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‘But Jesus was there’

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

June 17, 2020

“But Jesus was there, so it was awesome!”

A few years ago, I participated in an online group for Catholic moms. Every weekend, there would be a “how was Mass this weekend” discussion thread in the group. Typically, the thread was full of comments like, “my daughter was licking the pew ahead of us,” “my son cried from the time Mass started until the Gospel ended,” “I realized halfway through Mass I was wearing shoes that didn’t match,” or “the people who sat behind us were really great with my kids.”

While I didn’t participate in that thread every week, whenever I did, I ended my description of Mass with, “but Jesus was there, so it was awesome!” For example, a typical Darcy comment might be, “I tripped over my own feet and almost fell on my face walking to the front of the church to lector, but Jesus was there, so it was awesome!”

I thought about those posts this weekend, as I attended my first Mass in two months.

I’m not going to lie: It was a little weird. It felt weird having someone take my temperature as I entered the church. It felt weird wearing a mask throughout Mass. It felt weird having to remain six feet away from other people. It felt weird not singing. It felt weird consciously avoiding socializing and gathering with people with whom I’d love to spend time chatting and reconnecting.

It just felt weird.

But Jesus was there, so it was awesome!

Despite the weird, I can’t describe how grateful I am for the opportunity to worship with others. Just hearing my prayers unite with the prayers of others – all our voices nearly in unison – was suddenly a striking experience. I felt intensely connected to the other worshippers, despite our separation. And that’s before I even think about how grateful I was to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.

It’s been a long few months. Some of us are still unable to attend Mass. Those of us who are able to attend are adjusting to a “new normal.” But Jesus is with us all, and that’s awesome!

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