“It’s the Hat,” An Advent reflection

A quick joke first,

She honked on her horn and flipped the driver in front of her the bird because he did not go through the yellow light.  She was directly behind me.  The light was yellow and he thought it wise and it’s the law.
She’s now yelling at him even if he can’t hear her and second bird-flip appears, as though 60 seconds of her life could not be enjoyed in the silence of a red light.
A police car stops along side her but she continues her ranting with hands flaying and the bird-flip appears a third time.  The officer arrests her and she’s in a holding cell for two hours.  “I knew you couldn’t arrest me for yelling in my own car. You haven’t heard the last of this,” she tells the arresting officer.  He waited for the fourth bird-flip to appear but it didn’t happen.
The officer replied, “I didn’t arrest you for shouting in your car. I saw you screaming, beating your steering wheel and yelling to the driver in front of you and I said to myself, ‘What’s going on here?’
“What caught my attention,” says the officer, was the rosary hanging on your rear view mirror and the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bumper sticker and the ‘Choose Life’ license holder and the Christian fish symbol on your trunk.  So I assumed that you stole the car!”

STA-032-2When I travel now I wear a hat.  Within the masses of mass travelers and nervous folks my hat seems to stand out.  I don’t know why I started wearing it but it works.  The check-in person seems to have a more welcoming smile as well as flight attendants.  “There’s something about this hat,” I say to myself.  Waiting for a flight a few years later some check-in persons from another airline say to me, “Oh, you’re the guy….”  I told you, it’s the hat.

Seated on the airplane, the guy next to me says, “You’re going to Florida, aren’t you?”  I ask how he knows that since this is not a direct flight and he stares up at me and you get the rest.  It’s the hat.

Christians seem to believe that being a Christian is like wearing a hat.  “I’m nice to people,” says a faithful follower.  “I say ‘Hi’ to everyone I meet” says another totally committed Godly person.  Unfortunately there’s nothing Godly to being nice to people.  I think Muslims and Jews and atheists (and rapists) are also pretty nice people to other people.   Unless you profess a Christian Creed of historical and non-historical details including the word “consubstantial,” which gets a squiggly line underneath because it’s misspelled, you are not a Christian.

John the Baptist is asked to identify himself and he does so the same way his cousin does, deftly denying along with a slight admittance, but not fully.  Our Christian faith is lived by our intentions and what lives and breathes behind those “nice” words we use each day.  Our Christian faith is lived by our motives and then our Christian faith is seen in our actions.  Then add a dash of sacrifice, a hint of self-denial and a lot of another person and you may have a Christian recipe.

I still like the hat, at least on vacation it works.

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. Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on Amazon.com.
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1 Response to “It’s the Hat,” An Advent reflection

  1. Pingback: “It’s the Hat,” Fr. Joe’s Advent Reflection | Saint Sebastian

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