money I should take care of for Nigerian princes or deals I would be a fool to pass up. Then look at the TEFL site for new places I can send my face off to. That’s how my mornings and afternoons go. I am waiting for a vision of some sort that will say, hey here’s a great opportunity, go for it. Sounds like I’m bitchin’ and moaning, but I’m really not. I enjoy teaching ESL here in California and my students make me laugh every day. That’s the cool thing. I am not angry that no one in Spain or Poland wants me. I look on it as they don’t want me…yet. I know there will come a time. When God closes one door it sometimes hits me in the arse. Then there are the other times when I shove my foot in the door before it closes. I’ll still keep knocking on those doors and rejoice that I am still alive to do it. I am happy with what I have and the rest will take care if itself. Of course to be happy, the first thing you need to do is turn off Fox News and start gathering in your sheaves.
and so it goes…