Hubby is gone. He's at a conference and once again I'm stuck at home. I think this is the third conference UDrH has been too since HB was born. On the other hand, I haven't slept anywhere other than my couch or my own bed. It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't leave me with a bunch of chores that he didn't do before he left. So now it's getting later than I want it to, but I need to churn out a couple of posts before Lent. Oh, and happy Ash Monday to my Byzantine and Maronite friends.
"And you think your preacher talks you to death? Mine talked so much that I fell out of window and died. Brought a whole new meaning to the word 'revival' if you catch my drift." ~ Eutychus
Meet Eutychus. He's a young man probably a teenager. He hears that a man is coming to preach. This man, Paul, is leaving the next day so he keeps talking long into the night. Eutychus decides to get a good spot by the window. The room is filled with light and people, but Eutychus exhausted from the journey or work falls asleep anyway. He falls through the glass-less window three stories to the ground where people swore he died. Paul goes and picks him up and says that he's not dead. People end up carrying him back home alive.
What's the point of this story? Well, at the church I used to work at we got a new priest. I believe he was from Ghana. One Mass he talked for such a long time that it nearly ran into the next Mass. People complained about it to the pastor and the new priest was told to limit his homilies to 5-10 minutes.
Mass back in the day was continuously being said. People would come drop by for communion or to pray. High Mass could last for a long time. Since Vatican II, we've been able to shorten Mass. For Masses on Easter and Christmas, they can be as long as an hour and half. But in general Mass lasts about 45 minutes to an hour. And people still complain about the length of Mass. This is of course the Roman Rite. If you go to an Eastern Rite, your Mass is even longer. I can't imagine a complaining Roman discovering they've walked into an Eastern Mass.
The most common complaints that people don't like usually have to do with the length of Mass. Usually because the person doesn't like "all the singing." Sorry, folks. You won't find sympathy from the church musician. Music has and always will be part of Mass. It is an integral part of the worship experience. If you don't like the music, I'm afraid you've picked the wrong denomination. We "force" our members to listen to the music. :)
Other complaints about length involve the homily, as I already mentioned. "Boy, Father was long winded today." or comments along those lines detract from the real meaning behind Mass. Mass is about worshiping God. It's not about you. I understand that time is precious, but I would hope that people would realize that God is numero uno on the list of priorities before they start complaining.
Needless to say, I think the whole passage in Acts should be a meditation for the busiest of us (even parents). My husband gets into a rush to change the toddler's diaper while I find it's a lot easier to let him play in his room for a few minutes and then make the attempt to change it. It's the same way with going places. HB has a different concept of time then I do.
So does God. There is no past or future with God. Everything is in the here and now. Sometimes we just need to slow down and re-prioritize. Even if that means staying up all night to listen to the Word of God. You never know when God will call you home.