Tonight my two daughters and I attended the last night of the parish mission. To be honest, the priest made a big mistake in offending me last Sunday with 2 inappropriate jokes during the homily, which served as the introduction to his mission for the week. Honestly, I don't think he meant to, but after asking several friends, it was obvious I wasn't the only one that felt a bit turned off at this initial meeting. If it weren't for my dear middle child saying to me as she got into the car for school, "Are we going to the mission tonight?" I had planned on not attending, but now I had to say with a smile, "Yes!" She smiled back and said, "Great, love you Mom!" Grrrr.
So, she and I went, it was OK, nothing to write home about. Quietly driving home on Monday night, my daughter said, "Well, what did you think, Mom? I didn't really get much out of the talk, did you?" What do I say? It can't be a negative thing, she's 16 and searching for nuggets as my friend Jan calls them. I don't want to influence her in any way negatively, so I just nodded and changed the subject...lame, I know.
Anyway, we didn't attend the Tuesday or Wednesday evening sessions since I was having my first routine colonoscopy on Wednesday and...well, I was busy those nights. All is good and I am encouraging all to have one, especially if there is a history of colorectal cancer in your family.
My daughter wanted to go again tonight, this time I made her sister attend with us. Not expecting anything, the Church was dark and the priest was explaining how the session was going to go with the stations of the cross and candles and music, and meditation. It was nice, except for some lady who came in bitterly late carrying a noisy paper bag, sitting down in the pew in front of us and proceeding to whisper/whistle a private rosary for all those around her to hear. I motioned the girls to scoot along with me to the other end of the pew...to no avail...still heard the whistling rosary. Then to boot, a lady with her granddaughter talked throughout the entire session behind us. There was absolutely no escape...
...except for one fleeting moment......
At one point we were listening to an old 'piece of music' but endearing and the words 'through your holy cross, you have redeemed the world" I realized clearly that I was personally redeemed because Jesus came to redeem the world and I was part of the world, so that meant that I was redeemed. Silly, huh?
Well, for that one fleeting moment during this week of disappointment, offense, fear and discomfort, on the 4th day I took on the emotion of thanksgiving for being redeemed by our God. The world's absolutely worst crime ever, the brutal, heinous killing of the Son of Man and being forgiven for it by Him.
So, being redeemed comes with a price. Forgiveness, the ability to acknowledge that the gift of redemption, which is eternal must be followed by forgiveness.
What's a couple of ill-chosen jokes during Mass in light of eternal redemption and forgiveness. I'm working on it.