Halloween’s Mask

yiodABriEAnother season ends and a new season lies before us as the kids do what kids love to do.  They pretend and put on a mask to be someone other than they think they are.  (What kid knows who he/she is while in grade school, anyway?!)  But the mask is donned and suddenly they’re Batman, Cinderella, or whoever is this year’s flavor.  Once the mask is placed, they seem to actually feel the way that personality feels; a transformation occurs within their minds and the parent may even wonder who’s standing before them prior to the house to house search for goodies.  (And if they eat all of that candy, the parent may wonder again the same question!)

The masks we mask ourselves with to be the someone we want to be.  While my grandmother napped, I went to her back bedroom and with spatula in hand I became Bob Barker entertaining my fake audience along with fake prizes for my fake contestants.  I loved every minute of that pretend.  At home, I presented a fake radio show to nobody but myself and the large, live audience that filled my small bedroom.  Sundays meant Mass for Catholics so I accommodated a fake congregation with my fake priestly vestments and gibberish-Latin rendition of the Mass in the ’60’s.  Mask or destiny?

I was able to be on the radio for years and still enjoy this priestly ministry.  The Bob Barker part I never got, oh well.  Today, I’ll be caught between two projects and having a wonderful day when someone tells me about a medical diagnosis and another mask needs to be worn.  I’m psyched at the beginning of a Sunday Mass and rehearsing my sermon in my head and someone comes toward me with a question that Google could have solved for them.  Another mask.

I’ve been called arrogant, flippant, aloof, condescending and, most recently, obtuse.  I had to look up the last one.  (It fit in that situation.)

That’s a lot of masks for me to buy when I really think I’m kinda of a nice guy.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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