“As the pastor said to the cabbage patch, lettuce pray.”
Those were the words of Father Matthew Buening, pastor of St. Paul’s Parish in Ellicott City, during Masses this weekend. His timing, both comedic and, in the religious setting, couldn’t have been better. It caught some people off guard and others giggled. But, it set just the right tone for people to enjoy their weekend Mass more.
The eighth day of Easter is a pretty joyful one for Catholics, although one its older names is “Low Sunday.” It’s also called “Bright Sunday” or “Holy Humor Sunday.” The day allows Christians to revel in the miracle of Christ’s resurrection and other smaller ones in our lives.
Father Buening was able to sprinkle humor throughout the Mass and his joy in ministry made me think of Father James Martin, the Jesuit who has become one of the church’s most noteworthy representatives in recent years.
Father Martin, a noted author has written a book called “Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life.” Father Martin has been to Baltimore several times in recent months and each time he’s had the various crowds howling with laughter.
It got me thinking about much of a difference joy makes in the faith of a congregation. When a priest rejoices in his vocation, that’s infectious. People see that joy and want more of it. I encourage you to watch the video below of Father Martin taken by Catholic Review assistant managing editor George Matysek Jr. last year. He points out ten reasons for joy in the faith and it’s something we can all learn from on this day.
Happy Bright Sunday, everyone.