Monday, October 29, 2012
Feast of Saint Narcissus of Jerusalem
Good morning. Reflecting upon today’s Gospel, it occurred to me how often our Lord tends to heal people, but instead of simply healing them and sending them on their way, He more times than not tends to engage in some type of ritual, if only but to lay His hands upon them. In thinking about this, it occurred to me that we so often tend to have the need for such things in our lives, we require ritual or various experiential things in order to provide for the changes we seek. In fact, despite the fact that technique contributes minimally to the positive outcome in therapy, individuals and couples seek counseling in the hope that, much like the woman in today’s Gospel, a cure awaits them. Truth known, it was the woman’s faith that cured her, and so it is with couples who come to counseling, their faith, and their commitment to change is what ultimately makes for the positive changes they seek. Like the woman in the Gospel we sometimes feel a need for more specialized or dramatic things to appreciate Jesus’ healing presence. The woman in the temple, her healing didn’t require any special techniques, skills, or cue cards to make things better; but the assurance the laying of hands offered her emboldened her faith. So it is for us, the meaning various rituals in our lives offer us provides what we need to obtain the positive results we seek. It was this way for the faith community of today’s saint, the presence of Saint Narcissus was so important to the people of Jerusalem that he continued to serve them despite his old age. It is this way with marriage and family life, so many positive things in our lives involve ritual and these rituals provide for the continued growth and strength needed to continue on. Rituals help us identify who we are both as individuals and as a family; they provide for consistency and predictability in a world which challenges marriage and family values. Rituals make us feel more certain, happier and more a part of something good and right. As part of marriage and family life rituals can mean sharing meals together, or holiday traditions, nicknames for each other, shared stories, or the way we greet one another; all these things and more come together to give our lives meaning and strength, and serve to hold us together no matter what. As Tevye, in The Fiddler on the Roof notes: “Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as... as... as a fiddler on the roof!" Hang on to those traditions. Make a great day!
Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Narcissus.
Posted by Donald Gatwood at 8:00 AM