Bow or Kiss?

I do not mean to stereotype. But we can take note of clear cultural differences sometimes. For instance, when you meet a Japanese person, you will likely receive a friendly bow. On the other hand, when you meet an Italian, you might wind up with wet kisses all over both sides of your neck.

As we read in Sacred Scripture, on the first Pentecost, pilgrims from all over had come to Jerusalem for the feast of Weeks.

People traveled to the Holy City seven weeks after Passover both to commemorate the giving of the Ten Commandments fifty days after the Exodus and to celebrate the reaping of the first fruits of the wheat harvest.

On this feast, the Apostles preached the Gospel in all the languages of the world, and thousands believed.

…Right before He went into the Garden of Gethsemane on Holy Thursday night, the Lord Jesus had prayed aloud, and He said:

Father, this is eternal life: to know you, the one true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.

Now, speaking of manners, perhaps it strikes us as a bit odd that the Lord Jesus would refer to Himself in the third person, using His first and last names. But before we accuse Him of pomposity, let us recall that Jesus’ ‘last’ name actually designates the mystery of His identity. Jesus Christ means Jesus the anointed.

Eternal life is to know the only true God and the ambassador upon Whose head the oil of heavenly gladness has been poured.

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Whiskey Rocks, Clooney Rocks

The adventure of Ernest Shackleton and his men was already one of the most wonderful events in history. There is a little movie about it, which is an utter delight.

Now the whole thing has gotten even more amazing. They have discovered two cases of whiskey that Shackleton and his crew accidentally left behind in Antarctica.

The 100-year-old bottles are encased in ice. They are going to cut them free. Someone, I pray, will sample the whiskey. Too awesome.

…George Clooney’s “Up in the Air” is not to be recommended for most audiences. On the other hand, it is one of the most heart-breaking movies I have ever seen.

“Make no mistake. We all die alone,” Ryan Bingham says. He is a monk of a frequent flier. (A lot of the time.)

In the end, he gets crushed. Then he strides on.

I didn’t think they knew how to make movies end this exquisitely. (Then again, “Juno” ended pretty well, too. Same director.)

“Up in the Air” also opens with an unbelievably fun song.

…Either there is a heaven up there, above the jet-trails, or, as Bingham puts it, “there is no point.”

“Tonight…most people will sleep. The stars will wheel forth from their daytime hiding places, crowning their neighborhood with lights…” So goes Bingham’s closing elegy on solitude.

In fact, there IS a heaven up there, where the angels make the stars wheel.

The way there is: to follow the solitary man who was crushed for our offenses and rose again from the dead.