As we come into the Church today, there is one thing we would take – the bulletin.
There are a few reasons why we take the bulletin.
I remembered that in my teenage years when I wouldn’t go with my parents to Church (because I want to go on my own – a teenage rebellious syndrome) I would make it a point to take the bulletin.
Not that I want to read what is in there, but it would be used as a proof to my parents that I did attend Sunday Mass (otherwise I will not have my pocket-money for that week).
The retribution for that is that now I have to proof-read the weekly bulletin. : (
But for most of us, we take the bulletin to have a look at the announcements and the up-and-coming events and whatever we need to take notice of.
But inevitably, there would be some bloopers and blunders and typo or grammatical errors.
The mistakes are certainly unintentional, but at the same time they can be quite funny and even hilarious.
The following are some examples but they are not from our parish bulletin.
Certainly these bloopers and blunders are unintentional. It’s just a case of the wrong choice of words or the wrong placing of the words that make it sound strange and even hilarious.
- Ben and Jessie were married on Oct 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their Sunday school days.
- Don’t let worry kill you – let the Church help!
- Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want to remember.
- Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our Church.
- Let us join David and Lisa in the celebration of wedding and bring their happiness to a conclusion.
But if what is spoken can be quoted, then what is printed cannot be easily amended.
We may remember that in last Sunday’s gospel passage, we heard Peter made that profound profession about who Jesus is when he said: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And for that Jesus made Peter the rock on which He will build His Church.
Indeed it was an astounding heavenly revelation that was given to Peter.
But in today’s gospel passage, we heard the same Peter remonstrating with Jesus with those words: Heaven preserve you Lord; this must not happen to you.
That was certainly not a blooper or blunder on the part of Peter.
Because to remonstrate means to make a forceful reproachful protest.
So it was intentional and Peter knew exactly what he as saying to Jesus.
And from being the rock on which the Church would be built, he sank to rock-bottom. He became associated with the prince of the underworld; he became associated with none other than Satan himself.
We may wonder why Jesus was so harsh on Peter.
And we may also wonder why such strong words of Jesus was recorded in the gospels in the first place.
Jesus came to bring comfort to those who are in distress.
Jesus is the love of God made visible for those who want to follow the way of God.
But it needs to be said that God’s way is not man’s way.
God’s way is the way of the cross. But in the face of pain and suffering, the human inclination is similar to that of Peter’s remonstration.
We want to protest against the cross. There has got to be a way out of the problem of pain and suffering.
We are inclined to think of a way out of the cross and not the way of the cross.
The question of which way will always come before us.
It was the same question that came before St. Thomas More (1478 – 1535) who in the 16th century was Lord Chancellor and the right-hand man of king Henry VIII.
But when he was asked to renounce his allegiance to the Pope and to declare his loyalty to king Henry VIII as sovereign head of the Church of England, he refused and was imprisoned.
The daughter of St. Thomas More even implored him to declare his loyalty to the king in order to save his life.
After the jury's verdict was delivered and before his sentencing, St. Thomas More spoke freely of his belief that "no temporal man may be the head of the spirituality".
In other words, what will a man gain if he wins the whole world and yet ruins his life?
St. Thomas chose the way of the cross and laid down his life for it. But he got his eternal reward.
The cross is not just a part of the Christian life – it is the very heart of the Christian life.
The truth is that the cross does not crush out our life but through it we gain our life.
It is when the cross is heaviest that God’s blessings are at its greatest.
We don’t need to ask for the cross; it will be given to us.
There is no typo error or grammatical error to that. It is as truthful as it can get.
The question is do we choose the way of the cross, or do we choose the way out of the cross.
Our choice will determine whether we gain our life or ruin it.