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As for the Mass today, it went well and the Children's "Lead You" Choir (as opposed to being a performing choir) did very well.
During the homily the Cardinal touched on the first reading (Wisdom 11:22-12:2), skipped the second and plunged into the third, from Luke (Luke 19:1-10), about Zacchaeus. As we remember, Zacchaeus is the evil tax collector, the traitor to his people and agent of Rome. (As my wife says, one of the first Sonderkommando.)
Jesus is coming to town and Zacchaeus wants to catch a look at him. Being "vertically challenged", in the Cardinal's words, he climbs a sycamore tree to get a better look.
The Cardinal talked about how the crowd was crowding out Zacchaeus. As the Cardinal noted, the crowd didn't like Zacheus. Not only was he a tax collector, but he was a rich tax collector. (Actually, he was a tax farmer, someone who had a franchise from the local Roman Administration to collect taxes for Rome and to take his expenses and profits out of the take. Total tax on the people was what Rome demanded plus whatever Zachous could extort.)
So, the Cardinal made the point that the "crowd" keeps people away from Jesus, but community helps bring us closer.
While Zacchaeus is up in the tree Jesus calls to him and says "Zacheus, make haste and come down; for this day I must abide in thy house."
The Cardinal made the point that Jesus talks about money and material goods quite a bit and the point is that we need to learn to put them into perspective. The rich young man was mentioned (e.g., Matthew 19:16-26). He is the one who asked Jesus what he had to do to merit eternal life. In the end Jesus told him to sell all he had and give it to the poor and come follow Him. The rich young man was sad because he had so much.
So, my takeaway is that we need to strike for community, rather than just being a crowd and that we need to be wise in how we deal with our resources and, in particular, how we apply those resources.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the "Master of Ceremonies", the person who travels with the Cardinal Archbishop to help move things along before, during and after Mass. In our case it was Father Robert Kickham, who is a late vocation, having worked in the world of finance down in Boston for quite a while. Father Kickham is a graduate of St John's Seminary.
I was very impressed with how Father Kickham worked with the five alter servers during Mass. There were new additional duties for them, what with the crosier and the bishop's mitre and all. Several other people mentioned this to me this morning. When someone from outside the Parish shows up it is easy for chaos to rein, but Father Kickham kept it all smooth and low key.
Regards — Cliff