The Beauty of Community

One Sunday not so very long ago, we were sitting in church at the 10:30 am mass and I was exhausted!  Emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained!  We had had one of those weeks – not just a “late for soccer, forgot to do homework, and the dog escaped” sort of week.  This was more of a “run over by a Mack truck” kind of week.  I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of those too!

We were attending a later mass than we usually go to thanks to a rare Sunday morning soccer game.  And in a church as big as ours, I didn’t recognize anyone. So on top of feeling spent, I felt a little lonely and lost.  My prayers were especially fervent, yet I was feeling down.

When the opening hymn began, I certainly didn’t feel like singing, but I slowly stood up and as I did, the voices around me rose in song.  They uplifted me and praised God when the words wouldn’t come to my own lips.  Through the Holy Spirit those “strangers” around me were able bolster my spirits and fill me with a sense of unity and peace.  The beauty of our communal church was never more obvious!  When one person waivers, others stay strong.  When one is in need, others are generous.  When one grieves, we all grieve and when one rejoices, we all celebrate.

churchI found great solace in the Liturgy of the Word and the sermon that followed, reminding me of the power and need for persistent prayer (just what God knew I needed to hear).  And then we all received Communion, knowing that Christ fed us all, fixing all of our broken parts and replacing them with his own flesh and blood.   We all shared food from the same table as a Christian family.

And as people passed by me, each receiving the same Body of Christ, I was more uplifted when I saw familiar faces and dear friends.  People who I have prayed for and received uplifting prayers in return.

I cherish the rich community that is the Catholic Church and I am so blessed to be only a small part of it!

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