Today I went to St Mary’s to celebrate the daily Mass at 12:00. I was busy. There was business at school and people to talk to. I was running late. The traffic was heavy and every traffic light was red. I arrived a few minutes late and felt bad because I had not left enough time to prepare properly for the sacrifice of the Mass.
I robed and walked in with the server and the deacon with a plea for forgiveness on my lips and an awareness that I was feeling weak and tired and I really had nothing to offer at all except my time. Then at the heart of the Mass was a tremendous silence. The liturgy of the Church was waiting to welcome me. Not my words, not my wisdom, not my clever thoughts, but the Word of God, the gospel of Christ and the liturgy of Holy Mother Church to gather me up and bear me along. I looked out at the faces of the faithful—nearly a hundred people who had turned up–were waiting for God, waiting for his Word, waiting for his presence. It was too much, and I felt quite overwhelmed by it all.
Who am I –a married man, a grateful, but still learning convert, a terrible sinner and a pretty complacent and lazy man–who am I to minister to these faithful people who are obviously much better followers of Christ than I will ever be?
This was the only sacrifice I could offer–not myself, but by some strange twist of God’s providence–at my hands the eternal sacrifice of the Mass, the Body of Christ for the Body of Christ. The cross of Christ crucified proclaimed in the Mass and offered for the salvation of the world.
All of this poured into an ordinary daily Mass.
Kyrie Eleison. Christe Eleison. Kyrie Eleison.