Welcome back to the log after a short break for the festive period. I hope this coming year will be a very happy and blessed one for all of you. All the liturgical celebrations in Saint Mungo’s went as prepared, and were well attended, but not everything went according to plan. On Christmas Eve I wanted to get around the parish sick and housebound and bring them Holy Communion to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord. Our parish secretary phoned around to let them know I was coming and received an answer from all but one. All who answered said they would be grateful for the visit and delighted to receive the Holy Eucharist. When I got to the end of my visits, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I decided I would try again to phone the person who hadn’t answered the first time, just in case they were now available. Again, there was no answer but, just as I was heading back to the Church, I received a call from them, and was told that a visit and Holy Communion would be most welcome.
I made my way back to the high-rise and punched in the code for the floor and flat number. Surprisingly, there was no reply. I tried again, still no reply. I couldn’t understand as I had just spoken to the person on the phone. Someone else came along and I thought they might let me into the block, but they got no reply from the person they were hoping to visit either. I decided to phone the person again and they answered. They told me to punch in the code which I had already done twice, but I tried again, and this time I heard someone at the intercom, clearly not very happy, and, when they asked who I was, they said they had never heard of me. I was baffled. Just then someone came out and I took the opportunity to enter the block and head up to the relevant floor. When I got to the flat it was secured like Fort Knox, and suddenly it occurred to me - I was at the wrong high-rise! I should have been at the next one along. When I eventually got there, I had to apologise for being so stupid.
On Christmas Day, when all the Masses were over, I went back to the house for a rest. Later on, the Passionist Community in Bishopbriggs sat down together for a traditional Christmas dinner, prepared by Brother Antony. I went easy on the dessert as, after the meal, I was heading to my niece’s house for a family gathering. I was timing it to arrive for after their main meal, but in time for dessert. When I got there, I discovered that things were running a bit late as, earlier on in the day, a burning candle had set fire to a side-table and created a period of panic. By the time I got there however, everything was calm, except for a crazy game of Family Fortunes that was in progress. Only after that was dessert time declared. Everyone was looking forward to this as my sister-in-law’s sister makes the most wonderful desserts and, even though I had eaten, I managed to find space for a very sizeable portion of two of them. I was already looking forward to our traditional family Hogmanay bash at my other niece’s house, when the same lady would produce even more mouth-watering desserts.
Unfortunately, during the preparations for the feast, my youngest niece’s husband was entrusted with the task of transporting the stack of desserts from one house to another, but on the way to the car he manged to drop them, and the beautiful deserts were splattered all over the pavement outside their house, so that, not only were there no desserts to supplement the Scotch Broth and Steak Pie, but a major wipe-up process had to spring into motion to clean up the pavement. He maintains it wasn’t his fault, and that the handles on the bags just broke, but he wasn’t getting off so easily and, while he may be forgiven, it will never be forgotten, and my older brother, his father-in-law, says he has already written him out of his will. Such are the joys of family, festive celebrations. Here’s a prayerful thought for the new year:
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than any light, and safer than any known way.” So, I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night...