Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feast of the Holy Innocents


Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the kind of feast to which the proper response is: "ewwwww!" According to the story in Matthew's gospel, Herod ordered all the boys under two years old in Bethlehem to be slaughtered because he wanted to prevent the arrival of the Messiah. There are no accounts of this event in non-biblical literature of the time, and one would expect that such a traumatic event would appear somewhere; Flavius Josephus doesn't mention it, and he spent some time on the abuses of Herod.
Whether Herod had children massacred or not, there are still many innocents being slaughtered here in our own time. Children die of starvation all over the planet, and innocent children die in the war zones our our world, especially in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Darfur. Innocent children die of abuse and neglect in developed nations and in developing nations. Innocent children die of neglect and abuse in the United States of America, too. Innocent children die every day on the streets of our cities. The leaders of these nations are even more guilty than Herod, because we have actual proof of these atrocities taking place in our time.
So today, let us pray and remember the innocents massacred in this day and time around the world, and let's remember who is responsible for these modern-day atrocities.
We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

This is my sermon on St. John

John, son of Zebedee and Salome and younger brother of James, grew up along the shores of the sea of Galilee. Both John and James were followers of John the Baptizer, and John and Andrew were present when John the Baptizer saw Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” John was probably one of the earliest disciples of Jesus. Jesus called John and James “Boanerges” which means “Sons of Thunder” and they, along with Peter, where in the Inner Circle of the disciples. These three were blessed with the experience of seeing Jesus transfigured and talking with Moses and Elijah. When the women returned to tell the disciples of the empty tomb, both Peter and John ran to check out their story and John reached the empty tomb first. It was John who recognized the Resurrected Jesus sitting on the beach when they were fishing. According to the gospel attributed to John, Jesus gave the care of his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, to John as they stood at the foot of the cross. It was either James and John or their mother who asked Jesus if they could sit at his right and left when he entered his kingdom. We have no idea if they sit on either side of Jesus, but we do know that they shared the same cup as Jesus, the cup of persecution. James died the death of a martyr, but although John died in Ephesus at a very advanced age, he did suffer persecution. Tertullian and Jerome claim that during the persecution of Domatian, John was dipped in a cauldron of boiling oil outside the Latin Gate of the city of Rome. He was unharmed and was exiled to the island of Patmos to work in the mines. It was there that he received the vision which he wrote down and is named the Apocalypse of John the Divine, or the Book of Revelation.

John was the most prolific writer of the Twelve who followed Jesus; only the Apostle Paul left us more writings. John has a gospel attributed to him, the vision of the Apocalypse is attributed to him, and three letters to the Church in Ephesus are attributed to him. According to bishop Eusebius of Cesarea, the fourth century historian, John wrote his gospel because the other three gospels did not deal with the deeds of Jesus at the beginning of his ministry. Eusebius said that John’s gospel was accepted by the Church from the earliest days, as well as the first epistle attributed to him, but that the other two epistles are not accepted by everyone. There was still disagreement as to whether the Apocalypse should be accepted as scripture in the fourth century; Eusebius writes: “In regard to the Apocalypse, the opinions of most men are still divided.” As I mentioned earlier, John moved to Ephesus upon his release from Patmos, and he became a very important part of the Church in Asia. St. Jerome writes that towards the end of John’s life in Ephesus, he was so weak that he could no longer preach or even stand. His young disciples would carry him into the church and, with great difficulty, the Apostle would say: "My dear children, love one another." Some of those in the congregation once asked him why he always said the same thing, why he repeated the same words, and the Apostle answered, "Because it is the precept of the Lord, and if you comply with it, you do enough " He finally died in peace in Ephesus, at about ninety-four years of age. As far as we know, John is the only one of the Apostles who died of old age rather than receiving the crown of martyrdom.

