I have missed Sunday mass several times the last few years. Some days we sleep in the mornings and miss the morning mass and by evening, become too lazy to go out. Incorrigible, I know. Many times, I succeeded in going only because I know that that would be something my father would ask even if he calls a week later. My father wouldn’t hesitate to give a piece of his mind even now on matters that irritate him to the core so I would rather go to the church than hear an earful from him. I felt great when I did attend mass and felt really guilty if I missed it for some reason. My parents have been such great models for me, going to church every single day and being active in all church-related activities and here I am, not even going on Sundays. My mother would calmly, with a lot of kindness say ” Can you not spare one hour a week for God? You should take your kids as well to the church even if they run around and do not behave as expected so that they know that there is something like going to the church on Sundays”.
This part is hard to explain, but let me say that now I am closer to God (like how I was 10 years back actually) and enjoy praying in solitude. I have started reading the new Testament and I am trying to understand the verses in depth. The verses are familiar but so much more meaningful now. I guess as you get older and with the events in your life, your understanding of the Bible improves.
So anyways I woke up late today yet again and missed the morning mass. After lunch, Adith asked ” today is Sunday..when are we going to the church?” and I realized how wise my Mom was. We went to the church together and for the first time in several years, reached before the mass began. The priest was holding the door open for us and that itself made it special! We got a seat somewhere in the middle (usually the seats get filled up and we would be standing at the back of the church). The first year that we were here, I was surprised by how scantily clad people were inside the church during summer but now it doesn’t bother me at all.
It was time for Gospel reading and the second one was Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (2 COR 12:7-10).
That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.”
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.
A teenage girl was reading the passage and when she came to “my grace is sufficient for you..” her voice was shaking. It was evident that she was fighting to keep the tears at bay and read the rest of the verses. Boy, I had not seen anyone getting so emotional at the altar and felt a lump in my throat myself.
Being in the US now for 6 years, I have realized something. Nobody comes to church here as part of a norm. If they are coming, they do mean it and they have strong faith.There is so much freedom of choice that if a young adult chooses not to come to the church, they simply don’t, period. The would never come to the church to be in somebody’s good books or because their parent do. It just doesn’t work that way here. But the ones that do come, have strong faith and that is what I witnessed today.
Be true to yourself!
Have a blessed day,