I was in church on Sunday and listened intently to the Reading according to Luke (14:16-24). I listened and sat quietly until I caught my mind wandering back to a time when I was quite little and attending Summer Catechism.
Before I tell you what nearly happened, let me familiarize you with this reading. I’ve summed it here. I apologize for the poor paraphrasing.
Jesus told this parable about a man who was giving a great feast and he sent his servant to invite his guests. Unfortunately they all had other things to do and made excuses of why they could not come. One said he had bought a field; another had purchased a pair of oxen; and yet another had gotten married. When the servant told the master these excuses, the master was angry and told his servant to invite everyone that he could find who was poor, hungry and destitute.
It is a great parable and obviously one that made an impact on me when I was very young. But it wasn’t just the words that I remembered – it was the song that the Catechism teachers (the Sisters of our parish) had taught us. It goes a little like this…and I’m sure you will pick up the tune quite quickly.
“I can not come.
I cannot come to the banquet, don’t bother me now.
I have married a wife, I have bought me a cow.
I have fields and commitments that cost a pretty sum.
Pray hold me excused I cannot come.”
In church however, as I said earlier, my mind wandered and I actually caught myself smiling and was very close to humming and singing the song.
You see I recall not only learning this song and singing it, but I also remember hearing how the “older” boys (the 13 and 14 year olds) sang it. They switched the words around to say “I have bought me a wife, I have married a cow”. Yes, I can just see the eye rolls. Hilarious for a bunch of immature kids! However, not so for an adult sitting in a pew in church last Sunday morning.
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