This morning (1/15) I headed to 9:30 am at St. Angela Merici. I had trouble finding the Church as either the address given by the Archdiocese or the GPS was confused. I had the right road, just half a mile off.
St. Angela Merici is a modern church in a fan shape that is 50 years old (The parish is starting to celebrate the 50th anniversary this month!). The interior is slightly plain. There aren't any traditional widows. Along the top of the nave is a strip of stained glass with symbols.
There is no separate area for the choir, although the organ is an alcove in the back. The choir sits in the back and is quite large. Today the music was accompanied by a violin and a flute (which was really loud)
Before Mass there was a song.
Opening: Here I Am Lord
Offertory: Psalm 40: Here I Am
Communion: Behold the Lamb
Communion Meditation: Jesus Lamb of God, Bearer of Our Sins
Closing: All the Ends of the Earth
Father was incredibly reverent. The full Penitential Act was used. Eucharistic Prayer III and bells were also present.
So Mass is moving along and I'm typing something on the iPad about the music. The lady next to me leans over to me and says that's inappropriate for Mass. I show her the iPad and say I'm taking notes not playing games. She's like it is still inappropriate. I proceed to tell her that coming late for Mass is also inappropriate behavior (There were lots of people late for Mass and she was one of them). I'm also going out on a limb and saying calling someone out during the First Reading is also inappropriate. She proceeded to shoot me dirty looks all through Mass.
Father's homily was nice but on the long side.
Our experience of faith is difficult to communicate to others. We assume others have the same faith experience as us. It is hard to be comfortable in our Faith and not judge others. Our experience of faith may become stagnant. When we are young, we learn proper Christian behavior and then model such behavior (by pointing out the bad behavior in others no doubt). When a crisis happens, we don't know how to deal with it with our Faith, especially if we are just going through the motions. We let other mediate our Faith. We rely on the Faith of others. We go through the motions and never break free of limited sense of Faith. What is lacking in our Faith? How do we go grow up in Faith? In the First Reading, Samuel deals with this. Christ asks us to be childlike, not a child, but have a relationship with our Father; we are His children. We need to be more mature in our Faith. What will happen when we respond to the unknown? We all have to respond to God's call. What we learned as a child is not sufficient. Religion isn't just responding to the world around us (bet someone saw the latest youtube making the rounds....) but is about a real relationship with the person of God. That framework we learned carries us through life. But sometimes we never respond "Speak O Lord, Your Servant is Listening" We have examples in our Tradition to responding to God's call: marriage and Holy Orders (guess single people don't count....as usual.) Leap into the unknown to respond. If we respond God gives us grace to live our vocation. We respond not just once, but continually. There are lots of vocations in the Church: religious life, consecrated single life, every day is an answer to God's call. God will not call us in the night like He called Samuel (why won't He?) God's call comes from the teaching authority of the Church. It is not an overbearing call but an enlightening one. It helps us understand what God is calling us to do. It supports us so that we can respond more deeply and be open to the Voice of the Lord. In the Gospel we see the Apostles being called. Others lead us to Christ, but we have to actively follow. It changes our identity. Meditate on it in our hearts. Deepening of our Faith where ever we are not judging each other. If we stop and listen to the Lord, He becomes a person to us, not just rules. Father then told a story involving the Archbishop. FYI: legal stationary gets his attention.
At the end of every Mass, the parish is adding a Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe for Pro-Life causes.
St. Angela Merici
View From the Back Pew
Website of St. Angela Merici