Thursday, May 2, 2013
We took a dignitary out for dinner last night and I punted on a restaurant. I knew it might be the right one, but I had never been there before. It is called Canteloupe and it sits on the lower section of Jebel Amman's Rainbow Street's arts district. It has a roof-top view of the City Centre and the illuminated Citadel. The restaurant was just right. I felt like I was eating at one of Portland, Maine's restaurants or one of the trendy bistros in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The food was superb, the service good, excellent views, and tasteful decor. My guests said that this was the best meal they had in Amman.
Today's Chrism Mass was quite nice. The Patriarch, Apostolic Nuncio, his assistant, and the bishop was there, plus around 45 priests of the diocese. I was glad to meet many of them and I was remarking to myself, "A congregation of priests is the same wherever you go." The gathering could have been in Newark or Indianapolis and you would be able to tell the various characteristics of the priests.
Getting to the Chrism Mass was an ordeal. For some reason, no matter how I change the settings on the GPS, I am led to the most congested part of town. I know that this place is right off the airport road and that it is a quick commute, however, the dirt roads my GPS took me on had me stopped three times to allow goats and their shepherd to pass from field to field. Those guard dogs do not like cars getting near to their flock at all. I even had to stop to let a lumbering horse decide to cross the road. I was surprise he was untethered and not in a gate.
The Mass of the Lord's Supper was quite an event, with pockets of humor. The Arab organizers showed up two hours early. It is not possible for them to close the sacristy door; Nor is it possible for them to whisper. Their darting back and forth made more buzz despite their attempts to be silent. The Arab parishioners came an hour and a half early to take their seats. Would they wait outside until mass was over? Of course not. Their silent body movements are very loud and imposing. They walk just like they drive.
I looked out into the congregation and said to myself, "God must really love us."
Despite all the drama, I remember the words of a wise mentor priest, "Nothing that is done wrong at Mass can invalidate the resurrection."