Friday, September 11, 2009

Jesus For Sale

I paid a visit to my old hometown recently and discovered something startling – Jesus is for sale. Uh…it’s more like Jesus’ home is for sale or at least the place that Jesus called home when I was a kid.

St. Leo the Great in Flint, Michigan is for sale – just check out the sign underneath the cross that welcomed everyone to the church. Not only is the church for sale – look what company is selling it – GMAC – that’s kind of poetic, isn’t it.

When I was young -- It was at St. Leo the Great where my mother spent a good portion of her Fridays in the basement kitchen frying fish for the church’s weekly fish n’ chip sale. If I close my eyes – I can still see that 7-Up pop machine in the basement. Each bottle cost a dime and you had to push down this silver lever on the front of the machine after you put in your coin for the machine to dispense your pop.

It was a St. Leo the Great – where I took my first communion. I know that I don’t have the picture – but someone somewhere has got to have the picture of all of the kids that was a part of my first communion group. All of the girls were in pretty dresses and all of the boys were wearing white shirts, ties and black pants. I can remember that I was in the back row in the picture and how I was a bit of an embarrassment to my Mom. You see – it wasn’t until we got the first communion pictures back and they were posted on the wall at the church that my Mom noticed that my fly was open on my pants and where there should have been solid black where my zipper was – you could see my white shirt hanging out. Oops....forgive me Jesus.

And – it was at St. Leo’s – where I was once an altar boy. My service as an altar boy was only for a short period of time (then my parents separated and we moved), but I'll be truthfully honest – I really didn’t know what I was doing at the altar during mass half the time anyway – remember the church service back then was in Latin. I was young enough and dumb enough to think that when the priest mixed the wine and the water together for the sacrament that it was some kind of magic act. I was spellbound by it all and couldn’t figure out how he made those communion wafers….then I became an altar boy and found out that our priest purchased the wafers from some place on Fenton Road. There was no more magic – how depressing, right?