Tradition! Tradition!

A Homily for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Text: St. Luke 13:10-17


Grace to you and peace from God our Heavenly Father and Christ Jesus our Lord, who interrupts our world to show us the Kingdom. Amen.

To quote Fiddler on the Roof, “How do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: tradition!” (Tradition! Tradition!) “Traditions for everything: How to sleep. How to eat. How to work. How to wear clothes.”

The musical gets it right. How far may I travel on the Sabbath? There’s a Tradition for that. How shall I pray? There’s a tradition for that. What does this text mean? There’s a tradition for that.

It’s difficult to overstate the centrality of tradition in Judaism. After a fifty-year exile and centuries under successive occupying empires, tradition played the same role it does today: preserving identity.

What does it mean to keep the Torah in Persia? Continue reading “Tradition! Tradition!”

The Met, Catholic Vestments, and Colbert

In case you missed it, the annual Met Gala this past week drew upon ecclesial dress for its theme. The gala itself is an annual celebration of high fashion, and this year was no exception. As you might except, the overlap between celebrity, fashion, and Catholicism was not without controversy.

Alongside the gala, the Met is featuring an exhibit exploring the ornate design of papal vestments. The exhibition offers a rare glimpse at the gorgeous garments on loan from the Sistine Chapel’s sacristy. The Church’s nuncio to late night, Stephen Colbert, got a guided tour behind the scenes: