|Harbor at Nantucket, Massachusetts|
This weekend I attended mass at a nearby parish. I sat in the congregation a little uncomfortable at the strangers around me. Only one kind soul greeted me with a hello while another young lady a smile. All the other parishioners were absorbed in their own matters unaware of the visitor among them. A natural reaction I get in most Catholic churches. Perhaps a husband next to me or a child by the hip would have elicited a little more attention. (Hopefully not the screaming child sort
When I peeked up at the crucifix on the wall behind the altar, I immediately felt peacefulness. My mind that often spins incessantly with negative and self-deprecating thoughts began to quiet down as I admired the crucifix and the beautiful stain glass window above it. Christ died for us! It is hard to imagine anyone desiring to die for ALL of us fallen women and men so torn up, battered up, messed up physically and mentally. We dismiss Him. We are too busy to pray to Him. We often forget Him as we scramble throughout life consuming and hoarding!
How many of us rather sleep in on a Sunday morning than get up early to attend mass? How many of us , if we do go to mass, don't even listen to the readings or the priest's homily? We are wondering when that out of tune choir will stop singing or the long communion end! We lose focus on the fruit of the mass: To worship Our Lord, breaking bread and wine with one another as a community. Celebrating Christ's death and resurrection with the utmost reference and respect.
In the gospel reading, the merchant sold all he had to purchase a pearl of great price. Something so rare and so extraordinary that he could not let it go! Are we willing to let go of our own habits and hang-ups to grow closer to Our Lord? Are we willing to step out of our own selfishness and open our arms wide to help the foreigner, the disabled, and the prisoner? What is considered a pearl of great price in our hearts - some expensive meaningless "thing" or Jesus Christ?
What are we willing to sell to live a fuller life of great price? A life of freedom and love. A life with God at the center. He loves us so very much! How can we turn away from Him?