I was privileged this week to be invited to celebrate Mass with teachers from the Wirral to mark the beginning of a new school year. It was a lovely, friendly and prayerful time together. Noisy at the beginning and end, full of poignant moments of laughter and emotion, hope and vulnerability. A real family meal where the common purpose of bringing the Christ to children was shared as food across the table.
That Eucharistic hospitality was offered by the SH School and enjoyed by so many.
Our Weekend Masses should resemble that same sense of hospitality, but perhaps we need to work on that on a weekly basis.
Noisy is good at the beginning and the end of Mass as people greet one another, but are we a bit selective about who we talk to. Aren’t there so many in church whose names we don’t even know.
The sign of Peace is one of those poignant moments when we stop the words to make sure all feel welcome, but are there those in church we would not want to greet.
And all hospitality takes its own time and our personal commitment. We wouldn’t just get up and walk out of someone’s home halfway through a meal, that would be so hurtful to all the others present around the table. Yes, people can have specific needs, but to leave Mass before the prayer is over because we don’t want to wait to the end, is destructive of the community prayer we have created.
Our Weekend Masses are lovely but lets try to make them even more so.
Just a thought!