The place drew me like a magnet. I knew deep down there must be a really good reason for my being there.
Woke up last Sunday morning in plenty of time to go to church. I dressed casually in a sweatshirt and jeans just because. All by myself I left the house in the car which was parked last the night before. It was either take it or move it. So I took it. Along the way to church I came up with several great reasons to skip... I should just go grocery shopping then go home and surprise the sleeping members of the family with a nice breakfast. Maybe I should rake leaves, I thought, or put away lawn furniture and make some progress around the house. Back on task and a half a mile from the church... I decided it was time to put on a little make-up... then I realized my make-up bag was in the first car to get parked last night... not the one I was in. Perfect! Now I can't go to church for sure, I said to myself... casually dressed... no make-up... and no more summer sun tan to wear on my face. I looked pale and tired, I thought. As I drove past the parking lot, there appeared to be no place to park anyway. That was good enough for me. It's too crowded. Not going for sure now... I'm off to the grocery store to start the breakfast idea! Next thing I knew... I had somehow parked the car across the street from the church and was walking toward the doors. No matter what I looked like or how much I wanted to be anywhere else... I went.
Gift number one came immediately... I got to sit next to one of my most favorite people in all the world, Mary Gorman. Mary doesn't care what I look like, I know that much and she made me feel completely loved and comfortable. Gift number two happened about 8 minutes in when I realized the congregation was singing one of my Mass of Simplicity parts. First time that has happened in my home parish. Funny thing... I didn't realize it was one of mine until verse three. I chuckled to myself and felt encouraged. Gift number three... another one of my favorite people... Mr. Lenhardt sat to my right... wearing scrubs... obviously there fresh from work... or on his way to it... no matter... he's got a beautiful voice. He was there without his family and me without mine. In a way... we were all there for each other. Gift number four Fr. Tim's homily on blind Bartimaeus, the Biblical character who so long ago had faith enough to sit by the gate and keep calling out to Jesus. Jesus heard him, went to him and healed him because of his faith.
I received so many gifts in the hour and ten minutes it took me to be at church that morning. Of course... the best and greatest gift of all was receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus at Communion time.
As Fr. Tim so beautifully said in his homily:
"The Eucharist offers us the saving grace of faith. As we are fed upon his Word and Body we grow in his grace if we approach this in faith and trust. We gather in the support and inspiration of our Christian family so we do not walk this way alone but with others."
And to think... I almost didn't go. By the way... I made it home in time to make breakfast too.
Bartimaeus Receives His Sight
46 Then they *came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they *called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” 50 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. 51 And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.
New American Standard Bible
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