I want to finish by relating a story about the Apostle which Eusebius credits to Clement of Alexandria. This story gives us great insight into the nature of John: "Listen to a tale, which is not a mere tale, but a narrative concerning John the apostle, which has been handed down and treasured up in memory. For when, after the tyrant's death, he returned from the isle of Patmos to Ephesus, he went away upon their invitation to the neighboring territories of the Gentiles, to appoint bishops in some places, in other places to set in order whole churches, elsewhere to choose to the ministry some one of those that were pointed out by the Spirit. When he had come to one of the cities not far away, and had consoled the brethren in other matters, he finally turned to the bishop that had been appointed, and seeing a youth of powerful physique, of pleasing appearance, and of ardent temperament, he said, 'This one I commit to thee in all earnestness in the presence of the Church and with Christ as witness.' And when the bishop had accepted the Charge and had promised all, he repeated the same injunction with an appeal to the same witnesses, and then departed for Ephesus. But the presbyter, taking home the youth committed to him, reared, kept, cherished, and finally baptized him. After this he relaxed his stricter care and watchfulness, with the idea that in putting upon him the seal of the Lord he had given him a perfect protection. But some youths of his own age, idle and dissolute, and accustomed to evil practices, corrupted him when he was thus prematurely freed from restraint. At first they enticed him by costly entertainments; then, when they went forth at night for robbery, they took him with them, and finally they demanded that he should unite with them in some greater crime. He gradually became accustomed to such practices, and on account of the positiveness of his character, leaving the right path, and taking the bit in his teeth like a hard-mouthed and powerful horse, he rushed the more violently down into the depths. And finally despairing of salvation in God, he no longer meditated what was insignificant, but having committed some great crime, since he was now lost once for all, he expected to suffer a like fate with the rest. Taking them, therefore, and forming a band of robbers, he became a bold bandit-chief, the most violent, most bloody, most cruel of them all. Time passed, and some necessity having arisen, they sent for John. But he, when he had set in order the other matters on account of which he had come, said, 'Come, O bishop, restore us the deposit which both I and Christ committed to thee, the church, over which thou presidest, being witness. But the bishop was at first confounded, thinking that he was falsely charged in regard to money which he had not received, and he could neither believe the accusation respecting what he had not, nor could he disbelieve John. But when he said, 'I demand the young man and the soul of the brother,' the old man, groaning deeply and at the same time bursting into tears, said, 'He is dead.' 'How and what kind of death?' 'He is dead to God,' he said; 'for he turned wicked and abandoned, and at last a robber. And now, instead of the church, he haunts the mountain with a band like himself.' But the Apostle rent his clothes, and beating his head with great lamentation, he said, 'A fine guard I left for a brother's soul! But let a horse be brought me, and let some one show me the way.' He rode away from the church just as he was, and coming to the place, he was taken prisoner by the robbers' outpost. He, however, neither fled nor made entreaty, but cried out, 'For this did I come; lead me to your captain.' The latter, meanwhile, was waiting, armed as he was. But when he recognized John approaching, he turned in shame to flee. But John, forgetting his age, pursued him with all his might, crying out, 'Why, my son, dost thou flee from me, thine own father, unarmed, aged? Pity me, my son; fear not; thou hast still hope of life. I will give account to Christ for thee. If need be, I will willingly endure thy death as the Lord suffered death for us. For thee will I give up my life. Stand, believe; Christ hath sent me.' And he, when he heard, first stopped and looked down; then he threw away his arms, and then trembled and wept bitterly. And when the old man approached, he embraced him, making confession with lamentations as he! was able, baptizing himself a second time with tears, and concealing only his right hand, But John, pledging himself, and assuring him on oath that he would find forgiveness with the Saviour, besought him, fell upon his knees, kissed his right hand itself as if now purified by repentance, and led him back to the church. And making intercession for him with copious prayers, and struggling together with him in continual fastings, and subduing his mind by various utterances, he did not depart, as they say, until he had restored him to the church, furnishing a great example of true repentance and a great proof of regeneration, a trophy of a visible resurrection."

John is also called the Apostle of Charity, a virtue which is very much on our minds at this time of year. I will leave you with these words from John’s first epistle, which remind us why we remember him today:"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"

Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light, that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Feast of St. Stephen, Proto-martyr


We give you thanks, O Lord of glory, for the example of the first martyr Stephen, who looked up to heaven and prayed for his persecutors to your Son Jesus Christ, who stands at
your right hand; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.




We don't have much information on St. Stephen, the Protomartyr. All the information we have comes from chapters 6 and 7 of the Acts of the Apostles, the second volume of the work attributed to St. Luke. One of the first disputes in the early Church involved the assistance programs for needy widows, and this dispute fell along the lines of language, as the Greek-speaking members of the community in Jerusalem complained that their widows were being ignored in favor of the widows of the Aramaic speakers. The apostles were fed-up with the dispute and realized that they couldn't go out and preach the Good News and take care of administrative and financial matters, so they told the community to select seven persons from the group, persons who were respected and of sound judgement and filled with the Holy Spirit. Seven men were selected, and among them was Stephen.

Stephen was quite a preacher. His sermons brought folks to repentance and to seek baptism, but his sermons could also really anger those in authority. One day he went too far and was stoned by a mob who had become enraged by his sermon. I guess they didn't like being called "stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, forever opposing the Holy Spirit." They dragged him outside of the city and stoned him, leaving their coats with one Saul, who approved of their killing him. Stephen didn't hold their anger against them, saying, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them" just as he died. I guess that's one reason not to call people names when preaching.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

¡Feliz Navidad a Todos!

