Mass at Holy Trinity today was a beautiful celebration of Corpus Christi. The music did the feast justice. We had a procession with the Blessed Sacrament, and Fr. Mark gave a wonderful sermon on the power and reality of the true Presence. And best of all, Jesus showed up, and entered my body, like He does at every Mass. It was all exhilerating.
After Mass a group of us went to Panera’s for breakfast, where we basked in the glow of this wonderful celebration.
On the way home Tom and I stopped at Walgreens and I ran into a couple who I haven’t seen since before the pandemic. They were regular Mass goers and very involved in the life of the parish. I got into a conversation with the woman and I asked her if they were back at Mass yet.
Her answer left me dumbfounded and quite frankly, unsettled. She said that not only had they not returned, but she wasn’t at all sure they would ever return.
When I asked her why, she cited safety as the reason, even though she told me they were fully vaccinated.
I try to not get into discussions of the merits or demerits of the Covid injection. As we all know, it can be an emotional subject. And I figure none of us can really know for sure what the right way to go on this is, only time will tell. We all have to decide what is best for us, given our own circumstances and based on what we think is right after doing our own research.
But this morning, I couldn’t help myself. I said “Since you are vaccinated, are you saying that you don’t believe the vaccination works?” And she replied “No, I think it does in fact work, but we don’t know if it will be effective against future variants. And I think it is going to be bad this fall when they open the schools.” She clearly thought we should continue to keep the schools closed. Really?!
At this point, I just took a deep breath and knew I needed to drop it. But I had so many things I wanted to say. For example:
- When has life ever been safe? We only take our next breath by the grace of God.
- Are you really suggesting we should not send kids back to school in the fall?
- Where is the science in any of this?
Then came the kicker statement from her. She said, “To be honest, I don’t know if we will ever go back. After a year of not going, it has become very easy to just stay home on Sunday morning.”
I wanted to scream, and shake her, and cry, all at the same time. You know that frustrating experience when something is so clear, so obvious, and so important, and the person you are talking to can’t see it? And you know that nothing you can say will make a difference? You surely know exactly what I mean.
I wanted to say, “You are missing EVERYTHING important by staying away. You are missing the very Bread of Life. You are missing the chance to commune with the living God. You are missing the very thing that you are going to need very, very much in the coming times, probably sooner rather than later.”
Instead, I smiled and said it was really good to see her. But I guarantee you that she and her husband will be in my prayers. I know that God is not going to give up on them, as I know He will not ever give up on me.