The Mass is Long

Not too long ago, I came upon this meme on Facebook….and, boy has it stuck with me.

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I’ve read many things written by many saints.  But, this particular sentence hit me right where it hurts.  Not because I don’t love the Mass and not because I would ever leave early because I “had to be somewhere else.”  There is no where I could or would ever need to be that is more important than at Mass.

Sometimes, though, I am internally annoyed because the priest chose the longest Eucharistic prayer.  Or, I roll my eyes at my husband when I see which priest is saying Mass because his homilies are always far longer than I think they should be.  Or, my favorite priest, much as I love him, decides to sing ALL.THE.MASS.PARTS.  Or the choir decides to do an especially long performance type piece a the offeratory.  How quick I am to groan, internally or audibly.

I saw this picture and read these words and I was put in my place.  It’s a short enough sentence that I can’t forget it.  It has stuck with me even though I wasn’t TRYING to get it to stick with me.  It jumps directly into my brain as soon as I start to get impatient with something at Mass or if I’m having a rough time with the kids or I am annoyed with someone sitting nearby with their loud breathing or constant chattering.

It’s no one else’s fault, especially not the priests’, that I lose my patience and focus at Mass.  MY shortness of love is the problem.  And that’s the last kind of love I want to show to my Lord or anyone else.  This week more than ever, I pray that I might enjoy all the “long” Masses and events of Holy Week with an abundance of love.

Our Hope is Too Small: Palm Sunday

As Jesus entered into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, those people were honoring him as a king – as one who would deliver them from the oppression and persecution of the Romans, one who would deliver them from their fears and insecurities. However, Jesus was there to do so much more than that – to offer a deliverance that would surpass the depths of their understanding. On that first Palm Sunday there wasn’t a soul in Jerusalem who understood what Jesus was really up to.

Palm Sunday

On that first Palm Sunday there wasn’t a soul in Jerusalem who understood what Jesus was really up to…and we still don’t get it.

The same is true of us today. Like the crowds of Jerusalem, we often come to Jesus with certain expectations. We want him to calm our fears, overcome our insecurities, heal our addictions, fill our loneliness. The reality is that what Jesus has to offer us goes so much deeper and is so much more fulfilling than anything we could ever think to ask him for.

We ask him to heal one hurting aspect of our lives, but he wipes away every tear from our eye and offers us the promise of a place where there will be no more death, pain, or tears. We ask him to comfort one area of worry, but he offers us peace that surpasses understanding. We ask him to fix one broken relationship, but he makes all things new.

How shocked we are to see that just a few short days later, the same people who were shouting their praise and adoration are now shouting for Pilate to “Crucify him!”

Yet, standing before those same crowds bloodied and broken, Jesus’ desire bring deliverance, comfort, healing, and salvation does not waver. Today we commemorate Jesus’ unflagging determination to rescue people who had no idea the depths of the rescue he was bringing. Hosanna! Let us take time today as we enter into this holiest of weeks to sing shouts of praise and adoration for our Savior who is always doing more for us than we could possibly imagine.

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Sing shouts of  praise and adoration..and make Palm leaf origami!

Originally written for and published in Life Teen Lenten Companion.