This is my favorite Christmas song. It's about fishes in the river drinking water to see the birth of Jesus.


This is a cool version, too! The translation is wanting, but the arrangement is neato.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

James Brown dancin' in Heaven, cuz that's where he went to be five Christmases ago. I still miss him.
Merry Christmas to everyone. We're having our first Christmas in the U.S.A. in twelve years; it's freakin' cold here!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, Bunrab, tonight's the night! Are you ready?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House As ready as I can be. The rehearsals went much better than expected, and they've decided not to use wires on the angels, gracias a Dios! Are you ready to be the Narrator?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Of course! I love being Narrator.


Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Well, the sleeves are okay, but I'm having trouble holdin' dis stick ting.
¡El Toro! ¿Parecer una oveja? ¿Esta traje engañar a nadie?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Hello Santa, hello Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Kitty Toy, hola ¡El Toro! Are you about ready?
Santa Yes, it's show time! All the costumes are fabulous and our cast are ALL STARS!!!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, good, because these two are on first.

Santa No problem!! Kitty, you are a beautiful shepherd, and all the sheep will follow you anywhere!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Tanks, Santa! Yer not too bad yerself! I gotta get to da stage.
Santa And you! YOU! You are the wooliest little lamb I've ever seen! Yes you are! Yes you are!!
¡El Toro! ¡POR faVOR!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank Welcome to Padre Mickey's Dance Party's Christmas Pageant! We hope that you enjoy all the hard work our cast has put into this production.
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House, whispering Psst! Don't forget las celulares!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Oh, yes! Please turn off your cell phones and pagers, or put them on vibrate. Also, this pageant is for entertainment purposes only. Please, no wagering! And now, our pageant.


Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy, whispering No you stand dere, and you, you go ovah dere. An you, jest stan' still!
Ahem, Oh, what a beautiful, quiet nite. I suppose dat nuttin' 'citin' will happen tuhnite.
¡El Toro! Baa. Baa.
Squeaky Gorilla Baa skeek Baa

Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Wut da ...
¡El Toro! BAA!! BAA!!
Squeaky Gorilla BAA! skeek BAA!!
Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel Yikes! What is that in the sky?

Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera But the angel said to them
Wooden Kuna Doll Do not be afraid; for see----I am bringin' you good news of great joy for all de peoples: to you is born this day in the city of David (pero not in Chriqui, el otro ciudad David) a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.

Wooden Kuna Doll This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.
Telly Tubbies Ina manger! Ina manger! Da Messiah! Da Messiah!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying
The Heavenly Host Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!


Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Whoa!!
¡El Toro! BAA!! BAA!!
Squeaky Gorilla BAA! skeek BAA!!
Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel Wow! They're really good!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Hey! Let us go now tuh Betlehem and see dis ting what takes place, which da Lowd maked known tuh us!
Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel Sounds good to me! Plus, it's cold out here.
¡El Toro! Baa. Baa.
Squeaky Gorilla Baa skeek Baa
Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel What is that noise?
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Don' ask!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
Gallito Mescalito Shrie Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love SHUSH! Not now!

Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy No! Really! Dere wuz angels an' everting!
¡El Toro! Baa. Baa.
Squeaky Gorilla Baa skeek Baa
Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel No, it's true! I saw it with my own eyes, and let me tell you, I know all about angels!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
Farm animals Yeah, that's some story! Angels, ya say?
The Mighty Moose of Vermont Mooooose. Mooooooose. I am a cow! Mooooose.

Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.


El Penguino Is this thing over yet? 'Cuz I'm sweatin ta def in this bankie!!!

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Please give our cast a round of applause!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank That ends our program for the evening. There is chicha, sorril, and empanadas in the lobby. Merry Christmas, and Good night!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Okay, now!
Gallito Mescalito ¡¡¡SSSSHHHHHRRRRRIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEKKKKK!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fourteen Years Ago Today

Fourteen years ago today I was ordained a priest by the Rt. Rev. Richard L. Shimpfky. It was a glorious service, with the combined choirs of St. Mark's, Berkeley and St. Francis', San José, plus many members of St. Philip's, San José, and CDSP. The Rev. Dr. John Kater, Jr., preached.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle and Martyr


Everliving God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in your Son’s resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



