Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A tie for Our Lady

"I wear a tie to Mass on Sundays," I thought, "because it is a festive day. Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. It too is a festive day. I should wear a tie today too."

In addition to complementing personal devotion, wearing a tie is also almost certain to evoke curiosity at work. This is true because ties are not very common among my immediate colleagues. For most, wearing blue jeans is much more likely than wearing a tie. As a result, ties signal big events like presentations to the director of the lab or proposals for multi-million dollar funding. So, sure enough, at the sight of my tie, multiple calls went out. "Hey Phil, whoa, what's with the tie? What's the occasion?"

I had anticipated such conversation openers and tried to think of how to capitalize. What is the right amount of detail with which to respond? To the first two folks, I said, "It was a special feast day for our Church today. So I wore a tie when I went to church this morning." By wearing a tie, I managed to talk to these people about going to church in the morning.

The third person who asked is a woman that I know is Catholic. So to her inquiry, I answered, "It's the Immaculate Conception." Oh yes, she smiled. In fact, her elementary school son had just reminded her yesterday that today they would need to go to Mass. Maybe someday he will wear a tie on Immaculate Conception day too.

May Mary pray for all the folks who asked about the tie that I wore on her feast day.

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