Wednesday, November 23, 2005

mene, tekel, pérez

I confess to laughing during morning Mass today. The reading from Daniel about the writing on the wall has done that to me since about 11 years ago when I baptized an unfortunate child whose parents decided to name him Menetekel. This was in a little town called La Ciénega in Mexico state. At the time I thought it was some family ancestral name, not that much different from Cuauhtemoc or Xochit. Only later did it dawn on me that the name was of Biblical origen.

There's no such thing as overkill when it comes to Mexican names. I have baptized a 'Rosa Mistica Santos', an 'Angel Perfecto Iglesias' and an 'Eva Genesis Israel'. I also narrowly averted a 'Deuteronomio de Dios Sampedro' on the grounds that it wouldn't all fit on the certificate. The mother insisted she wanted a prophet's name, even if it couldn't be Deuteronomy. I suggested Amos or Job. She decided on Zacariah. It's all good.

On this 23rd day of November, 34th week of ordinary time, I salute you, Menetekel Pérez.