Today is the feast of my favorite apostle, Thomas. I was ordained a priest on his Feast Day (well, it fell on a Sunday that year so I was priested the next day, Dec. 22. Tomorrow is the fourteenth anniversary of my priesting, and for the first time I won't have an altar.) and that was no accident. I think that he is the coolest apostle. Peter used to say anything that popped into his head; James and John, the Thunder Boys (thanks, Robbin!) were in the Inner Circle with Peter; Simon was either a Freedom Fighter or a Terrorist, depending upon your point of view; Andrew was the First Called and served as a liaison between Jesus and the other disciples; Matthew's gospel insured his fame, and the rest (and especially Mathias) were so boring that we don't know anything about them except that their names appear on lists. But Thomas, well, Thomas was kind of modern, in my opinion. He needed some proof before he was going to believe something. When Jesus appeared to the others in the Upper Room while Thomas was away, he didn't accept their story. He said he would believe when he touched Jesus' wounds. I've always thought that Thomas was treated unfairly by the Church, with them calling him "Doubting Thomas." He didn't really doubt; he didn't say "You guys are lying! I don't believe a word!" He just wanted some proof before he accepted the story. He spent a lot of time with those guys so I expect he knew them pretty well. Maybe he thought that they were inclined to jump to conclusions without thinking things through; we know Peter had that tendency. Maybe they used to play tricks on him. While the others were all locked away in the Upper Room, Thomas was away. I don't know what he was doing, but he certainly wasn't hiding in fear of the authorities. When Jesus appeared to those present in the Upper Room, they didn't recognize him until he showed them his wounds. Then they rejoiced. When Thomas showed up, they told him what happened and he delivered his famous line. A week later, Jesus appeared while Thomas was present. This time Jesus showed Thomas his wounds and even had Thomas touch them. What did Thomas say? Did he say, "I don't know, this all seems a bit strange"? Did he say, "Yuck! Why did you have me touch your wounds?" Did he say, "Are you really Jesus or is this some kind of sick joke?" No. He said, "My Master! My God!" Those don't sound like the words of a Doubter, of a Sceptic. No, those are the words of one who recognizes who Jesus is, those are the words of one who truly believes. Thomas was a good and faithful person; the fact that he wasn't cowering behind locked doors with the others says something about his character. It was Thomas who was willing to follow Jesus to Judea when Jesus wanted to see his friend Lazarus. The others were worried that Jesus' enemies would try to kill him. Thomas said, "Let us also go, that we may die with him." It was Thomas who, in John's version of the Last Supper, interrupts Jesus for some clarification, to ask: "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" It isn't that Thomas didn't want to believe, he just wanted to believe for the right reasons, he didn't want to simply "jump on the bandwagon." I think that it is important to remember that nome of the others believed that Jesus was resurrected until Jesus showed them his wounds; they just saw Jesus before Thomas, it doesn't make them any better or more faithful.

I love the Acts of Thomas and that wild story about Thomas' time in India, even though I'm sure it's a bunch of hooey, especially since Jesus sells Thomas to a slave trader so that Thomas would be a slave to the Raja of Malabar. I like the idea that Thomas went to India and started the Church there, but I doubt the veracity of most of those stories. However, I love the story in the Acts of Thomas (and can’t help but tell it) in which the Raja orders Thomas to build him the greatest and most beautiful palace in the world. Thomas tells the Raja that a building of such magnitude will be very expensive but the Raja really wants this building and gives Thomas lots of gold, which Thomas promptly takes and gives to the poor. When Thomas ran out of money, he asked the Raja for more, and the Raja gave him more, which he continued to distribute to the poor. When the Raja learned of what was going on, he called Thomas before him and demanded an accounting. Thomas told the Raja that he was building him a spectacular palace in heaven, and through mystic means of which we have no information, was able to show the Raja his palace in a vision. The Raja was so impressed that he converted to Christianity. A great story and another example of Thomas’ character.

I think that the example of Thomas is an important and worthy example to Christians, because he didn't just accept things without looking in to them. We all know people who think that blind faith is important, but blind faith, a faith which is not based upon reason, will lead one into trouble. Way too many false Christs have led people astray because their followers refused to question, because they were afraid of their doubts. During my wayward youth, I spent some four years in a psuedo-Hindu meditation cult with a guru. We were told "never leave room for doubt in your mind" and "never question the purity of the master," but the "master" was a fraud and needed to be questioned! A true Master does not need to tell his followers not to doubt, because he does not see doubt as a threat to faith, but as a normal part of the spiritual process. Thomas wasn't hard to convince; when Jesus appeared to him and showed him his wounds, Thomas didn't debate with Jesus, he said "My Master! My God!" Peter and the Beloved Disciple didn't believe the women when they returned from the empty tomb and said that they had seen the Lord, and none of the disciples believed until Jesus showed them his wounds. God gave us large brains capable of reason and thought, and God expects us to use these brains even in spiritual matters. Questioning and study are all part of loving God with all our minds. Thomas and the women and the others all believed because they saw the Resurrected Jesus. The believed because they saw the and touched the nail marks. They believed because the Resurrected Jesus appeared in their midst and talked with them. Jesus said that we who believe without seeing are blessed, and Christians throughout the centuries and millennia have held on to the promise of that blessing, because we have no choice, really. We have believed without seeing. But I must admit, if I was given the choice of being blessed in that manner or actually seeing the risen Christ and touching the nail marks and putting my hand in his side, I would exchange places with Thomas in a heart beat!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We'll Be Back

