9/20/11

An extraordinary Sunday in Ordinary Time

Photo by Dupont Media World

Haven't felt quite right for a couple of days and so I've not been very active here on this page.  But I'm feeling better this evening and wanted to jot down a few thoughts lingering in my mind and heart since Sunday.

On occasion, and this past weekend was such a time, some folks on the way out of church after Mass will mention that for some reason, often one they can't quite find the words for, they had a particularly deep experience of prayer at the liturgy just celebrated. 

It often comes out as, "That was the best Mass, Father!"  or "Something about Mass today really got to me, Father..."  or "Thanks, Father, I really needed that today and it was just what I needed."  This past weekend's liturgy was as ordinary as the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time might be.  No special rites or events, no special commemorations... simply Mass on the Lord's Day.  But the Spirit touched a number of people to the point where they were moved to say something.  And I wonder at such times, "How many weren't at all able to bring to speech how our prayer had moved them that day?"

Of course, carefully prepared liturgy, even of the "ordinary" variety, including good music, effective lectors and the graceful service of many ministers all contribute to making even the "ordinary" something extraordinary.

I just know it brings great joy to a pastor's heart when he hears such comments from those leaving church and walking out into the week ahead.

Priests have the same experience.  It is, always, a grace and blessing to celebrate the Eucharist with the people of the parish on the Lord's Day but for priests, too, there are times when the Spirit's presence and touch is more palpably felt than at other times and when that happens in the ordinary times, it's truly a gift from God.

I hope that the folks who spoke to me and my pastoral associate at the church doors on the weekend will take the time to share the same with others and especially with those who don't come to Mass regularly.  It's good for folks who've drifted away to receive such simple, personal reminders that something truly out of the ordinary happens every Sunday at Mass when the Lord speaks to us in his own words and invites us to share at his table the life of the sacrifice he offered once for all.



 

   
Subscribe to A Concord Pastor Comments 

5 comments:

Philomena Ewing said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better.
Take it easy.

Blessings

Linda Reid said...

A pastoral musician finds those comments extremely fulfilling also! I don't even remember the song, but one week a woman came up to me after mass and said "I think you picked/sang that song just for me" Those kinds of comments are so much more welcome and coveted than all the "what a beautiful voice you have" praises put together!

Fran said...

That is so beautiful. Those kinds of comments are so important, not for some cheap affirmation but because it is in these exchanges that we can understand how we have been transformed through liturgy.

Thanks for sharing this, hope you are feeling better.

Anonymous said...

You have been in my prayers, because I thought you weren't feeling well. Hope this finds your health much improved.

God bless,
Rosemary

Austin Fleming said...

Thanks for the prayers and well-wishing. I'm fine, just wasn't feeling "quite right" and wanted to explain my absence on the page.