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Another Strange Mass

There weren’t very many people in the pews when we arrived at Mass this morning. That was strange to begin with. When it was time to start Mass, the music director announced that, unfortunately, there was no priest present to celebrate Mass. A deacon was there, so we went ahead and started with the Liturgy of the Word. The deacon was a little nervous and very apologetic. He explained that there would be no Holy Communion, as the Bishop of our Diocese won’t allow it if a priest isn’t present. A couple of people left right away. But. the scripture readings were proclaimed and the deacon gave the homily he had already prepared about the Holy Trinity. So far, pretty much like a normal Mass. Then it came time for Communion. There was no preparation of the gifts, no Eucharist on the altar. We all said the prayer of Spiritual Communion together and the deacon led a closing prayer. I thought about how there are likely millions of people who don’t have the luxury of receiving Jesus every weekend and felt a bit of solidarity. And I was grateful that we were able to walk into a Catholic church freely. We were fed as we “gnawed” on the Word of God. Just as they were processing out, the priest walked in. It was the same one who had such difficulty last week. He spoke with the deacon and it was announced that the priest would complete the Mass with the Liturgy of the Eucharist if people wanted to stay. About half the people were already on their way out the door, but the other half stayed. I was glad we didn’t leave at the procession as we usually do so it’s easier for my mom. The priest apologized that he didn’t have the Mass on his calendar. I wondered why he was having such a rough go of things and prayed for him. My mom and I stayed, participated in the rest of the celebration, and received Holy Communion. It was a blessing for us, and I’m sure for everyone. I thought about how lucky we are to have been able to receive Communion when we thought we were not going to.

I Found God today in the blessing of Holy Communion.

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