Today, the 7:00AM Weekday Mass kicked off. Noticeably, the 9:00AM was apparently too late, so, I decided at this early to move it to an earlier time. Ironically, despite its rosy perspective, I didn’t expect an increase of attendance in record breaking numbers. But only, hope that quite a few may want to consider it before heading to work. I admit I’m not a morning person but I’m willing to celebrate the Eucharist at a time of the day when the grace of God comes as fresh as ever. As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. God gives allowances, though. It’s possible to say a prayer anytime of the day but it is an incredibly different experience allowing the Spirit of God to punctuate our daily correspondence. If work, family, kids, health and the fitness center, force us to get out of bed early in the morning, Faith must be part of the whole equation, as well. As religious and spiritually grounded people, we should make effort to keep the substance of our belief in every single detail of our lives.
This morning at 7:00, there was no grand ceremony nor glittering fireworks but it was greeted and graced by the presence of eight parishioners, to be exact. There’s nothing that makes me feel enthused than seeing people attend Mass and volunteer, as well. Wink. This short trip to the church as worthwhile as it is, isn’t done as a huge favor for me but a humble expression of gratitude creatively reliving the memories of the last supper and making it the hub of the entire parish community.
As I slowly and smoothly settle in, occasionally meet people in the streets, banks and grocery stores, talk to parish leaders/ministers, schedule appointments, listen to stories, get to know the demographics and storied past of this lovely and wonderful place, receive positive feedbacks (music to my ears, as always) for being nice and friendly, unpack loads of boxes, make the blazing heat a huge part of Coolidge’ life, enjoy what summer got and accept the hard fact that I can’t do anything about the weather regardless, I’d like to singlehandedly emphasize, at the outset, that my ministry at St. James will be anchored at constant availability to the people and pastoral sensitivity to the current social issues. It’s a vision inspired by deep experience, long years of theological studies, musings at the empire state of the church and profound conviction that human kind is saved through the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Special thanks to Araceli, the secretary and Rosemary, the bookkeeper, for helping a great deal in my transition particularly, keeping their cool at room temperature when handling the same question numerous times. Amen.