Several years ago during a noon Mass in downtown Chicago, a young family entered the church late. They walked all the way to the front pew and then into the sanctuary. When the man opened his vest and reached inside, the pastor thought, “This is it—I’m going to be shot.” Instead, the man pulled out a paper with the address of the church and said, “We need help.” Earlier in his life, the pastor would have called what happened an unwelcome intrusion. But, in the grace of the moment, he realized that it pointed to the real meaning of the liturgy—that the church and its Mass are all about loving and caring for our neighbor. Sometimes it takes an experience out of the ordinary like this to wake us up, to show us what has been true all along. That experience may be one of great beauty, or one inspiring fear—like that of the pastor in the story, or like many of us are feeling during the coronavirus crisis. What truth about life are you discovering during this pandemic?
By Delores Dufner, OSB