Friday morning, I drove into the parking lot at about 6:28 for 6:30 Mass. The lights were on inside church when I passed in front, but there was a noticeable lack of cars in the parking lot. Just one truck. Did I have the right day?? The right time?? Yes to both. Usually Fridays have a good number of people. Maybe today was just really, really off?? So I parked and got out. There on the door was a yellow sticky note: "No Mass".
Bummer. Father had sounded just a bit under the weather yesterday. It was subtle - just a slightly deeper pitch. And the dixie cup of water placed discretely by the candle holder on the altar - just in case. At this time of the year, it seems like every one suffers from some respiratory issue. A friend later confirmed that illness was indeed the case. And when Father's sick, there's no back-up.
But I had Plan B. I drove back home, stopping to pick up a gallon of milk. I got younger child out of bed and facilitated things there. It was Grandparent's Day at his school, which usually entails some special dress. I had neglected to ask about this until this morning. A cowboy hat and shirt, he said. I had no cowboy hats laying around, but we did have a hat that would work. We found a red bandana, and he put on jeans and a Guns and Roses T-shirt. Real country... Whatever.
I dropped him off at school and then rolled on to 7:30 Mass across town where I sometimes go. Where there is Mass e.v.e.r.y weekday morning at 7:30. I was just happy to be there. Happy that there was a Mass that I could make it to.
The homily was thoughtful. Father wondering aloud why Jesus' followers didn't ask "when" (the end would come) instead of "where". Who cares where? But then telling us that we will be ready - we don't need to worrry - if we live by the words of the first reading - "love one another".
A couple of pictures that I snapped out of the car window:
It's a quaint little church. Probably used to be a country parish, but now it's on a busy street surrounded by declining residential areas and light industrial.
Let us pray for holy priests, who rarely ever get a sick day.