Did you have a favorite day of the week growing up? I’m guessing my brother John’s was Monday…he was the bookworm of the family and couldn’t wait to get back to school. I’m just joking because it was my brother Jim who enjoyed going to school the most. I have two days that run pretty close together – depending on the season we were in. If it was Fall, Saturday was by far my favorite day. Saturday was soccer day and we would leave the house early on a Saturday morning and it would be late afternoon early, sometimes early evening before we would return. To me, there was nothing better than a Saturday in the Fall. Any other season of the year – hands down – it was Sunday. We would always start with Mass, then Dad would come home and start frying bacon, mixing Tang, baking biscuits and then would fix your three eggs to order – hard boiled, soft boiled (my preference for the longest time), scrambled, fried without or without a runny yoke. When Grandma Hilbert stayed over with us it only got better because on top of all that she would buy donuts for us. (You’ll have to forgive me, my stomach is growling rather vociferously right now!!!). Following that, we would play a little outside and then come in and watch sports with Dad in the “Living Room”. Football, baseball and especially Golf…we loved watching our golf tournaments. Two things that stand out from watching sports with Dad (the man worked two jobs, six days a week) was that he never made it to the middle part of any game without being asleep; but if you changed the channel, you would hear him talk to us in his calm demeanor – “Put it back – I was watching that!!”. The other memory is that Dad never needed a remote control – he had six boys. Whenever he wanted the channel changed, he would just say, put on Channel 5 (NBC)…Channel 4 (CBS) or Channel 2 (ABC). Those were the only three channels my Dad ever watched for the longest time. I don’t know if he knew he had three other choices – Channel 9 (KETC – public TV), Channel 11 – KPLR – home of the Three Stooges) or Channel 30 (KDNL). That was it for TV growing up – 6 channels (really 5 because I NEVER watched anything on KETC – except for Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers). Following sports, we would sit down to a festive Sunday meal and many times with Mom or Dad’s family in attendance. Sunday meals were outstanding…roast beef or pork, bar b que, spaghetti – whatever – it was usually pretty damn tasty and plenty of it. The other tradition (and we still do it to this day) is that Grandma Hilbert would walk in the house with a bag and all of the grandchildren would ask – What’s in the bag Grandma? We all knew she brought a bag full of candy, but she would reply – “I brought my underwear with me.” To this day, whenever we go to the grandkids house – Sarah brings a bag of “underwear” for the kids.
There is a reason for all of these memories and it comes from reading the Gospel this morning…
On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught,
and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely
to see if he would cure on the sabbath
so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.
Isn’t it funny how a certain line in the Gospel can trigger all of these memories?
Back in the day, I’m still talking the 70’s, not much was done on a Sunday. I don’t think we did this out of fear of what the Scribes and the Pharisee’s would think of us, but it did stem from the age old tradition of keeping holy the Sabbath. Sunday was family day and in our house, for the most part – it still is. It has taken on some new traditions (breakfast at the Kolache Factory), multiple Masses, but we still watch our sports, I still take a nap (just like my Dad), I still complain when someone changes the channel (all my kids still don’t fully appreciate Golf on TV). I do use a remote (and not the kids) to change the channels. And for the most part – our best meal of the week is usually on Sunday evening. I hope you don’t mind that I took a short trip down memory lane this morning, but I go where the Spirit leads me – today was a trip back to 11915 Glenridge Drive.
Do something great for our Lord today – remember to always keep holy the Sabbath.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.