Halloween (also call All Hallows Eve) seems to be a good season to contemplate MASKS. We wear them all year long yet on this day we publicly claim them for what they are: masks!
Al Mortenson says it like this.
“At Halloween young hobgoblins appear with their masked faces and the challenge, “Bethcha can’t guess who I am.” Our intentional wrong guesses add to their fascination with themselves, and soon the masks are peeled off and everyone is left to enjoy each other.
Little do the small ones realize how we grown-ups play Halloween games the year round. Individuality is threatening, so we cover ourselves up and dare each other to guess who we are. Our homemade masks seem so hard, so unbending, yet all it takes to remove them are firm but gentle hands. Then, face to face, we begin to discover the wonders underneath.”
Jesus says it like this:
…And you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free!
C.S. Lewis says it like this:
We are to be re-made. All the rabbit in us is to disappear: the worried, conscientious, ethical rabbit… as well as the cowardly and sensual rabbit….
We shall bleed and squeal as handfuls of fur come out; and then surprisingly, we shall find underneath it all, a thing we have never yet imagined:
A real person, a Child of God, Strong, Radiant, Wise, Beautiful and DRENCHED WITH JOY!
St Paul says it like this:
Be imitators of God as his very dear children. Follow the way of love even as Christ has loved you. Ephesians 5:1
And again St. Paul says,
(I gleaned these thoughts on masks from an old ALIVE NOW magazine and am not certain of the author)
“Sometimes without realizing it, we assume masks—ways of being and acting that don’t really express who we are. We have taken on these modes of behavior or expressing ourselves perhaps as a way to please others, to win friends, to merit personal recognition.
Masks, however well we wear them, are incongruous with our true inner feelings and, thus, with who we really are. They may look good for awhile, but in the long run, they become burdens; they cease to feel good because they do not fit us; they are not an authentic expression of who we truly are.” (author unknown)
Please don’t misunderstand me. I also enjoy Halloween. And I like to remember that Halloween means all All-Hallows-Eve. It’s a holy evening because it is the evening before we celebrate the feast of All Saints and All Souls. These are real people who laughed and cried and trusted and doubted as we do. They were loving, compassionate, fearful, hopeful and courageous. They too wore masks but one day they took them off and things were never the same in their lives again. And now it is November 1, 2016 and once again we celebrate this feast. I hope you can all find your place in the mosaic of saints. This feast is not just for those in heaven. It is for each of us. It is for me and for you. It is for all of us. And all we need do is TAKE OFF OUR MASK and come to the table of daily life as we are.