When i arrived at Church yesterday evening, before going in to Mass, an elderly lady took me by the arm and said…
“excuse me dear, but do i know you?
Every time i see you, you say ‘hello’ and smile at me… only i can’t seem to place you…”
to which i replied…
“No, we don’t know one another personally, i’m just a friendly sort of person i suppose. Perhaps we should introduce ourselves now?!”
After this short exchange we introduced ourselves properly to one another and i am glad that we are now on first names terms, but i also thought it a bit sad that the lady had to ask if she knew me, simply because i was pleasant to her.
It has been on my mind this week that a lot of people at Mass worship together at least once a week and yet very often, don’t introduce themselves to one another.
At my old parish it took many months and in some cases, even years to get to the stage where i knew all who regularly sat in the pews nearby. However, by the time i left that parish we were mostly all acquainted with one another either fairly well or very well indeed, developing friendships, sending Birthday and Christmas cards to one another and giving lifts home after Mass, emailing one another etc.
It is said that no man is an island. I believe that to be true. We need one another. We are family. Some families are fragmented so i guess it could be said that some parishes only mirror family life.
But i don’t believe that is how it should be any more than I believe that families should be fragmented or estranged.
It seems a bit odd to me that we regard our fellow parishioners as brothers and sisters when we pray together at Mass, but that there are so many of us that think that we worship at Mass singularly, or out of the fullfillment of our obligation to attend Mass, perhaps ‘escaping’ only a second or two after the priest has ‘left the building’ so to speak.
I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
Just a thought.