(Prayer offered by Brian Ciccone over the Public Address System on Monday, 28 October 2013)
Let us remember we are in the holy presence of a loving God.
So listen: I am very worried about something. Yes! Something has me concerned and I think only you can help me. Today I am asking you to join me in saving the endangered high five. Yes, the high five, that once glorious thunder clap of coolness. Gone are the days of the Top Guns and only you can help bring back the validity and integrity of the high five.
I don’t know if it’s Nick Mercurio or what, but I have been thinking a lot about Jesus lately. So in this plea to save the high five I ask you to consider the following: WWJHF, Who Would Jesus High Five?
Back in the Glory Days, a high five was a celebration of some great success. You would high five if your team won the big game, when you did well on a test, when you overcame some challenge. Now it’s “Awesome snap chat bro, high five” and “OMG your hair looks so hot, high five.” We throw up a high five for the least exceptional moments of our lives.
In fact, more and more I get the sense that we offer a high five not only for just the shallow and pointless things in life, but also for wretched and deplorable things. We use this once noble form of support to commend getting away with cheating on tests and academic dishonesty. We high five when we brag about illegal activities and sexual exploitations. And when a group ridicules someone, makes fun of them behind their backs, jokes at someone’s expense, we applaud our lack of love and compassion with the honorable high five. Would Jesus give you a high five for: your new iPhone, that crazy party last night, or your cruel judgment of someone else?
Now, I have no issue with the use of the high five as a means of greeting. While it is simply a crude form of a handshake, a sign of friendly welcome for centuries, showing brotherhood through a high five is perfectly acceptable in the right circumstances. What I can’t stand is that the simple high five greeting has become a 20 minute self love fest between two people who have choreographed some elaborate display. It’s as if you are saying “our friendship is more important than anyone else’s and everyone can see that by how long it takes us to shake hands.” Would Jesus only high five certain people, the people who publicly claim to know him best, the ones that suggest their relationship with Jesus is more truthful or real than someone else?
One other thing that endangers the greatness that was the high five is how self-indulgent it has become. It used to be that someone offered a high five to someone else for their good work. Now it seems that the moment we think we have done something even slightly worthy of praise, we throw up one hand looking for someone, anyone to validate us. And I wonder if we are more interestied in others glorifying us, than we are willing to extend our own hand in appreciation of someone else’s good work.
When crowds gathered around Jesus, we never hear in the bible that he ran up and down the length of that crowd slapping high fives to the adoring fans. No, Jesus never used his hands looking for self-glorification, rather he used them to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and care for the poor, actions he did for God’s glory alone, never looking for others to confirm his good works. Would Jesus high five you because you think you deserve it or because you do good work without seeking recognition?
So won’t you lend a hand today and join me in the fight to revive the high five? Raise your hand and volunteer to do something worthy of God’s love today. And be sure to ask yourself: WWJHF? Who would Jesus high five? Would he high five you for the words that you speak today? Would he high five you for the actions of your hands? Would he high five all his brothers and sisters, his friends, family, strangers and enemies? Would he be there to offer you support when you needed it and not simply because you wanted his attention? Together, with God’s help, we can save this virtuous sign of friendship, congratulations, and support.
Let us Pray,
Dear Lord, Help me to appreciate the truly wondrous things you have surrounded me with in my life. Let me be your hands on Earth to do service in your name and show appreciation to others for the work they have done. And let me do these good works without expectation of return, knowing that if I want goodness and love in the world I am called to be that goodness and love.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.