RUBBING OUR THROAT
The title of my homily is, “Rubbing Our Throat.”
Today, on this feast of St. Blaise, throats are blessed.
Supposedly St. Blaise helped a kid who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. Maybe he did the Heimlich maneuver method long, long before Henry Heimlich. I thought I read that Henry Heimlich only used his method once - and that was near the end of his life - but it’s estimated that at least 100,000 people were helped with his method in his lifetime: February 3, 1920 Wilmington, Delaware to Dec. 17, 2016.
So I thought for a homily to say a few ideas about the throat - touching and rubbing our throat.
So do some thinking about the throat during this mass and then at the end accept the blessing - at large or one to one - and hopefully, you’ll have some key thoughts about your throat for this mass.
How many times in a given day, do we put our hand to our throat?
In sign language, besides using fingers for letters, some folks short cut with regular signals. Like cup of tea is [cup] with one hand and move one’s other hand up and down, as if one is trying to get the t-bag to do its job in the hot water. Or rubbing one’s chin - is a sign language symbol for professor. That fits. We can see a teacher - a professor - rubbing his chin before giving a profound answer.
So is there a meaning in sign language for rubbing one’s Adam’s or Eve’s apple? Do people who are deaf pick up body language much better than those of us who can hear?
SIGNIFICANT PART OF OUR BODY
I would assume that one’s neck - the Adam’s apple area to be specific - is more important than the skin on the back of our knee or under our big toe.
The neck is very significant. It’s a key major highway - a key passage way.
Food and drink pass through our neck.
Air passes through our neck.
Words work with our throat and sound system.
Coughs come jumping out of our chest - up through our throat - and out through our mouth. It’s winter time and we all know this very well.
When someone gets a throat tickle, they say, “I might be coming down with a sore throat.”
Blood goes to our brain through our neck.
The thyroid gland is in here - and there is more and more information on how key the thyroid gland is to people.
It can affect our metabolism, hormones. Specialists have to do tests to see how our endocrine system is working.
We get stiff necks when we’re nervous or up tight.
Paul talked about fellow Jews who were stiff necked [Cf. Acts 7:51.]
Detectives when questioning people and asking questions notice neck swallows. Parents when they think kids are lying, watching their Adam’s apple as well. They want to know if they should swallow what the other is saying.
Sometimes someone is a pain in the neck.
So when communicating with someone, calmly keep your eye on the other person’s hand - and see what questions get them to rub their neck.
Body language experts say the other is comforting their nerves down - when they are rubbing their necks - or pausing to gather their thoughts - so they don’t say something stupid.
I was wondering why the first anointing in baptism is to put oil on the other person’s Adam’s apple - or the top of their chest. Why that anointing - and why there?
Enough words out of the mouth.
Chew on some of this - rub your neck - digest some thoughts and when you get the Saint Blaise blessing at the end of the Mass, you’ll have specifics to pray for.