Monday, May 25, 2015
The last time we were at Mass there I felt very, very unwelcome. We were at Mass early which, judging by the fact that there were about five other people there (there are seven in our family), seems to be unusual. We planned to sit in one of the front section of pews, because our cousin Fr. Donovan was to say his first Mass there. We were told that we could not sit there because they were reserving that section for other clergy. The other front section was for immediate family only. So, we sat in the middle section. Then, they decided about five minutes before Mass that they'd let people sit in the empty "clergy section." My son was too embarrassed and did not want to move.
So, we stayed in the middle section, and thought, oh well, we'll stay here. When it was time for the Eucharist, we found out that we were in the wrong section. Apparently, they reward those being late as those in the back and the those in the cry room got to go after the front section. Okay, so we stood up as the two front sections had gone. We were informed that it was not our turn; not only was it not our turn but we were in the section that went after every front side and back section went. I was mortified at being told to sit down and wait. I've never, ever felt so unwelcome at any Mass--to see my Lord. Not only did the stop us from sitting in the front section, which was subsequently empty, but we were not told that we were sitting (in the very next section behind the front pew sections) that we would be the very last in the whole church to receive communion.
This weekend, we had to go back there for a family function. With my resentment intact, we were on our way. I felt it all the way there; I felt it as I entered the church. I prayed for the Lord to help me let it go. I did however, make sure we did not, under any circumstances sit in the same section as last time. I did notice they redid the sanctuary. The Tabernacle was actually in the center behind the altar; there was a statue of Mary in an alcove on our left (Jesus' right) and a statue of Joseph on the right. A crucifix was in the center over the Tabernacle. I liked this new arrangement very much.
The Scriptures this weekend were all about the coming of the Spirit of God. The homily talked not only about Pentecost but the need for forgiveness--forgiveness of others' offenses even when they do not know or do not ask forgiveness. It felt as if it were aimed at my heart. As were were in the second section and to one side, I thought we'd be receiving the Eucharist from one of the Lay Extra-Ordinary Eucharistic ministers. However, to my surprise and delight we were ushered to the center and the priest. I had the privilege of receiving the Eucharist from the Priest's own hand this time around. My resentment was now completely gone. I let it go this weekend, and it was good.