Third Sunday of Easter

I, John, looked and heard the voices of many angels who surrounded the throne and the living creatures and the elders. They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain  to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.”

If you believe in Jesus Christ and have any inclination to attend a church -- which is pretty much a sine qua non of belief -- it helps if you like to sing.

I grew up in a singing family. We weren't exactly the Von Trapps but my mother discovered her ten children quarreled less in the car when we were singing, and we might even get the dishes done more cheerfully if we agreed upon a song.

Singing is one of those pleasures that has been used since prehistoric times -- probably before this particular great ape (hominidae) became homo sapiens -- to relieve the stress of existence. African-American slaves sang to relieve the pain and hurt of harvesting cotton; sailors sang to coordinate their pulling ropes and unfurling sails; chain gangs sang as they built roads and dams. Singing is how we assure one another that we're going to make it.

So naturally, we sing in church, which is also the place where we prepare for eternal life. We look forward to joining the Saints and Angels in hosannas and alleluias and glorias and worthy-is-the-lambs!

It is a great disappointment to me personally that many Catholics don't enjoy singing. I'm the guy who wants to sing all fifteen verses; and the one who wants to sing morning songs in the morning and evening songs in the evening. (Sometimes people select songs without the least attention to their words or their meanings. Go figure!) I'd rather sing than preach (I'm a better singer) and I'd choose a song over another mumbled, half-baked sermon any day.

When the disciples were weary of whatever they were doing in John 21, they went fishing. That's a fine thing to do if you can afford the time and have all the equipment. But praising God with song is even more refreshing and costs nothing but the effort to put aside my poor me and let in the sunshine of God's Spirit.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.