Our parish festival, Nativity Fest 2013, is fast approaching. The time has come for us to rally in a festive sort of way. Our parish needs to play. It’s easy for us to forget, in our chore-filled and toil-driven lives, that the joy of play is God’s gift to us.
God tells us in the third commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day – keep it holy.” It should strike us as odd that God doesn’t have to command us to work, but He does have to command us to rest and play.
Merry-making should be one of the most evident activities in Catholic life. I believe that one of the main reasons that people are so reluctant to come to church is that they don’t see joy at the heart of what we do. Holy recreation and festivity should be as central to our Catholic lives as anything else. Let all of our neighbors throughout Bloomington and beyond see that we at Nativity of Mary have great cause to rejoice – and that we frolic well.
I also remind people that it was a Catholic monk, Dom Perignon, who invented champagne. Serious fun does not have to be an oxymoron. Dom Perignon surely was one who took his fun seriously.
So let us too have some serious fun. Be earnest about our festival this year. Hearts and spirits are strengthened when friendships are deepened, a sense of belonging is realized, and when together we do something, not half-heartedly, but really well.
I am grateful to the Festival Committee who has been planning in earnest, ever since our festival concluded last summer, to make this year’s celebration even better. Their number-one goal has been to share with others the gladness and hospitality of Christ – so that everyone can come to know at Nativity the same joy that we have come to know.
There is still a need for others to take part so we can maximize the good cheer. Be stout-hearted about lending a hand. G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” Let’s seriously do this. See you at Nativity Fest 2013 on August 16-17!