"The Sign of the Cross"
2017 Ash Wednesday Prelude
Naples, Florida. Beautiful sunny Sunday morning! Warming my bone marrow before heading back to New York! The gospel at the early Mass this morning was on "Let go, Let God." Good theme for the week ahead. I bike on down to the Fifth Avenue Coffee shop. All the tables are full so I ask a middle aged gentlemen who is sitting alone, absorbed in his Sunday paper, if I can use the open seat at his table. He looks up quizzically. "Sure." And then returns to the news. I sit down with my coffee and scrambled egg whites, and say a blessing. He looks up again. "Did I just see you make the sign of the cross?" Uh, oh. Here we go. "Yes. Blessing my food. Thanking God for the day." "That's beautiful. Not enough of us do that anymore," he smiles. "You're right. Not enough. But though few, He is with us. Good always prevails" "Yes it does." He returns to his paper. We both proceed quietly with our coffee, apart but now somehow also joined. Later, he gets up to leave. "God bless you," he says with tenderness. "God bless you, my brother." Two strangers, connected. By the sign of the Cross.
There will be many signs of the Cross in SoHo this Wednesday. Strangers, united in Christ. United by the Cross. See you there.
February 26, 2017