Feb. 28th, 2011

Jesus Year

Feb. 28th, 2011 10:58 pm
oselle: (Dean & Mary By Andune_85)
It's not March 1st yet here but it will be soon, and this March 1st is Jensen's thirty-third birthday and so this is his "Jesus Year."

Every time I hear about someone turning thirty-three, I have to tell the Jesus Year story. Back in my Catholic school days, I distinctly recall a religion class where some kid asked the teacher what age we would be in heaven and she said with no hesitation, "Thirty-three. Because that's how old Jesus was when he died."

I was only seven years old or so (and already inexplicably imbued with a terror of getting old), so the thought of being the decrepit age of thirty-three for all eternity really horrified me, which is probably why I never forgot the story. I remember staring at the teacher and thinking that she must be around thirty-three and this was what she was going to be stuck looking like in heaven -- in retrospect, I know the woman must have been at least fifty.

Many years later I casually mentioned to a friend that in heaven we'd all be thirty-three and he burst out laughing and asked me if that was some crazy Catholic thing (he was a transplanted Southerner and hadn't known too many Catholics growing up, so he thought we were all very exotic). He was the one who coined the term "Jesus Year." The story obviously made a big impression on him too because he went on to repeat it to other people, including other Catholics, who all told him they'd never heard of such a thing. So apparently, that teacher of mine was the nuttiest nun in all of Christendom and may very well have made up the whole story on the spot, probably to shut us up.

Now that I am a good ten years past my own Jesus Year, I think that nun was on to something because thirty-three is seriously not a bad year in which to spend eternity. Unless you've really abused yourself, most of us look pretty damn good at thirty-three -- we've outgrown the physical indignities of adolescence and have yet to begin noticing the encroaching decay of age. I recall having a fair amount of youthful vigor at that age, at least, I could still do things like drink, smoke and stay up late (often all three) without feeling (or looking) like an animated corpse the next day. I think thirty-five was the real beginning of the end and don't even get me started on the precipitous decline that began almost literally on the day I turned forty. I can now say that I would have absolutely no problem with being eternally thirty-three years old.

So anyway, take a good look at Jensen (difficult, I know) because this is his Jesus Year and what he looks like now is what he'll look like forever in the world without end, amen.

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