Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mardi Gras is approaching fast and unfortunately we will not be making a trip to Fairhope this year for the annual Mardi Gras celebration. We have a formation retreat this weekend followed by Institution of Reader on Tuesday (Mardi Gras day).

When I tell friends we attend Mardi Gras most years, they are surprised. They have images of New Orleans, drunken behavior and women doing almost anything to get beads thrown to them. This is unfortunate because that image is not what happens along the Gulf Coast of the United States and most natives to the area would not step foot in New Orleans because it is invaded by tourist looking to behave badly.

Almost anywhere else on the Gulf Coast, Mardi Gras is enthusiatically celebrated in both large and small towns. It is an opportunity to come together as a community and have a party before the beginning of Lent. These parades and parties are very family friendly places to be, where the children take center stage to catch beads and marvel at the beautiful floats.

I have enjoyed it because it is a time to come together with friends we have not seen in a year but also a time reflect on the Lenten Season that approaches. There is a time and a season for everything and this time is for all of us to prepare for the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. That time is not just for giving up something we enjoy, but a time to come to a deeper understanding of what really happened on Good Friday and why Easter morning changed the world forever.

So I will miss being at the Mardi Gras parades this weekend and the Ball on Monday. As they say, we have bigger fish to fry this week-end.

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