What Does the Hog Say? 4

Guess what day tomorrow is...

Guess what day tomorrow is…

Tomorrow, February 2, as many as 30,000 pilgrims will converge on a small hill in a town whose name they can’t even pronounce (Punxsutawney, PA), to consult a small furry oracle named Phil, on what to expect from the weather for the next 6 weeks.

Punxsutawney Phil, the legendary groundhog, has gotten it right 100% of the time, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, 39% of the time according to the weatherman. (Watch out Ben Bernanke!) He’s seen his shadow 97 times, not seen it 15 times, and just not shown up 9 times over the course of his Methuselahn career — incidentally the lifespan for groundhogs is 6 to 8 years, but Phil is no ordinary groundhog. 

Aren’t you anxious to find out what Phil will tell us tomorrow? You can get instant news straight from the groundhog’s mouth by texting “Groundhog” to 247365, anytime tomorrow.

Whether the weather is cold, or whether the weather is hot, we’ll weather the weather whatever the weather, whether we like it or not!

Meanwhile, back at the Vatican….

There’s a lesser known gathering going on a small hill in Rome tomorrow, which in my opinion has far greater perennial significance than the long awaited weather report from a groundhog who’s right lest than 40% of the time — Sorry, Phil… nothing personal.

Every year on February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, thousands of consecrated men and women religious renew their vows in the presence of the Holy Father, during a devotional ceremony in St Peter’s Basilica. Maybe you did not know that. But did you know that you can join them?

Of course you can! You can join them in spirit by renewing your commitment to follow Christ tomorrow as a baptized Christian.

This is just something to keep in mind when you’re not too occupied getting ready to watch the Superbowl or keeping tabs on Phil. In the midst of your daily concerns, you can always find a moment, an occasion, some good reason to turn your thoughts toward God, and ask what is God telling you today.


  1. 😆 Loved this!

    Over here in Europe we don’t have “Superbowl” (is it some sort of sport?) or “groundhogs” (wish we did!)…. but in our Universal Catholic Church we too shall be celebrating this beautiful triple feast of Candlemas, Purification of the Blessed Virgin, and Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple.

    • The Superbowl is the biggest event in America. It’s the National Football League Championship game, and everyone observes it religiously, if you know what I mean. It’s way bigger than the World Cup in this country and more important by far than attendance in Church on Sunday for any denomination. Though I love American football, I have to admit we suffer a tremendous dearth of transcendence and our priorities are way out of order. But that’s not stopping me from watching the Superbowl and if the Seahawks win, I’ll be sick on Monday!

      By contrast, the Church is always inviting us to transcend, which is exactly what these congregations of nuns, brothers, and priests will be doing when they renew their consecration to the Lord tomorrow. Traditionally, all religious congregations do the same in their own houses during the Mass for this Feast. It’s usually a beautiful candle-light ceremony (as you said, Candlemas), with special prayers for the renewal of vows. At the Vatican, they dim the lights and the Basilica glows with just the light of the candles during the prayers of consecration. Very sublime!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s