This past Sunday I was fortunate enough to attend the Mass of an old school priest. He was elderly, but boy did he have spunk!
About five minutes into his homily was when the trouble began.
You see, he began his homily with this summary:
Think about how you'd answer this job posting...
Seven days a week, long nights, no vacation, terrible pay, no respect, high chance of torture, and definite promise of death.
Would you take it?
That's the job of prophet, and that's the job our speakers were tasked with in today's readings. Ezekiel, Paul and Jesus were all prophets, and each of them paid the ultimate price for bearing forth the Light of God's Truth to a hardened people.
After going a little more in-depth with their respective tasks, Father then went on to say that we, too, are called to be prophet-like in our role as Christians. It is our job to bear the Light of God's Truth to a hardened world, and sometimes that includes our actions in the secular world.
He brought up the way our current government is restricting religious freedoms - an underhanded way to stifle the Light of God's Truth. As Christians, it is our duty to battle against this injustice.
As I listened to him, I thought of my wonderful SD who has been lamenting for some time that our priests don't preach from the pulpit regarding this sort of thing. I've been countering that point-of-view. Each week I've been hearing about it in the various churches I've attended (four in the last 2 months). A little light bulb clicked in my head that I could prove to her that I wasn't crazy and that there were, in fact, priests talking about this on a regular basis.
And thus, the trouble...
I pulled my camera from my purse and discreetly clicked it on. I then hit "record" and placed the camera back into my purse, needing to only capture his voice. I thought I'd been discreet enough to where no one paid me any attention.
Of course, I'd made up my mind about capturing his homily too late, so when I began recording, I'd missed the political stuff, but still, I'd tried, and as a result, I came away with at least part of his homily (which was still worthwhile).
Anyway, at the Sign of Peace, I turned to exchange with an older woman who was sitting behind me. She gave me such a look of anger that I immediately looked down to see if my dress had slipped (it was strapless underneath a bolero, so God-forbid it slipped and I was showing off my bra).
I wasn't, however, so I was so confused as to what I'd done wrong. Did I accidentally kick her while I knelt? Did I steal a spot reserved for her family? Had I really sung so poorly that she now wished me to burn eternally for torturing her ears???
At the end of Mass, my confusion doubled down.
After Father had processed out of the church, she grabbed my arm and said, "I know what you're doing and I'm going to tell Father immediately!"
Color me absolutely stupified.
"I'm sorry?" I asked.
"I saw you recording the Mass. You one of them liberals who wants to make a mockery of our faith?"
I was SO taken-aback I actually stumbled over my words.
"M'am, I'm so sorry, but you're mistaken. I'm a Catholic! I was recording Father's homily!"
"You're not a Catholic. You're just posing as one. Catholics don't even wear veils anymore. Did you think you'd pass for a nun?"
"M'am, I'm REALLY sorry, but you're mistaken. I'm a Catholic, and yes, some of us still wear veils. I was only recording his homily for my spiritual director because I thought she'd like it."
She replied, "I'm telling Father right now, and you should go talk to him too. You're not allowed to do that."
At this point, people were staring at me and I was feeling EXTERMELY embarrassed. If I ran, I'd look like a guilty person and was slightly worried someone might try to tackle me. If I stayed, I'd have to 'fess up to recording his homily, and I felt sorta stupid now for having done so.
However, 'fessing up to a priest regarding how awesome I thought his homily was sounded like a better option than being thought of as a traitor to my faith. So I marched along behind her - shamefaced - to the priest and waited in line until he was finished.
I felt like I was waiting with the teacher for the principal. How do you make a grown woman feel like that??? Thank God I didn't have Vincent with me. I have no idea what I'd've done.
Anyway, the priest turned his attention towards us and the woman immediately started saying that I'd recorded the Mass and that I was probably working with some sort of abortion alliance (?!). Father looked at me and said, "Did you record the Mass?"
I was so beet red at this point that I actually felt like I was going to cry (Heaven forbid I ever get a priest mad at me). I went on a verbal marathon:
"Father, I'm so sorry. I really am Catholic. I did record some of your homily, but I wouldn't think to record the Mass. I was trying to record the bit about politics because I thought it was good and I wanted to share it with my Spiritual Director because she was complaining that nobody does it, but you did it, so I wanted to prove that there were priests out there who were brave enough to take on those issues. I promise that's all it was, do you want to see it?"
I was fumbling for the camera at this point. He sort of laughed and said, "You wanted to record my homily?"
I said, "Yes. I promise that's all it was. I didn't even catch what I was trying to record, but that's all I was doing."
The woman was still standing there smugly, waiting for Father to tear into me for being such a sacrilegious heathen. She was practically salivating.
Thankfully, Father simply glanced at the camera and said, "I trust you. I'm glad someone found my homily worthwhile enough to be immortalized."
He laughed again, and I let out a nervous / relieved chuckle. The woman was completely diffused and gave me a mean look after thanking Father for his time.
How insane is that???
I guess I should be happy, though, that there are folks who are looking out for the interests of the Church. But wow. How crazy!
Here's a clip of what I caught, though. :)