At a cookout at the home of a family in the parish we were out on the patio having drinks and appetizers. I happened to be seated next to their almost-16 year old son and the conversation between us turned to religion and then to Sunday Mass. And more precisely: his experience of the liturgy in our parish.
I learned a lot!
What this young man did was to talk about what goes through his mind and heart at Mass and he made a distinction between the Sundays he's pleased to be there and the Sundays he would have preferred to stay at home! He gave me his take on what he thinks is going through my mind and heart during the readings, when I often close my eyes. He gave a critique of some of our lectors and offered his thoughts on why different members of the choir might have volunteered to be part of that ministry. He also critiqued a few homilies I've given.
The food at the cookout (some of it cooked in!) was excellent but this conversation was just as nourishing and even more so in some ways.
Sometimes you find yourself in the right place and just the right time - that was true for me on that patio.
It would be very helpful to find ways to invite other young people (and their elders, too) to offer their reflections along the same lines.
When you know one of the parish teens is sitting there in the assembly on Sunday morning, musing on what the pastor's thinking and praying during the scripture readings, then you know, again, how deep and serious are the responsibilities upon the shoulders of all who minister on the Lord's Day...
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Posted by Concord Pastor at 12:00 PM