Genesis 49:2, 8-10
During this past year I felt called by the Lord to purchase some video equipment and begin producing some videos, of myself and others, that I can publish on the Web or on the different Social Sharing sites.
From the beginning I wanted to learn how to use the "green screen" method of producing. This is where you put up a green screen, light it evenly and have your talent stand about ten feet in front of it. You then videotape the talent with the green screen behind them. When you put this in the computer, using one of the movie making programs, you can insert behind your talent, replacing the green screen, just about any video or picture you want. I can put myself preaching in the cathedral here in Houston or even in St. Peter’s in Rome. If I am clever enough, I can even have the Holy Father in the congregation.
How difficult it can be to make the foreground (talent) merge with the inserted background. You need to use video controls and make the edges of the religious habit look normal. Human hair is a real challenge to look sharp and crisp. Even when you have it looking very good and then "render or publish" it, put it together for use, the two different layers of video retain a life of their own. You can begin to play the finished product and for some reason the background (inserted video) become pale while the upfront talent looks good.
Our Christian faith grew out of the Jewish religion. Judaism had a long journey before Christ came along. We are told in today’s gospel that it was often challenged to incorporate non Jews into its ranks. The genealogy of Jesus that St. Matthew gives us today, tells how three foreign women, Tamar, Ruth and Bathsheba, became grafted to the Jewish Church. This inclusion probably did not come easily. But when the dust of time settled, there they are in the genealogy, listed with all the Jewish greats. How difficult it can be to get two different realities to come together as one.
We know of the conflict in the early Church when Paul the Apostle began bringing the Gentiles, non Jews, into the community.
One of the problems in the American Catholic Church today, is not getting non Catholics or non Christians grafted but our big problem is getting Catholics of different national backgrounds to merge and become one parish. Like the two layers of video in the green screening project, unity will take quite a while, but the Holy Spirit will pull it off sooner or later.
Like myself, setting at my computer, working with the video controls I have, trying to get the two layers of video of cleanly merge, parishes and dioceses today are trying different things to create more harmony where there can be frustrating, even embittered, division. The season of Advent tells us to be patient, to wait, to be open to the surprise that Christ will bring us at Christmas.
Fr. Blaise Czaja, C.P. gives parish missions and retreats. He is a member of the Passionist Community in Houston, Texas.