I flipped my covers off this morning and said, “Time to give it to God.” It was time for Church. I have found a nice routine for myself in finding a Church I can call home on Sundays. A mass that I take something from, music that can be improved, but overall a good experience that makes me feel Jesus and I are getting a high-five in every Sunday morning.
Today’s Gospel dealt with the man on the road to Emmaus. That man is a freshly back-from-the-dead Jesus, who two disciples couldn’t recognize through their own disappointment and discouragement. But low and behold through the recreation of the Eucharist, the disciples recognize that this man is Jesus.
Flashback to a lesson I was reminded of today. That God truly is present in each and every one of us. I was on a retreat that encompassed a few hours of service where I truly believe I saw God in two grieving aunts who had recently lost their nephew to gun violence.
Today my reminder came in the form of a baby girl and an older gentleman, and what better day than the one we are reminded that God is with us, even when we do not recognize him.
A little baby girl who is fresh to walking waddles over to me and stares at me. Now, I know this little girl because I’ve been going to this church for a few months now. I swear she has a crush on me by the way she gazes at me during the prayers of the faithful. This week we were both sitting on the extra chairs in the back because there wasn’t space in the pews (Side-note: said baby girl did attend mass with her family, whom she was sitting with; she didn’t crawl there on her own).
There came a point where right in the middle of the consecration, she had waddled over and put her hand on my knee and just smiled at me. What a moment. It made me smile. It made me happy and I realized that the power to make another human being feel that joy is sacramental. It’s pretty incredible.
The other moment was with an older gentleman who serves as one of the ushers for the parish. We get to the “Our Father,” which is typically done holding hands with one another. Mind you going to mass in college was very kumbaya. We held hands during the “Our Father” because we were all a family. But in the midst of going to this church on my own, in my own routine, means no hand holding. After all, why hold a stranger’s hand? This older gent took it upon himself to reach out and take my hand. The moment, which was a little awkward at first, made me smile again. It reminded me of what we should all experience when we are going to Church and living our faith – community. Afterward, he just looked at me and said, “thank you.” As if I did him a favor – to me he was the one that made did the favor.
So I leave Mass today, feeling wonderful. I felt a connection to the scripture, and through the simple actions of a baby girl and an older gent, I feel like it unfolded in real time right before my eyes. There are no better lessons than the ones that come unexpectedly. If these two can inspire me, it goes to show that anyone out there can inspire you, if you are just willing to look.