IF your town still has a newspaper, and IF you still get it, and IF on Sunday they still have the Parade Magazine (will someday I have to explain what a magazine was to kids?) this past weekend you would have seen an article about Mark Wahlberg. The short article is under a weekly feature called, “Sunday With . . .” In it, they interview a famous person and there is at least one question that they ask every week: “How do you spend Sunday?”
Week after week after week I read this feature paying particular attention if it is a person whose work I like, just hoping that one of them would say that they somehow gave thanks for their talent, their wealth, their notoriety, or the fact that anybody cares that what they do on Sunday. But week after week after week it is usually something along the lines of, “We sleep in. Then I make pancakes. We lounge around the house or go shopping or to the zoo.” Not even a “we help out in a soup kitchen.” Sunday, for many, seems to be “Me Day.” I don’t have to work so we spend time on ourselves. On the one hand that is good. (I try for some me time myself on Sunday if it is available.) But there is not even a mention of, “and we say grace remembering that everything is a gift.”
Then there is Mr. Wahlberg, former crack-addict, prisoner, Calvin Klein model, rapper, current actor and father. Here is how he describes his Sunday;
“If the kids are good, I’ll have doughnuts for them at 6:30 in the morning,” (Note: 6:30 in the morning – ready for his kids. I have just started thinking about becoming functional at that time – he’s already got doughnuts for the kids and I have Mass!) “and I say, ‘You guys gotta let Mommy sleep in!” DO YOU KNOW WHY HE DOES THIS?! BECAUSE THEN: “I’ll go to church” (read: Mass) “at 7:30 and everybody will be eating breakfast when I come home.” Nice right? Hold on to your biretta friends for the next sentence. “Then we’ll go to church again at 10:30. . .”
Okay, maybe he’s making up for some of his famous peers who forget to mention anything outside of themselves as a Sunday activity. But still: he’s once again proven himself one of my heroes. (If you hear that he kicks his dog or lets his kids eat Cheerios at Mass, please don’t tell me. I need my heroes.) But it just goes to show you how much good you can do. He isn’t pictured waving a Vatican flag or preaching (apparently like I am) about what people should do if they consider themselves faithful, he was asked a question and he answered honestly. It led to a second question by the interviewer, “Faith is obviously a big part of your life.” Which, in retrospect is not a question but a statement. But he answered none-the-less, “It’s the most important part of my life.”
There. Very matter of fact. No preaching (in the negative sense) and no theatrics. And he did a world of good for Catholics that need a shot in the arm. Thank you Mr. Wahlberg. I hope more of us can follow your example.
(And we have dooughnut Sunday here.)