Editor’s Note

During one of the weekday morning Masses that I attended recently, a man walked in just as the Eucharistic celebration commenced.

Apr 22, 2022

By Patricia Pereira
During one of the weekday morning Masses that I attended recently, a man walked in just as the Eucharistic celebration commenced. It would have been quite the norm for people to arrive slightly late for Mass, but what made this scenario a little different was that he walked in quite confidently without wearing a face mask and proceeded to sit at one of the unoccupied pews. I’m quite sure that the priest, from his vantage point, would have noticed that this individual was not wearing a face mask and I’m also quite sure that a number of the parishioners would have noticed as well.

He was not part of the usual morning Mass crowd and I’m not sure if he was a Catholic or not, because he remained seated most of the time and was casually looking around. Was he intoxicated? I couldn’t say for sure, but he didn’t disturb anyone. It seemed as if he had just come to seek some peace in the House of God.

A few thoughts ran through my mind – would the priest gesture at the man from the pulpit? Would someone pass him an extra mask they happened to have on them? Would someone ask him to leave? Would people start casting disgusting looks at him? Would the women start clutching their handbags close to them? Would we be filled with mistrust and disdain at this apparent stranger in our midst?

I also had questions for myself … Would I have vacated my seat had he come sit next to me? What if he approached me after Mass and attempted to have a conversation, would I respond or walk away hurriedly? Thankfully, I was not put to the test and neither was there any untoward action or reaction from anyone.

As I reflected on this later, I wondered whether this was the Lord’s way of testing me, and maybe the others as well, to see what our reaction would be. Now that Lent is over, I have automatically discarded my ‘mantle of piety’ - the one I had put over myself on Ash Wednesday, to ensure that I would engage in the traditional practices of Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving etc.

We are often reminded to view Lent as an opportunity for transformation, rather than mere endurance, so that, after the 40 days, we would not immediately return to our old habits, but would, instead, seek conversion and begin life anew.

We started a ‘Swear Jar’ in our office at the beginning of Lent. Each time we gossiped about someone or had uncharitable thoughts or labelled someone harshly, we had to place RM1.00 in the jar. Though Lent is over, we have decided to keep the jar going as a reminder that it’s still not too late to transform our hearts and to follow Him enthusiastically, both in word and action, especially in our daily lives.

Total Comments:0