Sunday, May 15, 2011

Good Shepherd Sunday

It's still Easter, y'all!

I get excited that we still get to be doused with a little bit of Holy Water each Sunday and renew our baptismal vows for the next couple weeks. Have you noticed that we can replace the Creed during the liturgy with the Baptismal Vows? I just studied all that recently and so I'm kinda fascinated by it. I mean, we like making, taking, and talking about vows, right? I mean- there's all these "Say Yes to the Dress" "Bridezilla" wedding shows where people are obviously excited about saying "I do"- and we get to each take vows each Easter.

For some, though, thinking about vows can make one break into hives. And that literally happened to me today. Well, maybe it was more just the fact that I went outside to mow the lawn after a pollen explosion this week, but my other roommate (that's right, in addition to my other, other roommate) got engaged this weekend and while I am SUPER happy for her, I may or may not have had an allergic reation. My body either cannot take any more pollen or any more engagements. One of the two.

But there's something about vows, isn't there? They unite us to an idea or a concept or a person. They give us a purpose and identity. We celebrate them and want to share them with others. But do we think about our baptismal vows as such? We get to say "I do" many, many times in our lives when we think about the Creed we say each Sunday. We say "I do" to rejecting Satan, accepting Jesus and the Church...do we think about the serious agreement we are making? (Not to freak you out or anything. Don't go getting all itchy on me! I just had to take some Benadryl myself...for reals.)

No one should be surprised that I'm also teaching Marriage right now in my Sacraments course because that's what happens in my life; my worlds run and blend together. And I teach people about weddings- that's what I DO. I don't like to brag, but I know a thing or two about weddings since I've been to so many. I'm kind of like the Wedding Whisperer at this point. My friends come to me and ask me all kinds of things about bridesmaid protocol. My aforementioned, engaged roommates are also some of the coolest engaged women ever because they have been through all this with me. We've contemplated writing a book, but women probably don't want to read what we would write (imagine "He's just not that into you" for brides only "They just don't care that much" ie- your guests)

But anyways, when I teach Marriage to the students, we talk about many things, but primarily those vows because from those you can understand why the Church teaches what it does about the Sacrament. You are saying "I do" to being open to children (hence the teachings on birth control) and "I Do" to being with the person for the rest of your life, better or worse, sickness and in health, hence our teaching on divorce. It's serious stuff and we don't take it lightly!

But commitment can and does freak us out, which is why I emphasize to the students that we have to put God at the center of our relationships. If God is at the center we can be much more sure and have a much stronger foundation. We can rely on His Grace because we as humans are flawed and unreliable.

I was grateful that today was still Easter Season and in particular, Good Shepherd Sunday. After having a physical reaction to another wedding put me in need of a shepherd. And the readings today came through:

Psalm 23- "God is my shepherd, There is nothing I shall want."

and

1 Peter 2:20 "Beloved: If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good,
this is a grace before God. For to this you have been called,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps"

Sigh. God is so good. No need to panic- I can breathe a sigh of relief. Though, I'd like to ask for prayers for my new housing situation and our upcoming move. I am hoping to live in community with some other Catholic young women. A friend and I are looking at houses in Northern VA, but our lease here in MD is up very soon! I totally trust that God will take care of everything and His plan is perfect, but the prayers couldn't hurt!

"God is my shepherd. I shall not want." What do you need to hand over to God, perhaps? And are we aware of the promises we've made to Him and how he keeps His promises to us?

Happy Easter...still! Oooo...and the countdown to Pentecost begins soon! My favesies!

Peace,
Julia

2 comments:

'maters said...

No, I think it would be OK to write that book. :)

I was happy that WaPo had a piece today about getting rid of the tradition of engagement rings.

Mad Hatter said...

I like the way you related baptismal vows to wedding vows.