Perhaps because I had mentioned how much I enjoyed Padre Jesus’ no-nonsense masses in the past, my mother-in-law this year took us to his 7:00 O’clock mass at San Esteban, the Goldilocks chapel—not too rich, not too poor. We arrived early enough to get seats in the middle of the room. The sermon in a nutshell: So much trouble is caused by people trying to be powerful. People say they want peace on earth and then they try to get it by being powerful and that never works. When everyone is trying to be powerful, there isn’t much peace. If you want peace, as God wants, it’s easy. Be humble and do your job. “The sheperds of the Christmas story weren’t trying to be powerful, they were tending their sheep. They were doing their job.”
Ho hum. It turned into “Do as you are told.” so quickly. Last year’s cold cow spit communion was easier to swallow. But there was singing and hand clapping (welcome because it muffles those bratty tambourines) and there was a nun in the pews, styled like a nun in an old movie or on a bottle of Mexican egg nog. We both looked a little out of place in this crowd of dark-haired and dressed-up worshippers. I was a tall gringo wearing a cheap blue sweater. She was the kind-faced older woman in a habit and a worn brown robe. I wanted to ask her for a photo, but I talked myself out of it, which I have been doing more often than not this year. Ho hum.