A number of years ago, I was once out of town for a work conference. At the last minute, I decided I didn’t want to be right here, right now. Like a junkie in search for a meeting, I decided that maybe if I hurried I could make an evening Mass somewhere. I absolutely love the Mass Times app because you can find a Mass practically whenever you want, wherever you are. Anyhow, I found a Mass and for some reason the correct address wasn’t exactly attached in google maps, so it took some extra time driving around the block to find the correct church and parking lot within the city.
It was a new church that I had never been to. Upon arriving, I came in quite flustered. I couldn’t quite figure things out. I was annoyed with myself for struggling to find it and the anxiety rush I felt about getting to daily Mass on time hit me. To make matters slightly worse to the snowball, I entered the back side door, thinking maybe it was the front door. Upon entering I looked all over for the holy water to bless myself. Finally after walking around like a deranged person thirsty for water, I had decided that this one very large flat bowl upon the alter steps looked like the the best option. Upon getting closer, I noticed the water was a bit green but I wasn’t going to be unnecessarily picky. I am a bit of a germ a-phobic but I was just a guest. I dipped my fingertips in the bowl and made the sign of the cross. An apparent older regular at the Mass could not contain his chuckle, nudged his wife, and whispered. Whatever that was about I had no clue. I could not figure out where the tabernacle was either so I just genuflected towards the alter. Than I finally found my seat in the pew, pulled out the kneeler and prayed.
It was a very small gathering of about 10 of us. We were invited to sit closer to the alter. A man had sat next to me that I had never meet before. As Mass went on he was tearing up. After some time, he was crying harder than any other man I had ever seen cry before in my life. I prayed for him throughout Mass and than was unable to hold it emotionally together and found myself crying too. Whatever was going on with him, he had only received a blessing at communion.
Afterwards, the apparent established older gentleman had exaggerated gestures towards me upon exiting and made a production out of blessing himself with the real holy water. It was that moment, I laughed at myself and was certain that I had arrived blessing myself with plant water from the empty flower pot base. I experienced one of my favorite emotions of laughing through tears.
To lighten the mood, I let the crying man next to me know of my embarrassing moment. Quickly, he thought I was the person to talk to while he waited for the Priest to return. I learned that he was a married man on a business trip that had a one night stand the night before and his shame was completely demolishing him. I just listened with compassion.
I left with a thank you and a hug and he went with the Priest for confession. Then I took note. I never want to be in his shoes. The heart wrenching pain he felt would be unbearable.
Sometimes it seems like we are in a grey area to make a decision. Just so we hear with clarity, God does not ever ask us to sin or to lead another to sin. Sin is the enemy not death. God never sends you another’s spouse. The Holy Spirit doesn’t ask you to use another. God never asks for us to give an intended sneak peak of the cliff hanger movie. Just shrugging my shoulders at how lost we all are, cause I keep others secrets and that means I do not know one perfectly Holy unblemished union and covenant. Not one. Ok just one. Jesus.
The Holy Eucharist is what a spousal union is to be based on and modeled after. Being the body of Christ does not mean rejoicing in being able to get our only value in being seductive to others weakness. That perspective, my friends, sounds more like a funeral rather than a wedding.