Today I was faced with the dizzying opportunity to go to Mass anywhere I wanted to go! I have today off, and although I do get homesick for my parish when I'm not there, I love to go check out other parishes and see what they're up to.
Coincidentally, I got this cartoon in my work email this week:
It's funny 'cause it's true!! Or, I should say, it's... so... likely!
But the good thing about being a stranger in a strange church is that it reminds me that there are strangers in my church every week, some peeking in (because they've seen a Catholics Come Home ad?) and some Professional Catholics like m'self. You can't tell by looking! In fact, today the priest at the parish I visited mentioned the Eucharistic miracle at Lanciano in Italy and I was so simutaneously intrigued and disgusted that I had to google it on my iphone, right there during the homily. I know, totally bad behavior. But the point is, you can't tell a book by its cover- anyone in the pews around me could have looked upon my frown and iphone use and judged me harshly, or sniffed in disgust when I passed the basket without adding to it (I realized on my way there that I had no cash, and didn't have time to stop at an ATM and even if I did I wasn't about to give a 20, and there was definitely not time to stop and break a 20, and although I did have change and I know every bit counts, I did not want to be that person who tosses a handful of clangy change into the basket...) and that must remind me not to judge people at my church who look sheepishly at their hymn books when the baskets slide by their shoulders. Let's all just assume that those people give weekly, through online giving, which is totally possible in almost all parishes these days. Okay?
Anyway, this was a small parish that had been tha-rough The Ringer back in the beginnings of the clergy abuse scandal, and they seem to be doing well. By 10 after, right on Catholic-schedule, the church was pretty full, with lots of kids, and everyone sang and was friendly. The homily was long but not too shabby, and while it wasn't the very best in exegesis it was solid and based on the Eucharist, this being the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. It made me think, and made me google, which is not a bad goal for the modern homily, now that I think of it...
Happy Sunday everyone.