Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Ruby and a Ribbon

Each lectionary and sacramentary contains ribbons that help the priest or reader to locate their page fairly quickly. It is a bookmark. Being the high sensate that I am, I began to notice curiously when people change the ribbon and move it to another page. It happens every single time. I think it is because the person needs to feel in control and have something to do when they get in front of people and make a public reading.

I've placed the ribbon on the page for the second reading so that the first reader of psalmist won't have to move the ribbon, but they do. I've left it at the first reading to show people where to begin and they move it to the second reading. I've placed it at the Gospel, but people will be courteous to the priest and will move it out of the way so he doesn't have to bother with it. Wherever it is, it will be moved.

I always like it when the second reader stays around and points to the Gospel so I know where it is located. Thank you. I would have been lost otherwise. What would I have done?

Ruby, today, came up to me after Mass and asked if I have compiled my homilies into a book somewhere. She was very sweet and sincere. She said she is always moved by something I say and she looks forward to the Sundays because I preach. I told her, "You gave me the best Christmas present I could receive." It really made my day.

With some parishioners, I wonder if they can understand what I am saying because of the language issues. It is not their ability or inability to comprehend, but many people are not trained in listening to others. Ruby, today, made me so happy. I've always said, "If I but reach one person, I am satisfied." I was touched by her heartfelt gratitude and her courage to come forth and speak to me about this. What a great day.


  1. John, I'm glad that at least one parishioner expressed her gratitude although I'm certain that there must be many who appreciate you but just don't express their appreciation. Gratitude is central to our faith and the expression of our gratitude is essential in the kingdom of God. Thanks for sharing this and for your honesty and humility in sharing your experiences with us. May 2014 be filled with love, joy and peace for you.

    1. Thanks, Lynda. Happy New Year and happy Epiphany. I was surprised because of the unexpected source. I loved it though.