Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just ahead of me, a woman entered the church carrying a dog like someone would carry a child. At nine in the morning, it was already hot so I was sympathetic but also wondered whether today wasn't the feast of St. Francis.

She waited outside the secretary's office. Sure I hadn't succeeded in wiping away my puzzled look, I gave her an as-generous-as-possible, "Good morning" and headed up the stairs.

I can never remember what week it is, but Father came out in white so I turned to the back of my missal where the feasts and memorials are arranged according to the calendar. Father opted for the European pronunciation of St. Bernard1. Having seen a dog in church only moments before, this tasteful touch wasn't lost on me. Lest anyone think we're invoking the intercession of a dog, however conscientious the breed about helping people. 'Though the pronunciation sounded strained.

He said that the vision in Ezekiel 37 isn't about resurrection but about the people returning from exile. And I was glad that he said that. I don't think it's necessary to stop there, with the original audience's interpretation. But too often it's a step that is skipped altogether. The vision is a little more beautiful when taken figuratively, in a way. But then could anything be more beautiful than resurrection?

The twentieth week, the twentieth day. Yes, I like that sort of thing.

1 bur-NAHRD (US), BER-nəd (UK) - Wiki


Anonymous said...

So, did you ever learn why that woman had brought a dog into the church?

And yes, the passage in Ezekiel about "them bones, them bones, them dry bones..." is indeed about the Israelites returning from the Babylonian exile. God was promising renewal.



Moonshadow said...

No, other than not wanting to leave it in the car while she conducted her business with the church secretary. She stayed downstairs near the church hall and offices the entire time - she didn't bring the dog upstairs, AFAIK.

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

Bernard (in the European pronunciation) is a family name in my dad's family, though nobody's used it in two generations now. :) My grandmother was a twin--Bernadine, her brother being Bernard. Interestingly, they had another set of twin sibs--Clarine and Clarita. :)