“For in your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.” ~ Irving Berlin
If you belong to the parish, you know that there are two things — beside God and my priesthood, that is — that I absolutely love: Disney and cruising. I go to Disney every year after Christmas and I take a four night cruise to the Bahamas every year after Easter. I will be on that cruise next week on Independence of the Seas.
One of the things that is often discussed among cruiser is dress codes. In the former days of cruising, there used to be formal nights. The cruiser would have to wear a tuxedo or gown when coming to dinner or the theater or risk not being admitted. If someone refused to dress the part, they would have to go to the buffet to eat. Thankfully, those dress regulations are much more relaxed today.
The same held true — and still holds true in some places/countries — regarding Easter dress. Men would be in suits, women would be in fine dresses and often sport Easter bonnets. Generally, they would not wear a dress or bonnet that was worn the year before. The “Easter finest” would always have to be new. This was/is supposed to give glory to God but, for some, has also developed into a “dressed better than so-an-so” competition.
We should be dressed appropriately for different things and/or places. I do agree with that. However, all the Easter finery cannot hide the dressing of the soul. If we are in our finest but have no regard for the poor and needy, we are shabby and tattered inside.
We have just spent several days during Holy Week last week dressing and preening ourselves interiorly. We “took a bath”, that is to day, went to confession so that our souls would be clean and bright. We put on our finest as we attended the different Masses/liturgies of the Triduum and we sang glory to God at our Easter celebrations.
All that celebration has to be directed to service, though. We must make sure that we are living our faith as completely as possible. If not, we are not showing the proper attention to the witness that Jesus gave to us. As He went all out for us, let us go all out for others.
FAITH ACTION: Don’t wear your faith like tattered old clothes. Instead, let your faith shine brightly so as to show others how important Jesus is to you.