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Friday, September 14, 2012
I was looking forward to morning Mass today because I knew the kids from St. Peter's school would be in attendance as a celebration for the beginning of the school year. Also today is the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Two great reasons to be at church. Usually I like to sit up front but it was packed so I took a seat towards the back.

This turned out to be the best seat in the house. Sitting in back I got to see all the little heads of the kids, up front were the kindergartners going back to eighth grade. I was impressed  at how well behaved they all were and the teachers all looked very calm. If a child did get out of turn just a quick glance and a "shh" from the teacher and all was well again.

There was a guitarist to lead us in song who is wonderful, both in his playing and singing. I decided not to belt out the different responses and prayers so I could really hear the kids. What a gift that decision turned out to be. Up front somewhere was a little voice who was one note ahead, proudly saying Our Father without worrying about looking silly because  they were loud or off a beat. And the voices as they all sang together was beautiful! I reminded myself that God is with us now and this must be what the angels sound like in heaven. They were all singing to the Lord, loudly, unabashedly, looking straight ahead at the altar. Even the older kids towards the back, were it may have been uncool to be seen singing, were participating. It truly was a breathtaking scene that made me tear up at the sheer joy I felt watching what was going on around me.

Father Bob gave a wonderful homily that the children could relate to. In a nutshell he stated that Jesus was Crucified because the people didn't like what He had to say, that all we need is love and forgiveness to have true happiness and the kingdom of heaven. But that it wasn't a sad ending, because Jesus overcame death and rose again to reiterate to us all that all we need is to believe that His love and grace is sufficient for us.

Time came to go to the alter to receive the Eucharist. As I walked toward the altar the kids were all  quite and respectful. Some little faces turned towards me; and I swear I saw the face of God in their faces and at that point I did cry. Tears of joy and gratefulness that I got to be a part of the celebration and be part of the Catholic community that I love so much. Back at my pew as I was kneeling in prayer I did thank God for all the gifts He has given to me. Sometimes I need to remember to thank Him for the small things. These things are everyday graces that I can, and do, take for granted.

After Mass I walked outside the church with the other members of my beloved community to sunshine and warm good-bye's. I can say I am happy because I do know that all I need is God, He is sufficient for me.


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