Why Going To Church?

Why taking the effort for? My kids never listen to me when I tell them it is time to get dressed. The little 2 years old boy runs away from me everytime I need to change his nappy. As soon as I fix my girls’ hair they, somehow, just mess it up again. They don’t eat their breakfast so by the time mass is barely starting they are hungry and the snacks have to come out and even the child who had a full meal wants a snack too. Then they get thirsty because it is too hot being around so many people taller than them, which is fair enough. So all the bottles of water come out of the bag and are given to each child… but once their thirst is satisfied one of them starts playing with the bottle making either noise or splashing some drops of water from the straw, so it is time to pack up the bottles… but there is that one child that you know will keep drinking… so by then we are half way through mass trying to hear the Priest’s Homily and nothing sinked in my brain nor heart.

All of the sudden everyone is quiet… I get scared because that is not normal. I feel like something is going to happen… so, it did: my eldest came to me and quietly asks me to go to the Bathroom… my 2nd child who was perfectly quiet overheard her sister and announces she, too, needed a trip… I doubted it but there was no way I was going to argue with her needs at that moment. So I took them both.

Frustration and stress was all I was feeling during the whole time at mass. I feel like I have being doing heavy excersise just by trying to keep the peace in between my own little family aware of the noises and the disturbances they were causing for other families around us.

Why even bother? But then, you look up. You see the priest approaching with the Eucharist. You see several Priests holding the precious Body of Jesus Christ’s TRUE PRESENCE and people lining up to have a glance of Him…

So, my husband and I take our kids into the line for them to be blessed with the Eucharist through the Priest and for me to have a close glince of His Presence because that is the only thing I could get since Confession has being out of my reach for so long now…

I genuflexed… and go back to my sit with my family.

And for a few seconds I see their faces, their smiles, their eyes wide open looking around at everything that was happening and to my husband who is always hands on taking turns too to settle the children for the whole time. He, too, has struggled with the distractions and lack of attention. He, too, has the thirst of the Lord… He is the Head of my Family, the Family that God chose for me, therefore I realised how blessed I am for having my family with me in God’s presence… Distractions and all…

So, why bother going to Mass? You might ask like I did. Well, there is no other answer more complete than: the Eucharist. It is NOT symbolic. It is the REAL presence of God. And the same way you visit a friend and have a conversation with them, Mass is there to sit with your true Friend who will listen to the sorrows of your heart even if you haven’t even had time to articulate anything.

The REAL Presence of Jesus Christ is the only thing that makes the difference between staying at home going through the exact same stresses of water bottles, toilet trips, noise, etc, watching the “Livestream” and actually physically going to Church with little children…

I know, it is NOT easy, but maybe we can try to offer up this little “suffering” and “anguish” to the Lord… because the discomfort we might go through at Mass doesn’t compare with the bigger sacrifice that Jesus did at the cross for us.

See you next Sunday again, God willing.

God bless you and your families.

Liza, a Maronite Mum

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