|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.
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