Sunday 6 May 2018

Sixth Sunday of Easter Sunday 2018 Can you not wait with me one hour?

Sixth Sunday of Easter Sunday 2018
'Can you not wait with me one hour?'

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Acts 10:25, 26, 24, 35, 44-48
Responsorial Psalm 98: 1-4 Response 2b
Second Reading 1 John 4:7-10
Gospel John 15:9-17

This week I am going to share a personal experience rather than a reflection focused on the readings. Today my wife was out of town working a conference for work. My oldest had gone to her grandmothers for a sleep over. The youngest two and I went for an early supper, and then to church early. We wanted to go early enough to make reconciliation. Which also allowed us to be there for the rosary before mass.

My son was willing and eager to serve mass. My youngest was hoping a friend of the family would be there as it was getting late and there was no one else to server mass, other than my son. He has done so a few times alone, but it is rare. I am in the process of taking over altar server formation; and have been on the parish council for almost a year now. For many years now, the Altar servers have just served when they wanted to and no schedule. Our priest would prefer at least 3 servers at each mass. One for Cross bearer and two for candles. I have been to mass and there were no servers, and other times there are between 7-10 servers.

Tonight, I was praying after mass, and I recalled that over the 4 masses on a weekend, lonely about 10% of the people who are on the parish roll make it to mass regularly. And as I was praying I just experienced a deep ache in my heart, a sorrow in my spirit. Jesus is there waiting in the tabernacle. At each mass the sacrifice of the altar takes place and so many are indifferent. Jesus is there waiting to encounter us, through visits, through time in his presence, through prayer, and through the blessed eucharist.

I know that in my own life there have been times I have drifted away from the church for periods. And even when I was practicing there were times when the Sunday obligation was not that critical to me. But over the years that has changed drastically. The few Sundays I have missed mass in the last couple of years has a significant impact on my next week.

But as I write this it has been hours since mass has ended and yet that sorry that ache is still there. Sorry for Jesus ignored, neglected and abandoned. I think about his words to the disciples "Could you not wait with me an hour?". And I think about the 4 prayers from Fatima:

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee. 
Most Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners. 
Oh my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 
Oh My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of Thy mercy.
And so, I continue to pray. For often that is all I can do. The three greatest things the Catholic Church has are the mass, Christ's presence in the eucharist, and reconciliation. I am trying to instill in my children a love and appreciation for them. That is my prayer for you as you read this, that you will experience Christ and grow in him and his ways.

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