The Lovely Mona, Señorita Chompita Wiggletail, and yer Padre leave Panamá this morning at 9:20 am for California. Twelve years is a long time, even in missionary terms, but this place and the people have stolen our hearts. Yesterday we had a beautiful, emotional Good-bye service at Parroquia San Cristóbal. We couldn't take any photos as we were very much involved. Guillermo Johnson took this photo of the Youth of the Parish singing "Den Al Señor." We aren't saying "adios" but "hasta luego" because we will come back to visit.

Twenty-two years ago today the armed forces of the U.S.A. invaded Panamá to go after Manuel Noriega (and to test some new military hardware) and tore the place up, just in time for Christmas. This December 20 we're "invading" California in a much more peaceful manner.

Hasta luego, Panamá.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging

As you recall, last week the Dance Party Players asked Red Mr. Peanut Bank to help them put on a Christmas Pageant. Our story continues.....


Red Mr. Peanut Bank I love to walk the neighborhood and see all the nacimientos on display. Yikes! That reminds me! I wonder how the Dance Party Christmas Pageant is coming along?


Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Hmmm... Και ποιμενες ησαν εν χωρα τη . . .


Red Mr. Peanut Bank Wow! That's some funny writing. What's going on here?


Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Hello, Red Mr. Peanut Bank! How are you?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Fine, thanks. And you? And what are these books?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House I'm fine. I'm exploring the ancient texts to write the script for the Christmas Pageant.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank How's it coming along?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Well, My Hebrew is terrible but my Greek is okay, so I think I'll have it ready by rehearsal. Have you decided who will play the Baby Jesus?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank No, not yet. Well, I think I'll leave you alone to work.



Red Mr. Peanut Bank Buenas tardes.
Wooden Kuna Doll Buenas tardes, Señor Mani Rojo.
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Buenas tardes, Red Mr. Peanut Bank. We're studying this icon of the Blessed Virgin and the Holy Child. As you know, we both want to play the BVM in the pageant. Have you made a decision on the part yet?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, no. I hope you will both audition tomorrow.
Wooden Kuna Doll ¡Sí, Señor!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love You know we'll be there. Hey, who's going to play the Baby Jesus? The only one around here who looks like the Baby Jesus in that icon is that red Telly Tubbie!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank I don't know. Well, good to see you both!
Wooden Kuna Doll Adios, Señor Mani Rojo.
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Ciao, babe!



Red Mr. Peanut Bank Hi fellas. What's going on here?
El Penguino Oh, hello, Red Mr. Peanut Bank! These guys are all deciding who will be a cow and who will be a sheep.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Who will be what?
El Penguino They've decided they'll arm wrestle. Loser is a cow. Or donkey.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, not that this isn't interesting, but I must run!
Gallito Mescalito ¿Shriek?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank No, I don't know who will play the Baby Jesus yet. Maybe Poh.
Gallito Mescalito ¡SHRIEK!



El Penguino This is terrible. I think I'll go help the angels.



Red Mr. Peanut Bank Santa! What are YOU doing here? Shouldn't you be at the North Pole, or at least at the Mall?
Santa Well, since you won't let me play Joseph in the Christmas Pageant, I offered my help in making costumes. Plus, the elves have it under control at the North Pole, except for those Episcopal Elves who spend all their time doing that Terrible Version of the Macarena! And then there are those Fallen Elves who hang out at Kendall Harmon's place. But I digress. . . Look at all this fabric!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Do you know what you're doing?



Santa Of course I do. Who the heck do you think made all those cute outfits for the elves? I've got a machine, I've got fabric, I've got a tape, and these costumes will be FABULOUS!!!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera Okay. If you can't trust Santa, who can you trust?



Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Mistah Sanna, sir. Dis sleeve is way too big!
Santa It's not done yet, silly! We just need to take it in a bit!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy But did da shepahds really weah dis color?
Gallito Mescalito Shriek! SHRIEEK!!
Santa What are you talking about, you silly rooster! You are a Vision in that fluffy cotton! Look, Kitty, you will be the most handsome Shepherd ever to hold a crook, and Rooster, you will be the cutest, fluffiest, and most lovable little lamb ever to see the Baby Jesus! Yes you will! You will!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Say, who's gonna be da Baby Jeezus anyway?
Santa How would I know? But I'll bet it will be the sweetest little baby Jesus ever seen since the original!! Maybe it will be Poh!
Gallito Mescalito ¡SHRIEK!



Red Mr. Peanut Bank El Penguino, what is going on here?
Dipsy Woah! WOAH!
El Penguino Well, I thought I do some wire work with the angels
La-la, Poh, and Tinky Winky Dipsy fly! Dipsy fly!
El Penguino So, did you pick a Baby Jesus yet?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank No, not yet. I don't know, this looks somewhat dangerous!
Dipsy Woah! WOOAAOOH!
La-la, Poh, and Tinky Winky Dipsy fly! Dipsy fly!
El Penguino Nah, don't worry. Everything will be fine!!



Gallito Mescalito ¡SHRIEK!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Good Lord! What is going on?
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Dis whole outfit is too big! Sumbuddy hep me!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank This does not look good!
Dipsy Woah! WOOAAOOH!
La-la, Poh, and Tinky Winky Dipsy crash. DIPSY CRASH!
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Hey! I'm trying to write here! You little green weirdo!!
El Penguino Yow! Im outta here!



El Penguino I'm tired. I think I'll climb in this bed and take a nap. Plus, it looks like a good place to hide. Yawn. I wonder who will play the Baby Jesus? Yawn



El Penguino Snnnnnnoooooorrrrrrrre

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Feast of St. Lucy, Martyr in Sicily

