"For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20
Growing up my parents gave me the greatest gift, Jesus Christ. We were a Christian household to the core thanks to the commitment my mother made to us. I went to the Good News club after school every week and also witnessed my mother teach the bible to teens in my neighborhood. I knew at a young age it was very important to serve within your church, like helping out at VBS or assisting in Sunday school. I loved my church and I loved the people in it until we had to make a change because something bad happened. I can't even begin to count how many churches we visited until again, we'd find a little bit of home and so we would stayed for a while.
At 19, I began to date my husband Dan and right away he shared he was Catholic and right away I told him I would NEVER be Catholic, God knew better. Within months of dating once again things happened in the church my family was attending, which split our community right in half, half stayed at the church and half went to a school every Sunday for services, of course, we were in the group that left. Within months I was feeling disillusioned so I went to Mass with Dan. I remember feeling peaceful within the prayers and security in the consistent order of the Mass. Eventually I would start seeing familiar faces and in no time started singing with the youth band. Two years later I converted.
When we moved to the town where we raised our kids, we quickly found our parish and began to get involved. I was a singer so that was a no brainer for me, joining the choir was and still continues to be a gift of beautiful friendships. When the kids got bigger I lead the children's choir and within that ministry I made friends for a lifetime. Although I was blessed to make friends at church, I am equally grateful to see the aging couple who sits across from us every Sunday or the boy who grew up before our eyes and is now and MC at the mass I attend as well as the many familiar faces that I depend on seeing every Sunday at Holy Mass because they are my people, they are my community.
Some years back we grieved the loss of our beloved Pastor, he was quickly removed because of allegations made against him. My husband and I were dicussing our sadness and he asked me, where will we go now that this has happened to our Parish. I remember telling him in a sassy tone "You go if you want, I'm not leaving my home" and we stayed.(It's important for you to know our Pastor was cleared of all charges).
My point is! We need each other! We need to see those beautiful mommy's and daddy's with arms full of babies join us at Holy Mass, we need to see those babies grow up to be Mommy's and Daddy's who create community again and again. We need the familiar faces week after week to remind us that we are all a part of this Big, Giant family of God.
People may hurt us, bad things may happen, we are human and thats how it goes sometimes. So put on your Sunday best and hold your head high because every time you walk through your church doors, you are home!
To Jesus through Mary- Michelle Workman