I don’t often ponder the philosophy behind someone’s hair. I’ve always figured it was simple—a ponytail equates to convenience; a braid equates to convenience with a little hint of moxie; long, flowy layers equates to ain’t nobody got time for that!
But at Mass, oh, at Mass it isn’t so straightforward. Because at some point between the homily and the dismissal, I suddenly find myself engrossed in the theological ramifications behind the bowl cut of the person sitting in front of me. I notice the gentle way it lingers on the nape of the neck during moments of deep prayer and the way it grazes the forehead ever so slightly during the sign of peace. I notice the hints of gray poking through and that stubborn part that separates straight down the middle.
“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Matthew 22:21) These words in today’s Gospel sting. They hit me in a way that causes me to examine my devotion. Because our God—the God of the universe, the God who died for our sins—deserves my praise. It belongs to Him. But when I’m met with the drone of the Gloria on a Sunday afternoon, my mind shifts focus to anything other than what it should focus on—Him. I suddenly find myself perfectly content with studying the number of lights on the ceiling of the church, and I allow praise to escape my mouth without first hitting my heart as I recite prayers from memory.
Today, let us give to God what belongs to Him—our hearts. And when the priest extends his arms and says, “all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever,” may we allow those words to penetrate our hearts as we resound with a loud and sincere “Amen!”
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Let us go forth to love and serve the Lord, dear sisters.
Brittany Calavitta is an enthusiastic advocate for a good book, strong coffee, and a hopeful heart. After battling years of infertility, she and her husband welcomed their first child on September 11, 2016. You can find out more about her here.