Feast of St. Lucy, Martyr in Sicily


It's my annual Santa Lucia post!
As is usually the case, we don't have what we would consider accurate information regarding the life of Lucy. According to tradition, she was martyred in the year 304, which would mean that she was born in the late third century. She was born in Syracuse, in Sicily, to wealthy parents. Her father died when she was very young, and her mother, a Christian, raised her in the faith. Lucy had decided to dedicate herself to God at an early age, and she decided to dedicate herself to virginity and not to marry. Her mother didn't know about Lucy's plans and, as a good mother of that era, had arranged a marriage for her with a young man of Syracuse. Lucy's mother, Eutychia, had suffered from a hemorrhage for four years, and nothing the doctors did helped her. One day Eutychia and Lucy were in Catana, a town about fifty miles from Syracuse. They were attending Mass at the shrine of St. Agatha, when they heard the reading of the woman with a hemorrhage who was healed when she touched Jesus' garment. Lucy said to her mother, "If you believe this story from the gospel, and you believe that St. Agatha is with Christ, since she suffered in his name, I believe that you will be healed when you touch her tomb." After the service they went to the tomb and prayed. While they were prostrated in prayer Lucy fell asleep and had a dream in which she saw St. Agatha among a host of angels, beautifully dressed and bedecked with jewels. Agatha said to Lucy, "My sister Lucy, true virgin of God, why do you ask me for what you yourself could grant? Your holy faith has helped your mother: look! She is entirely healed through Christ; and even as this town is made famous by me through Christ's favor, so shall Syracuse be made famous by you, because you prepared yourself for Christ, in your pure virginity, as a pure habitation." Lucy woke up, trembling from her vision, and said to her mother, "You have been totally healed. Now, by the same one who healed you with prayers, I beg of you, please, don't ever arrange a marriage for me or expect me to have any children. I ask that the money you would have given me for my dowery be given to me to keep me in my chastity and be given to the poor. I will not marry; I belong to Christ." Her mother said, "You know that we are rich and that I have been a good steward of your father's property. I have even invested and increased his wealth. Why don't you wait until I die. Then you will inherit everything and can do with it as you will." But Lucy said, "Look, mother, you can't take the wealth with you, and whatever you give away at death for the Lord's sake is exactly because you can't take it with you. Why don't you just give it away now and receive God's blessing?" After the visit to Catana, Lucy was always talking her mother into giving away the family fortune. Well, the young man to whom Eutychia had betrothed Lucy, Pashasius, heard about this and was quite upset. He came to talk to Lucy and set her straight. Pashasius was a Pagan, and he tried to get Lucy to follow the local civil religion. This was during the era of the Diocletian Persecution, and it was very dangerous time to be a Christian. He wanted Lucy to sacrifice to the local gods; (St. Ælfric, who wrote a version of the story of St. Lucy, said that Pashasius wanted Lucy to sacrifice to devils!) but Lucy responded, "A pure offering is this, and acceptable to God, that one should visit widows, comfort exiles, and help orphan children. I have spent the past three years making these offerings to the Living God, and now I only want to offer myself to God, living as a virgin." This upset Pashasius, and the two of them argued for a while, until he, being a jerk, threatened her with a beating if she didn't be quiet. Lucy said, "The words of the Living God cannot be suppressed or put to silence." He responded, "What, are you God?" Lucy said, "I am the Almighty's handmaid and because of this I speak God's words, since he says in his gospel, 'It is not you who speak there, but the Holy Spirit speaks in you.'" Pashasius said, "Really! Does the Holy Spirit live in you?" Lucy said, "The Apostle Paul promised those who preserve their chastity that they will be God's temple and the habitation of the Holy Spirit." This made Pashasius so angry that he said, "I'm going to have you dragged down to the house of prostitution, where you will lose your virginity and the Holy Spirit will flee from you!" Lucy said, "You can pollute my body but it won't affect my soul because I am being forced against my will. If you were to lift my hand to your idol and make an offer against my will, I would still be guiltless in the eyes of the true God, because God judges according to the will and knows everything. If now, against my will, you cause me to be polluted, a double purity will be gloriously given to me. You cannot bend my will to your purpose; whatever you do to my body, that cannot happen to me." Pashasius was crazy with anger now, and, being a stupid jerk, he was determined to put her in the brothel. He called his friends and they tried to pick her up put couldn't move her. Now, according to the story, she was a not a large person, but when they tried to pick her up the Holy Spirit held her fast to the ground; she stood as firm as a mountain. Pashasius called over some sorcerers, hoping that they could use their magic to break her and the hold of the Holy Spirit, but they failed. He finally had a yoke of several oxen harnessed to her, but even the oxen were unable to move Lucy. He asked her, "Why can't a thousand men move you,
as small and weak as you are?" Lucy said, "Even if ten thousand men tried to move me, they would all hear the Holy Spirit saying, 'A thousand shall fall beside you and then a thousand at your right hand, but no evil will approach you.'" So now Pashasius, being the biggest jerk in all of Syracuse, had a pyre built around her, and they put pitch and oil on it and lit it to burn her to death. Lucy stood in the center of the fire and said, "The Lord has spoken to me through prayer and has promised me that this fire will have no power over me, and as a result all the faithful will lose any fear of torture." This drove him even crazier and so, proving that he was a jerk and that she was correct not to marry such an a**hole, he decided to kill her with his sword. Pashasius stabbed Lucy and as her bowels were spilled on the ground, she predicted that Diocletian and Maximian would be deposed, the persecutions would end, and the Church would know peace. So there! While she spoke, Pashasius was arrested and brought to Rome where he was eventually beheaded. The priests came and administered the holy sacrament to Lucy as she laid on the ground, and she passed to glory as they said, "amen."
St. Lucy was a popular saint in the Early Church because even though she was weak, small, and young, she was able to standup for what she believed and refused to bow to the pressures of society. She was willing to die rather than go against her faith. Her strength and faithfulness made her a model for those who could still remember the Diocletian persecutions, and she was a model for those who wanted to live lives of chastity. That is why we remember her today.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging

Some may doubt this, but we here are the Dance Party are Traditionalists. We are Traditionalists in as far as we have our traditions, sacred traditions, sacred, secret traditions, which you can't learn until you've lived through passed the hazing ritual super fun initiation joke.

We also believe in establishing new, improved traditions. Yes, we are the New Traditionalists. If one lives in the U.S.A., one can not turn on the Television Receiver Machine without seeing traditional Television programs: The Peanuts Christmas Special, The Pee-Wee Herman Christmas Special, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Sarah Palin's Frozen and Blood-soaked Alaskan Christmas, Bad Santa, Naughty Edy the Elf Does the North Pole, and, the classic It's A Hanukkah Christmas This Kawnzaa, Charlie Brown! We, the management and staff of Padre Mickey's Dance Party, present our lovely holiday tradition: the Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Christmas Pageant Posts. Heck, we figure there must be at least three of you Gentle Readers who missed this last year. Plus, isn't if great to see Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House looking so plump and un-simian or un-chickie like? Of course it is! So, may you all be touched with the Holiday Spirit of over-eating, drinking to excess, insane materialism, and parump-a-pum-pum!

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Hello, Gallito Mescalito; how are things?
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek! Shrieky-shrieky-shriek.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, I've noticed that, too, but you know how Padre feels about Advent.


Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek! ¡Shrriieekk!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank That's right. He doesn't care what the rest of the neighborhood is doing; he only wants an Advent Wreath right now.


Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Where did that Christmas decoration come from?


Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank And that! Where did that reindeer come from?


Gallito Mescalito ¡¡SHRRIIIEEEEKKK!!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank AAARRRGGGHH! Where did YOU come from¨_
TP Roll Santa Ho! Ho! Ho! Happy Advent!
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank You need to get out of here for a few weeks!
TP Roll Santa Ho! Ho! Ho!


Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Hey, Bank. Hey, Boid. 'sup?
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Oh, hello, Cat! We were discussing the season.
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy I see dat da neighbohs all gots dere lights and trees up! An' as always, we only gots dat wreath.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, we just chased the TP Santa away!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Well, can't we have jus' a lil' decarashun?
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Okay. I'll put up the Nacimiento Mola.



Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Cool!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Hi boys. Nice backdrop!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Hello, Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love! We've been discussing the season.
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love And Padre Mickey's obsession with Advent?
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Yup!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Say, Red Mr. Peanut Bank, the doggy toys have been talking with me, as well as the rest of the cast, and they want to put on a Christmas Pageant. Would you supervise?
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Yeah!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank A Christmas Pageant!?! Well, I suppose so.
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek! ¡Shrriieekk!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank I'm sorry, Gallito Mescalito; there's no way on earth you could be the Narrator! Maybe you can be Gabriel...
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy I WANNA BE AN ANGEL!!!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank You look more like a shepherd to me; the Chief Shepherd, but a shepherd nonetheless!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Er, I think I'l go tell the others that you are casting right now.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Okay. Thank you, Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love.
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy I know wut yoo means. A shepherd anna angel. Wut's he tinkin'?


Mighty Moose of Vermont and El Penguino Hi, Everybody!
Everybody Hi, guys!
Mighty Moose of Vermont We hear that there may be a Christmas Pageant and we want to participate.
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Hey, Moose! You can be a cow at da manger!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love And El Penguino can be the Baby Jesus!
El Penguino ¿El Divino Niño? ¡PORfaVOR!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, we're still casting. Don't worry.



Diablito Sucio y ¡El Toro! ¡El Tres Reyes! ¡EL TRES REYES!
Squeaky Gorilla Yeah, we wanna be the Free Kings! , skeek
Red Mr. Peanut Bank I'm sorry, but this is a Christmas Pageant. The Three Kings appear at the Epiphany Pageant. What is that noise?
Squeaky Gorilla Sheesh! skeek You sure are strict!skeek What noise?skeek
Red Mr. Peanut Bank THAT NOISE! Look, you guys are going to be shepherds. The Wise Men show up at another pageant.
Diablito Sucio y ¡El Toro! ¿Pastores? ¡Está Bién!
Squeaky Gorilla Okayskeek We'll be shepherds. skeek But keep us in mind for the Epiphany Pageant! skeek


Red Mr. Peanut Bank Hello, Ladies! I suppose you both want to be the Blessed Virgin?
Wooden Kuna Doll Si, Señor.
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love That's right, pal. And you'd best make the CORRECT decision!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Give me a few days, ladies; give me a few days!



Telly Tubbies Wanna be in show! Wanna be in show!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Sure, no problem. You four will be angels.
Telly Tubbies Yay! Big Hug!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Sheesh!



Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel Hi! I want to be a shepherd!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Really? I thought that you would be Michael, the Commander of the Heavenly Host, Praising God and saying: Glory to God!
Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel But I want to be a shepherd. Or a sheep! Or even a donkey!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, let me think about this...



Toilet Paper Roll Santa Ho! Ho! Ho! I want to be Joseph!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank No! No! No! You won't be in this pageant!
Toilet Paper Roll Santa Darn! Darn! Darn!



Red Mr. Peanut Bank Bunrab! So good to see you! Are you willing to be in our Christmas Pageant?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Yes. I'd love a part if you can spare one.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank I think that you would be great as the Narrator. Also, would you be willing to help me write the script?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Sure! Hey, I think the rooster should play Joseph!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Really? Why?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Because the Holy Family doesn't have any lines! It'll be great!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank We have a week ahead of us!

Will the casting make sense? Will a terrible fight break out between Wooden Kuna Doll and Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love? Will the Pageant include all of Mary Sue's favorite Christmas Carols? Can we drag this out for two more weeks? Tune in next week, hopefully, for answers to all these questions!!!

I See You!

Sign by Danasoft - Get Your Free Sign