As I was perusing through my blog posts, I was awestruck (again) by the Trinitarian mural (posted at the bottom of my blog). This is a representation of what occurs at every Mass.
Can you imagine the immense change in us if we approached Mass the same way? I am so guilty of attending Mass (and Adoration) with distractions: rehashing the prior day's or weeks' events; reviewing the agenda for the day or week to come; mulling over a conversation with a loved one or friend; focusing my attention on a child or family sitting in front of me; or being distracted by people talking behind me during Mass (*shudder* - one of my pet peeves). I allow these distractions to infiltrate my mind, which in turn, diverts my attention from the most awesome transpiration being manifested directly in front of me - God's Love!
There is a story about a husband and father coming home after work. As he walks down the sidewalk toward his front door, he stops in front of a small tree. He gestures taking something off around his neck, like a person would be taking off a necklace, and he places it on the tree, then continues up the sidewalk and into the house. The next morning, as he leaves the house for work, he again stops by the tree. Instead putting something onto the tree like he had done the prior evening, he takes something off the tree and places it back around his neck, then proceeds to go to work. One day, a friend of his came home with him. He again stopped in front of the tree on his way into the house, gestured pulling something off of him and placing it on the tree, then proceeding to enter the house. Once inside, his friend asked him why he stopped by the tree and what he 'placed' on the tree. The man stated that when he comes home, he leaves all of his worries, frustrations, and obligations from work on the tree. He can not bring those things with him into the house and into his family. As he leaves for work the next morning, he shoulders those work responsibilities he left on the tree and returns to work.
My task, as I see it, is the same as the husband/father as I enter the Church. My duties, agendas, and responsibilities in my life need to be shelved before I enter for Mass. It's not that God does not care about these things. It is more about how my love for God needs to be in the forefront of my mind, as the Altar is at the front of the Church. I can only imagine how this would change my perspective of Mass. Rather than being distracted, could I actually see and comprehend and believe that everything and everyone is connected at Mass? Would I be able to envision my loved ones who have died joining with the Priest, Christ, and His Sacrifice? Would I be able to fully understand that the Angels and Saints are joining us, packing the Church from floor to ceiling? Would I be able to relax and just 'be' in front of God for an hour and praise Him?
Friday, I had to travel to Parma after work to visit a coworker whose father had died recently. While at the funeral home, he introduced me to his family. His father's last moments were doing things he loved. His father played cards with a group in the morning, ate lunch, then played another game of cards after lunch. He had a few moments, so sat down in a common area by the fire. When he did not show up for dinner, the staff and friends searched for him, finding him sitting in a chair by the fireplace. He had quietly passed away.
What do I want my last moments to be? As Jesus had stated, we do not know the day nor the hour. Therefore, every moment must be focused on Him. If I bring my baggage, frustrations, and needs into Mass, what would my last moments be focused upon? Do I really want to look back and know that work and inconsequential 'things' were more important than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? This gives me a whole new perspective as I enter the Church. This Sunday, these will be placed on a bush or tree outside the doors of the Church, allowing me to enter with one focus - Him.