Just try to grow a beard in the parish and the questions become endless: Why did you do that? Isn’t it too hot to grow a beard in the summer? How come you’re not wearing a flea and tick collar? You know you’d be less ugly without the beard? People mean well, but I always have a stock response for beard questions: “My mother grew one every summer and was a role model for me.” After that reply, few pursue the subject, but a few will be foolish enough to question further and I could never resist making up a good story, to wit:
Them: “Your mother grew a beard?”
Me: “Yes, we traveled with the Barnum and Bailey Circus every summer; she was the bearded lady you’ve heard so much about. It supported the family.”
Them: “Didn’t your Dad have a job?”
Me: “Yes, he was with the circus also; he was noted for doing the Dance of the Seven Veils three times nightly with matinees on Saturday and Sunday.”
Them: “Your father was a dancer, with veils?”
Me: “Well, yes, though many times, due to his size and hairiness, he was thought to be Dancing Bear from the Captain Kangaroo show.”
Those who don’t laugh leave with a look of awe on their faces. As my father before me, I too am big, hairy and now with a beard. Due to this I gave up public swimming years ago; I got tired of women dressing me with their eyes. However, having a beard has a great many advantages: you don’t have to worry about shaving; your food has a place to get when it drops from your mouth; you fit in at Amish conventions; and, you can own a grizzly bear and it looks good. But remember, a beard is not the person, only an adornment or affectation.
This Sunday, June 18, 2017, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. It is a reminder to all Catholics about the center of our faith, Jesus Christ, especially as received in the Holy Eucharist. This is not an adornment, or something extra, unless you consider it the crown of your soul; this is the very center of who we are and the sanctifying grace provided by Christ is without limit.
Many of our Protestant brothers and sister do not want to take the words of Jesus in the Gospel at their face value; they go out of their way to interpret His words down to a symbol without substance. “For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink,” along with the entire passage leaves little doubt in our mind what He intends [John 6:51-58]; He spoke to the Jews then, He speaks to us now. Have a Blessed Corpus Christi!
Meanwhile, anyone know how to keep sparrows from nesting in a beard?