Like most people, I try to relate the Sunday Mass readings to my life. This week’s readings talk about Jesus coming to fulfill the law. I must confess that I was having trouble finding an application to my life after Saturday night vigil Mass. When I got home, Saturday night started to irritate me more than soothe and relax me.
I didn’t understand at first what was bugging me. “Why is our deacon so boring!” “Why was the Mass so long? Why did our priest give us a second homily before the final prayer on the necessity of stewardship?” “Why is only 10% of the parish giving for the Diocesan Services Fund? Don’t they understand we have to pay the difference from our savings?” Other questions started popping in my head in rapid succession. “Why can’t people do what they say they are going to do?” “Why are the kids so lazy, unhelpful and mean to each other?” “Why do I bother asking for help around the house?” “Why does everyone take and not give?” “How much longer can I last?” In essence, ” Why is everyone an idiot except me?” And so I went to bed greatly agitated, unable to sleep, thinking about how I could get so far out of center from Jesus. What a pity party.
Sunday dawns, cool, fresh, sunny. The angst from the night before is still pricking me like a splinter in my mind. Hooray! I get to listen to the whole thing over again today! This is my third Mass in less than 24 hours – it has become a burden. The choir faces me for the entrance song – Eye Has Not Seen. The choir is unusually full today – hmm, that’s a nice change. They are really singing well and most of them are smiling – except for the prima donna soprano at the end of the row who has an almost comical frown on her face. I look her straight in the eye and push the corners of my mouth up into a smile. And at the same time, I realize that my expression hasn’t differed from hers significantly in the last 24 hours. DING! A bell goes off. In a flash, I see the beauty of selfless service to God in the faces of my choir. And once again, they teach me a lesson.
I begin to listen to the gospel a little closer today. “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.” So what if your brain offends God? Should you pluck it out?