Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Sunday, April 19, 2015

04/19/2015: Third Sunday of Easter

This Sunday just happened to also be First Communion in my Parish. It is so sweet to see the little girls in their white dresses, and the little boys in their ties. I happened to look at the 2 groups during the Mass right around the Homily. The girls were listening intently; the boys were a little fidgety! It just made me smile.
I remember my First Communion, being so excited to finally get to walk up to the altar and receive the Eucharist. I had a brief thought that the Mass probably felt like an eternity to those children.
I play the flute with the Contemporary Choir, so we walk in to the Sanctuary just a couple of minutes prior to the beginning of Mass. When we walked in, I was a bit taken aback at how noisy it was. There is usually a Rosary said prior to Mass, so I'm not sure if there was one today, or if it was finished and then people started visiting.
Father tied in the Homily with First Communion, reminding the children that Jesus is present to us every time we go to Mass. He called them to take Him with them every time they walked out of the Church.
I am very humbled every time I have the pleasure of playing for Mass. Especially today. Our director was not at that Mass today, so it was only the guitars and myself as the instrumentalists. We played the Introduction for the Communion Song, and toward the end I thought, "Wow; this sounds really beautiful"...and then Father started talking, asking the congregation to allow the 1st Communicants to receive the Eucharist first. I had no idea what to do. The "lead guitarist" stopped for a second, and I lost my place. I waited until I could find a spot to jump back in, and then started playing. Very humbling, indeed.

What did you bring away from the Homily (or Mass)  or your service this week?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Divine Mercy Sunday (2nd Sunday of Easter)

This week's Homily didn't "grab" me like other weeks' have.  Father talked of his grandmother who lived in a house that had latched doors. He said that every time he was leave her, she told him that she would leave the string over the door. He explained that when they expected someone to come in late, after they had already gone to bed, the person coming in would pull the string to open the latch so they could go in the house.
Where I thought he was going with this story: God always keeps the string over the door for us. Even when we stray from our faith, that string is there; we only have to pull on it and the door will open.
Where he actually went with the story: The string wasn't over the door when the disciples and Jesus' other followers were in the locked room following his death. They were scared and in hiding. He asked us to close our eyes and imagine that we are in that room, and to imagine that we are the ones who are to keep the children occupied...and quiet. I could feel a portion of the tenseness that those followers had to have felt, especially when there was a familiar knock on the door.
He asked us how we find mercy when our world has been upended. To find mercy, we have to extend mercy. And, to do that, we have to hand every aspect of our life over to Jesus.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Easter

What a weekend! The Triduum kicked things off. I wasn't planning on attending the Easter Vigil, but ended up going. I went to early Mass on Sunday since I was playing, and then went to the late Mass so I could sit with my husband. 3 different Masses, 3 different Priests, 3 different Homilies. Surely there's a bonus in there somewhere for me!
The Easter Vigil was beautiful. We walked in to an unlit Church, went outside for the lighting of the Easter Candle, and then processed back in by candle light. When the lights came on during the Gloria, the anticipation was over. What a spiritual experience! The lights, the music, the bells...just incredible.
My Parish had 17 people come into full Communion; 2 were baptized. It really was amazing: young, old, different races. We truly are a catholic (with a lowercase "c") church!
The priest for Saturday night reiterated what Pope Francis said last week: We can't turn our back on the persecution that is going on in other parts of the world. This tied in to the early Mass' Homily: we are called to be witnesses to our faith. That in turn, tied in to the question from the Homily that I heard 2 weeks ago: If being a Christian was a crime, would there be enough evidence to persecute me?
The Homily at the late Mass was a little different. Father said as he walked outside, he thought, "What a perfect Easter morning!" He said he went on to think about what that 1st Easter morning was like. Did Jesus, after he rose, wonder (in his human state): What in the world is going on? I thought I was dead! But, in his divine state, he might have nodded his head and said He knew His Father's plan.
I always look forward to the weeks after Easter: Jesus appearing to the disciples and their reactions.
What grabbed your attention during the Easter Mass?