Every once in a while I start writing a blog post, and on and on it goes, and I’m not straining but having a bit of fun and I’m just about to post when I realize: “Hey, this is an Angelus column!” Which I agonize about each week and is a source of constant anxiety.

That just happened. Sorry! But I’ll share it here in a couple of weeks.

I wanted to poke my head in anyway, dependent as I am on connecting with my few, and precious, dedicated readers, fellow wonderers and wanderers. (I don’t think I mentioned that I put out the call on Christmas Eve for a little Christmas Day zoom gathering for all who were so moved. One person showed up, our own Bill Potts, and then my friends Tensie and Dennis from Santa Maria signed on I think out of pity. It was PERFECT. THANK YOU).

So let’s see. I was struck this year in a way I never have been before by the fact that the infant Christ is born, the Magi visit, and next week fast-forward 30 years, and John the Baptist is anointing him for his public ministry.

What a strange religion/story, in which Christ’s entire childhood, adolescence and young adulthood are basically shrouded in…not secrecy, exactly. But they’re hidden, shielded from view. I guess no-one but maybe Mary knew he was the Messiah so why document anything or pay particular attention?

“I am not fit to untie the thong of his sandal”…a foot reference…water…the Baptism is a kind of reverse mirror image of the Last Supper, I’m thinking this year, when Christ warps a towel around his waist and washes the feet of his disciples.

In the first instance, John, the best man, who readily accepts and embraces his servanthood position (“He must increase; I must decrease”) vis-a-vis the bridegroom, anoints Christ for his public ministry. As with Peter at the Last Supper, he sees that it should be the other way around; that by all rights their positions should be reversed. “But so that Scripture may be fulfilled,” says Christ, as he accepts, insists really, that John baptize him. It’s only fitting that Christ, the humblest of men, the Savior who constantly upends every power structure known to man, should be anointed by his “inferior.”

At the Last Supper, he brings things full circle, anointing Peter for his public ministry, by washing the feet of his disciple. Peter is being “baptized”/anointed into martyrdom: he will suffer the same fate John did (if by different means).

“No, Master!” cries Peter, appalled: if anything, he feels, Christ should be asking Peter to wash his feet. But Christ insists: “I no longer call you servants, for a servant does not know his master’s business; I call you friends. Even knowing he is to be tortured and killed that very day, in his extravagant generosity of spirit, he outpours his service and love.

So it seems the two events are bookends of a sort: I’m sure many smarter and more articulate than me have plumbed the connection more deeply. Suffice it to say this is yet another example of the inexhaustible riches and depth of the Gospels.

On another note, I have re-subscribed to the Criterion Channel, a second kind of treasure trove. I thought I’d seen the major classics from the 40s, 50s, and 60s: my favorite era. But a friend last week turned me on to Holiday (1938) with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.

I watched it Sunday morning, in bed, after a horrible night’s sleep and having risen early for 8 am Mass. And it is just stupendous. The little, working man with a dream versus Big Capital; the family member exiled for exhibiting too much spark and joy; a snapshot of New York High Society. Superb dialogue, wonderful acting, sumptuous sets, Edward Everett Horton, and a story line that brought tears to my eyes.

Which isn’t hard these days.



20 Replies to “ORDINARY TIME–BUT IS IT?”

  1. Bob Rueger says: Reply

    Never viewed Holiday but now I feel like I have to. Why do you do this to me? I already have too many things to do.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Ha, Bob, it’s terrible, isn’t it? I just prioritize and do all the fun stuff first. Happy New Year!!

  2. I feel badly about missing the Christmas Day invite. I would have totally tuned in, even though you don’t know who in the heck I am. We mostly sat around feeling sorry for ourselves because we couldn’t hang out with our family, except on Zoom. The movie looks interesting. My younger sister and I are old movie buffs, and anything with Cary Grant/Katherine Hepburn is right up our alley.

    Hang in there. You’re making more of a difference than you know. God bless!

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Elizabeth, would have loved to meet you! I’ll host more gatherings in the future, I’m sure, and seriously, Christmas Day was perfect. I love the serendipitous tragicomedy…usually…of, oh just the whole thing. I do hope you and your sister watch Holiday. Just delightful.

      1. Bob Rueger says: Reply

        No time of year or even of every day is truly ORDINARY.

        1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

          Right on, Bob. That’s why I asked–Or Is It?

  3. lovely rambling about all and only things that matter, dear heather…..and exquisite “holiday”, thank you for sharing. thank you for being who you are dear heather!


    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Oh bless you, Glenda. Yes, the rambles continue, inner and outer…Thank you for reading, and may we all ever more be who we are!

  4. TOM DUFFY says: Reply

    good morning HEATHER! michael and i are sending love and hugs from echo park.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Tom Duffy! I can hardly wait to line up at Dodger Stadium or wherever they’re gonna herd us and get that damn vaccine! It’s gorgeous out and I am going to Huntington Gardens this afternoon. Sending masses of love down the 110 and west on the 101 to you and Michael!

  5. Susie Rose says: Reply

    Hi Heather, Sending some love to my faraway fiend! I just picked up Harrowed from the library and can’t wait to steep myself in your beautiful writings.. xoxoxo

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Thank you, dear Susie! Oh wow, your library has Harrowed?? How cool is that? Hope you like it and sending love back–

      1. Omygolly friend not fiend!!!
        I asked my library to order your book. I always do ♥️

        1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

          Ha Susie, did not even notice–I kind of like fiend, too, as in Werner Herzog’s My Best Fiend documentary about the brilliant and possibly insane Klaus Kinski! And thank you from the bottom of my heart for asking your library to order my book!

  6. Julia Rolwing says: Reply

    I can’t wait to watch it, Heather! Thanks for all you do and are.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Julia, dear Opera Singer Friend! Happy New Year to you, many thanks, and sending love!

  7. Tyrone Sills says: Reply

    Hello. I recently purchased your book Holy Desperation and it is excellent reading and is a help to me in my spiritual journey. Thank you.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Tyrone, thank you, another reader of Holy Desperation! I should probably re-read it myself in these topsy-turvy times…thank you for the support, and I am so glad if anything I have written helps….

  8. Eileen O'Connor says: Reply

    I too am sorry that I missed the Christmas Zoom session – I hope you do another – maybe put that in the blog heading so I don’t miss it. I save your blogs to read them when I get the time so that I can really let your message pour over me – they are my treat. I just got Holy Desperation and am so enjoying the reading. I don’t want to go through it quickly; there is too much to mull over. You and your writings and inspiration are what I look forward to at the end of a too crazy day in a too complicated life.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Eileen, thank you and that’s a great idea, to put Zoom Gathering as the title…I had tons of phone calls, emails, texts, and a couple of other zoom gatherings to attend, as well as Mass, my beautifully-decorated apt, gifts to open, and food, so it’s not exactly like I suffered from loneliness that day…I just love to highlight my smallish but devoted following, and seriously, to express gratitude for the lovely gathering early on Christmas morn! I’m so glad you’re liking Holy Desperation…seems to be one of my titles people mention most often. And I hear you, too, with a “too crazy day in a too complicated life!” Searching for silence…bless you.


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