Christ is risen, allelulia!
After a lovely weekend of being “unplugged” from social networking and the internet, I was catching up on the latest postings on the Lifeteen website. I came across an all too true posting about how “the regulars” at church treat the not-so-regulars who come to Mass at Christmas and Easter time. Mark Hart’s article Family Reunion: When ‘Chreaster’ Catholics Come Home” outlines some common complaints “the regulars” often have and why a change of heart and mindset is required.
With that said, I need to first admit my own guilt in having too much “regular” pride. I joked that we would have to arrive early so that one of the C&Es won’t take our spot–never mind arriving early to pray or welcome the not-so-regulars. And I scoffed at the irreverant use of the space that was lit up with cell phone lights and loud chatter instead of recognizing my judgments as also being irreverant. Every year the same jokes and the same scoffs are made, apparently forgetting I’m clearly in position to throw the first stone.
While I still made the same jokes and unkind remarks, this year I found myself having the tiniest bit of enlightenment. I was impressed to see how many of my students attended the many Holy Week services. And yes, some of them likely have not been to Mass since Christmas or maybe the last school Mass, but you know what? They are here now. And frankly, this is what is important. Who am I to judge their sudden reappearance at church? So what if it takes Christmas and/or Easter to get them to church–it’s a start. Perhaps if we were all much more welcoming at these two important celebrations, the not-so-regulars would become regulars. It’s actually a blessing to have so many in the pews on these special occassions.
As I’ve mentioned in previous postings, one of my favourite things about the Catholic Church is the community and family that is created when we attend our local parish. I love walking into church and seeing faces I recognize and people I know. So when I saw so many students and their families at the Masses this weekend, I couldn’t help but feel this sense of community and family that much more.
Welcome back; we missed you!