We’re still having really nice weather. I miss my sweaters for the 9–10 months per year that I can’t wear them, but I can get over that because it means I have no idea how long it takes my windshield to defrost. I haven’t even touched an ice scraper in at least eight years! Perspective.
So I wore fall-ish clothes to church on Sunday:
Top and skirt: Target
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Earrings: graduation pearls
As I walked up to the church doors, the greeter complimented my color coordination. I wore a total of two purple items, but I’m glad she noticed. I didn’t actually see much purple around the church, although I did see some red. Maybe they’ll bring those outfits back for Palm Sunday.
I wore purple because it’s Lent. I wasn’t intentionally wearing my favorite color to celebrate myself while single on Valentine’s Day. I was lectoring, and I like liturgical dressing in general but especially when I lector. I have zero desire to become a priest, nor do I think women ought to be priests, but I can have a little fun with my own outfit.
The logistics of lectoring were much trickier than usual. I had the first reading, so I didn’t have to be part of the liturgical procession coming from its new direction, but the designated lector seats have also changed, and that was tricky. They are usually marked, but they weren’t this time, so I literally had no idea where to sit. I did what I always do when I’m confused: try not to look panicked and just go with it.
Fr. Associate Pastor started his homily by saying that Lent is a commemoration of Moses’ leading his people out of the wilderness of temptation. That helped me a lot. I hadn’t made the connection between the Gospel and first reading despite having proclaimed the latter mere minutes earlier. Jesus resists temptation, going into the wilderness and coming out unharmed. The temptations Satan gives him are ways to break some of the most basic of God’s laws: those concerning our relationships with food (natural law), with power over our fellow man (the last seven commandments), and our relationship with God (the first three commandments).
I was on board with all that. I was less on board with the story he used to close his homily. In it, a little boy stood under his neighbor’s apple tree, staring at it intently. He stood there for a while until the owner of the house came outside.
“Are you trying to steal my apples, little boy?” the owner said.
“No,” answered the little boy, “I’m trying not to steal them.”
Thus, Fr. AP concluded, all we have to do when faced with temptation is try not to give in. Sure. That sounds a little elementary. If resisting temptation were as easy as “just don’t do it,” we wouldn’t fall to it so readily. Even Jesus needed more than sheer willpower. He fought back with Scripture.
My Valentine’s Day was quite nice. Apparently Fr. AP had a different experience. I was at the last Mass of the day (as usual), so I guess he’d had enough after previous Masses and decided to make an announcement. “Lent is a season of abstinence,” he said. “Please abstain from wishing your priest a happy Valentine’s Day.” Noted.
For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Fine Linen and Purple.