The thing about mass is that an hour in the House of God heals and builds. In only one hour you can walk in and walk out more fulfilled, more certain and reminded that His love has been there for ages. This morning, God made connections bigger than just an hour of worship, He had a plan.
I went to church with the hope that the message spoke to me, that the message was one I could carry through the rest of the week. I pulled in, in my beat-up Jeep, and was caught off-guard by my ex-husband’s mom, my Mother-in-law from that marriage. I feel like I might as well keep it simple and just go with Mother-in-law. We sat alongside one another and held hands when we spoke ‘The Our Father’. I thought about a lesson in church school growing up, that we broke apart that prayer, and what it all meant. I sat next to a woman that I have shared so much of my life’s joy, my life’s heartbreak… we could be angry and bitter with one another. We should be separate… but we held hands. Only in God’s House would the profoundness of this enter my heart. He is the ultimate builder, The Creator.
The message today was one of my favorites. I love the story about Jesus having a HUGE gathering of people and having only five loaves of bread and two fish. I can imagine the people who thought He was crazy, to just feed those people with that little amount of food. He told them, ‘No worries- go do your job and there will be extra’. Just as He said there was extra… He fed 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish.
I grew up in a way that we could feed as many that joined the table. The table was a place of annoying and sacred duty- there was no choice but to sit and eat right next to the sibling you hated that day. In fact, it is important to eat next to the ones that you are mad at or hurt by… I have seen many relationships mended in a meal.
The food amount was always the same, but any were welcome. If a family member stopped by or a friend they were welcome. It was like the pot roast could multiply to feed more, but maybe we were all just carefully sharing. Personally, I would just pray for boiled potatoes, not burnt ones.
As I have built my own home and family, I love to feed people. I love having people come and eat together- entering that sacred and annoying ritual. I love that ‘never turn anyone away’ outlook, I see Jesus in those moments. He is glad for that community, that sharing of the annoying and sacred ritual- knowing damn well that if more people come I will totally just open a jar of pickles and bust out the relish tray. Community is important, so important. We build community when we share our space, when we take care of others. What better way to take care of others than feeding them?
Today, as I sat next to my Mother in law and heard those words I felt like we were both invited to today’s mass. We were invited to share bread and hear those words. He does things like that, He mixes up the threads as He is weaving our tapestries, if we stay open. She and I could have said ‘hello’ and sat separately… but I let the feeling I had inside me tell me to sit together. I let the feeling inside me tell me that we were to enjoy that annoying and sacred ritual together.
Are you open to the community that He is building, are you open to the extra ones who might bug you for dinner? Just keep pickles well stocked and you will always be safe…
The thing about mass is that one hour in the House of God heals and builds…