|Sunset, Mardi Gras, 2016 while walking in Altadena|
And now, a few hours after the feasting, the meat, the pancakes, the beads, the booze, the masks, the merriment all are put away. We wrap it up and we look squarely at the 40 day season of penitence called Lent.
And the masks come off.
Because all that play and fun and food are temporary pleasures. We roam this earth and enjoy these delights, but in the end we all return to the earth. Like Adam. Like every person since, including Jesus. Pauper and prince must one day lie forever more. Like the moon that waxes into fullness, we all eventually must yield and wane.
But like the moon, we don't disappear. We may not be visible, but our presence is felt. Our gravity remains. We can still block out the light of the sun. All without being seen.
Like every year, some of my friends say goodbye to loved ones, friends, parents, and it's never easy. We don't want to let go and we hope that they stay with us forever. But it's impossible to do this. We're of the earth and we must return. It rips me apart saying goodbye or watching others do so. But it's our fate as human beings
As you enter this Lenten season, let me help you take off your mask, as I take off mine. The word "sincere" comes from the Greek and means "without mask". Let's take off these masks and look at each other in true sincerity.
Let's appreciate and love our respective humanity, both of each other and all our brothers and sisters who roam this mysterious world. Let the Spirit that animates us shine forth in our eyes, like the stars that shine around an unseen moon, moving us and guiding us towards that precious dance we know as life.