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Would St Joseph have agreed to this?

July 8, 2008

Sunday. Morning. Still simmering after a hot summer night. Obligatory cup – mug – of coffee. Go for the paper. Back home. Second mug. Sofa. Wake up.

I always read the headline on the first page then turn over to the last page. This was no extraordinary Sunday.

Front page headline: Magistrate hits back at minister, criticises colleague. OK. Everybody will have his or her 15 minutes of fame.

Back page: Closing road for Msida feast could be dangerous – Mater Dei superintendent. Duh! The function of the wise man is to explain the obvious, not state it. Then there was a sub-headline (I think. I don’t know what they’re called): “They’ll close the road over my dead body” – band club president. Now that’s strange. The first band club president who’d rather see sense prevail over festa fever. But I was to be sorely disappointed. It was simply a mistranslated statement. The article said, among other things:

“They’ll close (the road) over my dead body. You are denying us our right to the feast. Don’t you dare come to Msida, I’m serious …If you don’t like it don’t pass through Msida. We never needed you and we are never going to.”


When asked about hospital visitors, he said the police would designate times when the road would be open. “If someone doesn’t watch the news or read the newspapers, that it’s [sic] up to him. We don’t get [sic] into it.”

I don’t know if the exemplary president spoke in English for the benefit of the newspaper’s readers or if his wisdom was translated.

Where does he get off?! This man is telling us that he doesn’t care if anyone needs to go to hospital or if anyone needs to visit friends or relatives in hospital. If it interferes in any way with his insignificant little festa it will have to wait. Brilliant. I think – but I could be wrong – that these people should undergo periodical reality checks. Perhaps a refresher course in prioritisation should be thrown in, too.

I would imagine that one of the reasons behind celebrating these festi is to remind us of the spiritual virtues of the village’s patron saint and inspire us to live by them.

St Joseph was humble. He put his life in the back seat and unquestioningly obeyed his orders. He even had to live through the apparent shame of his wife – or were they still betrothed? – becoming pregnant when they shouldn’t have been living together. And he never uttered a word of complaint. I can’t quite picture him kicking up a fuss, if due to [potential] medical exigencies, they’d have to cut back a bit on his party.

The Church is already treading dangerous ground peddling its wares, as it were, in a scientifically-oriented culture. The two are not, repeat not, mutually exclusive, mind you. My remark should be taken in a “public perception” context. I think it should distance itself from such blinkered statements – or at least, if not disassociate itself, issue a statement to the effect that “Although we appreciate the enthusiasm of certain people we have to remind everybody that our first and foremost priority is to encourage consideration towards everybody else.” Of course it’s not up to me to decide – or even suggest – what the Church should say or do …

I think I’d better get off my soap box now as the wife needs it to dust the top of the trophy cabinet *ahem*


From → The Gripevine

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