In September, my parish moved the daily Mass time to noon on weekdays.
I love this, because it allows me to work from 7:30 to 11:30 and then head to Mass before having lunch—if I get it together enough to start that early, and if I have no afternoon meetings.
On Tuesdays, though, I do have a meeting—at noon—so I can’t attend Mass at my own parish. So on Tuesdays, I take a field trip. I’ve tried one church that offers an 8 AM Mass, which works well with my schedule, but there were some other factors that made this not a good fit. (If going to daily Mass is a near occasion of sin, and it was, then some things need to be reconsidered.) So I visited another parish that’s not too far away and has a 9 AM Mass.
I struggle, some weeks, with the idea that I’d rather be at my home parish, my parish home. A part of me feels disloyal for going somewhere else once a week, and for liking it there. But I think it’s OK to want to be at your own parish, because that means it’s important to you—I love my parish home. And it’s also OK to take field trips when you’re unable to attend Mass at your home parish. Better that than to skip! After all, Jesus is present in any Catholic church.
But my Tuesday church has been a real gift. It’s a diverse parish, with weekend Masses in three languages. At daily Mass, the pastor effortlessly switches among those languages as he distributes Communion, so each person receiving hears “The Body of Christ” in his or her own language. This is a beautiful sign of respect for each person’s culture. Father Jorge knows who speaks English, Spanish, or Portuguese, and greets them accordingly.
And on some days, like today, the homily is a real treat, because it’s like it was written just for me. I will remember, going forward, to focus on this:
It’s interesting that every day during Mass, right before we receive Communion, we all hear these words of Jesus Christ: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.”
Father went on to discuss the many times peace is mentioned in the Gospels, and how the Blessed Mother has urged us to pray for peace. He encouraged everyone to read Pacem in Terris, the encyclical by St. John XXIII. And he asked us all to consider how we can be peacemakers and peacekeepers.
I got home from Mass this morning to learn that my noon meeting was canceled. But that’s OK. God gave me a beautiful gift at Mass at 9, at my Tuesday church.
(If you want to skip to the homily, it’s 20 minutes in. Highly recommended.)
Copyright 2023 Barb Szyszkiewicz
Photos copyright 2023 Barb Szyszkiewicz, all rights reserved.