When I was a minister of the Eucharist in my parish, I was serving during a Mass one hot and humid summer morning. I stood near the altar preparing to receive the Holy Eucharist myself, before helping to distribute it to the congregation. We were singing the “Agnus Dei” when a big horsefly came flying towards me, heading for my nose and/or open mouth! I quickly—and, I hope, discreetly batted him away and tried to maintain my holy demeanor. To distribute Holy Communion, I stood off to the side with the ciborium in my hand. My teen-aged daughter, Sherry, came to me for the host. She raised her eyes to me and said, “Mom, I saw it! “Well, I had all I could do to keep from giggling out loud, but I mustered all my efforts at composure and went on with my task. Thanks, Daughter!
Another time when I was serving as minister of the Eucharist, all four-feet, eleven inches of me was standing behind the six-foot, five inch Deacon Tom. When it came time for him to hand me Holy Communion, he turned and I stepped—we were out of sync, and, for a moment, he couldn’t find me. Chuckle time!
My mother told me that she once went to Mass while she was fighting a persistent cough. She was chewing a piece of gum inconspicuously, just to keep her throat moist. All of a sudden, she had to cough, and that little piece of gum flew like a missile out of her mouth, barely missing the bald head of the man praying in the pew in front of her. Close call!
I tell you these stories because I think God has a lighter side. I think he has a sense of humor. We all have a tendency to seek out God when we have a serious or desperate need to pray and ask for help or strength. Do we ever share a laugh with God? Do we ever just thank him for those funny coincidences in our lives that lighten our moods? Do we ever look in a mirror, like what we see, and say a short prayer of gratitude that life is going well that day? And do we ever praise God for giving us the gift of a sense of humor, the ability to relax and laugh, the occasion to break into a smile that shows our imperfect teeth and puts a twinkle in our eyes?
Proverbs 17:22 (NRSV) tells us,
A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.
Now, how shall I cheerfully end this piece on a light side? Aha!
“A priest, a minister and a rabbi walk into a restaurant……”
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
The Scripture passage is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.