Rambling on Home Blessing and Chicken Blood (27th Sunday in Ordinary Time [A] [cf. Mt21:33-43]


In hindsight, hinting that the Catholic ritual for blessing homes included chicken blood may not have been the essence of wisdom. It was a nice usual meeting of the local ministerial association and the local Methodist and Lutheran pastors were having a deep discussion as to the merits of prayer location (or prayer bilocation for the more saintly). The Lutheran shepherd used an analogy of their house blessing prayers and referred obliquely to a similar practice in the Catholic Church. I helpfully put in that Catholics have to have a white rooster for the blessing; he is ritually terminated with a sharp ruler previously used to whack the knuckles of unrepentant children by a fully habited nun. The blood of the fowl is sprinkled in each room and any HD TVs over 52 inches. After the rite is complete the chicken is fried in olive oil and butter with a just a bit of oregano.

By this time the Protestant clergy were looking at me like I had just announced that Saddam Hussein was the new Pope. Trying to save the situation I announced that my memory wasn’t too good, and that ritual could have come from the old rite or a Corsican recipe book. The two pastors looked away and resumed their positional theological musings. The meeting ended on a high note, we all left. While our Protestant brothers and sisters reject some things the Catholic Church believes and does, they do embrace the Rejected One, the Cornerstone.

What does every young teenager, with hormonal influences raging through their veins, fear most of all? Many people in the mental health field will say rejection. This is not limited to the adolescent of the species; we all fear rejection to a greater or lesser extent. While rejection is painful to our fragile egos, it doesn’t hurt the Lord in the same way. Jesus’ hurt/sadness/anger is in one of God’s children rejecting forgiveness and salvation. Jesus’ own people rejected him, but rejection cannot stop God. The Holy Spirit continues to to move; and our prayer this Sunday is all people one day accept the Lord and turn from rejection. In the meantime, it’s time to bless a home so I can have chicken for supper.

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