I swore I wasn’t going to do it. I was not going to write about the Mission until it really had time to soak in. And maybe I’ll write about it then too.
I love the missions out at St. Jerome. This is my third or fourth one. The first one I attended after we rejoined St. Jerome will go down in infamy. I still marvel at the person I have become since then. But it always seems that whoever gives the mission hits me the right way. I seem to have something on my heart that needs some clarity. And it seems that the presenter is talking directly to me.
So obviously I was ready. I had blocked off the time on my calendar. Nothing was going to interfere with my time there. My family was on board, for the most part. The kids have been so busy and they were getting ready for the FFA National Convention. That and Katie working they weren’t really able to go. John did go one night.
When we headed to church I had my notebook, my good ink pen and my iPhone. I was set to be an attentive listener but I was also set to take lots of notes on things that were said but also with things that just popped into my mind. You never know when divine wisdom is going to strike. It’s like lightening. And I was going to be ready.
Usually when I go to Mass prepared to be interactive I like to find a lone pew, next to a wall, where I can spread out and get comfortable. Well that really couldn’t happen. The place was packed. I did find a pew, close to where we normally sit but there were people in front of me and behind me. When Jimmy came to sit down then we had another couple join us. I still was prepared to take notes but I had to look like I was paying attention. People don’t alway serialize that I can do three things at once. So even though I was listening I had to look the part. That was okay. I can give something my undivided attention every once in a while.
Then the fan fair started. There was music and a procession and prayers and then they gave the floor to Fr. Tom. Well, I am here to tell you that he is one of those guys you should never give a microphone. He’s not shy. And he things he’s funny. That’s not to say that he wasn’t funny. He is. But he things he’s funny which makes him twice as funny. Because he laughs at his own jokes, loud. Sometimes he laughs at them before he gives you the punch line. That takes away from the joke but you laugh just as hard because he is on the floor laughing at himself.
But then he cries at some of the stores he tells also. He cries when he talks about his “Ma”. He cries when he talks about some of the people he has dealt with through the years. He cries when he talks about his faith. I love how he talks about his twin (I just kept shaking my head because his mother had to put up with two of him. Can you imagine?) and how brilliant he is in the field of psychology/psychiatry and I’m thinking that guy doesn’t have anything on this guy because he seems to be pretty good at getting into people’s heads.
The thing about his jokes is that they’ve been around awhile. If you think they’re his, you’re wrong. Some of those have been all over the internet for years. I don’t get many emails forwarding jokes anymore but I recognized more than one of his jokes. I may have told a few of them.
I’m like that. I love an audience. And I think I’m hilarious. If he gets around his family kitchen table where everyone is smoking and drinking he’s not as funny as he thinks. I’ll bet all of his family can tell story, and think they’re hilarious. When my sister, brother and I get together we fight for the floor. And I have had more than a few arguments with my sister who thinks my brother is the funniest one. He wouldn’t be the least bit funny if he didn’t have the two of us to play off of.
The Mission was three nights. When we got there the first night we were absolutely shocked at the turn out. But it was the first night and we decided that the crowd would dwindle after that. We were wrong. I think the second night was actually more crowded. The third night was down a little but it was pouring down rain. We were shocked. I wasn’t able to go to Mass in the mornings but I wouldn’t have been surprised if they weren’t packed too. It was obvious this guy had a following.
And all he did was make fun of us. It seems that he wasn’t a Kentucky fan and most of the people in Fancy Farm are. He wasn’t a St. Louis Cardinals fan either. He’s from Kansas City so he is obviously a Royals fan. But he kept making fun of all of the blue shirts and such. Well, everyone must have gotten the memo because everyone was wearing blue on night two and night three. What was more funny was that night three Fr. Tom showed up with a UK shirt. Since I’m not a UK fan I was sort of glad about the goading. But I am definitely a minority.
I guess I could comment on each night of the Mission and what all I got out of it. But I’m not. I am going to comment on my favorite parts.
- I love his mother. His mother is the type of mother I always wanted to be. She was smart. She was witty. And she didn’t take any crap. I loved it when he was talking about her and how she always ha to have the last word. “She always had something else to say . . .”
- We all come from a dysfunctional life. I agree with that. It reminds me of a cartoon going around the internet now, “Normal is just a setting on the washer.”
- I don’t know about my notes but I wrote down the lines to one of my favorite poems: “Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd. Had anything been wrong We should certainly have heard.” Freedom and happiness don’t always go hand-in-hand. We just with that they did.
- You are worthy. That sounds reasonable. I am worthy of my Father’s love. But do I live my life knowing that? Not always. In my life I have had issues with self-worth. Fortunately I have gotten past of lot of that. But I have to remind myself all the time.
- You got the part. I particularly liked this one. I too have tried out for parts in plays and such in my life. It is so tedious to wait for the phone call telling you that you got it. You feel as though you’ve done everything to get ready for the audition or job interview or whatever. I wonder if we all knew this, and believed it when we were younger, just where we would be right now. All we have to do is show up.
I took a lot of notes during his talk. “If you’re burned out you had to be on fire first.” “Give me some kerygma, baby. God is love. Get out of the way.” “Letting go.” “It’s mine” – stewardship. “St. Paul. St. Peter.”
Maybe I’ll blog about those in the future. Maybe.