I went to a Saturday vigil mass today after not going to church regularly for almost half a year. I went for many different reasons. One of them is my lack of regular Sunday attendance at Mass for more than several months. Some of it was due to laziness on my part and because I could not make up my mind about where to go to church. Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and go to my local parish.
It is one of the larger ones in the area (upwards of 2000 parishioners) and has many different organizations as well as a thriving school on the grounds. The interior of the church itself is very plane with almost no statues at all. Above the altar hangs a corpus without a cross. And for those of you that wonder about such things, they do have “altar girls” and whatever else. But none of these things really bothered me because I didn’t go to church to criticize, I went because I had a desperate need to be fed.
The homily today was about St. Matthew’s interpretation of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. The priest pointed out how we could continue feeding others by bringing them to God and helping out in the communities and families in which we live. Even if the things that we do are small and not of great signfiicance, they are important in the eyes of God.
For so many months, I had attended traditionalist parishes where inspirational sermons came around every once in a while. Yet having to hear the Roman Catholic Church being bashed over and over again was not my cup of tea. A sermon, at least to me, means that I am being taught about how to live my faith. It does not mean being taught about that together with seeing the Church being bashed at the same time. I cannot reconcile the two with each other.
Yet going to church was good for me because it brought me closer to God and my community. I don’t know about you, but every vocation director will tell their directees to become involved in their parish community. For now, I know what I can do over there and how I can help out. Even if it does mean giving away a few old books that have been lying around the house. It’s a start and that’s what God asks us to do. If we start the work, He will help us finish it.
Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!
St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, pray for us!