Tradition…the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice: a story that has come down to us. I love traditions and to be quite honest, I struggle sometimes with change. I may ramble it bit today, but I promise I have a point.
It is easy to grow comfortable with Tradition and when those around you want to change that tradition, it can be hard to accept. A few simple examples….
Halloween. We looked forward to this night every year. Throw cheap costume on, call yourself the Hobo Superman, and walk around with a pillow case and have people toss candy into it after you tell them a bad joke. What’s to improve on? Why change? Since moving back to St. Louis, Halloween each year has become less and less an event. It used to be the night that the first pot of chili was made – no more. We used to have children ring the doorbell from about 5 PM until 8 PM; go through bags of candy. No more. Last year I think we had 1 group at the door.
Thanksgiving. My favorite Holiday of the year. So much so, I get to celebrate it twice…Thursday with my In-Laws and Friday with my siblings. Just a couple of years ago, we would host up to 60+ people each day. Soccer games, kickball games, card games, cousins enjoying cousins, brothers and sisters sharing memories of old. Hands down, my favorite two days of the year. But the past couple of years, that has started to change. Kids get older and have other families they share their time with; we’ve even changed up the menu for the Friday meal and don’t have a “traditional” turkey dinner.
I could keep going on with this, but I need to make a point and get to work. Tradition is great but so can change – if you give it a chance. Yes, we didn’t have a Turkey dinner last year for the Dorhauer Thanksgiving dinner – we had lasagna. Not just lasagna, but wife Sarah’s lasagna. It is truly the best lasagna I’ve eaten, won’t even order it in a restaurant because her’s is truly that good. I digress. My family loved it. We didn’t have to get up early in the morning to start the stuffing and prep the turkey and then cook the turkey and then slap all the hands wanting to pick at the turkey (skin) while I’m carving it (I won’t mention any names but her initials are Janice’ LePage and Grace Johnson). Long story made longer, my wife Sarah took a risk, broke tradition and it turned out to be a good thing.
Where the heck am I going with this and how the heck does it tie into today’s readings? If you’ve followed anything regarding the Amazon Synod these past few weeks, I believe the Church is about to break centuries old traditions. What all those changes are I’m not sure. Married Priests? Women ordained as permanent deacons? One thing is for sure, Pope Francis is far from traditional, so I must be prepared for those changes. How? Praying to the Holy Spirit to guide me and my thoughts and also praying to the Holy Spirit to guide the Holy Father’s thoughts.
Still wondering how I can tie all this into today’s readings. Here goes. Tradition is good but change can be good too. With all of our traditions, with all of our changes, two things – one is a truth that will never change and one is up to us and thank goodness, can change. First – God loves us; that will never change. Second – we can either say yes to God’s love or we can say No. That choice is ours and can change either way…
Do something great for our Lord today – say yes to His love.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.