I almost had no energy at this morning’s Masses. It was drained at last night’s vigil. Anyway, it was over. Easter has always been difficult for me to preach mostly because people’s expectations are high especially for those who seldom to church. They want to feel welcomed and treated well, listen to an inspiring sermon and experience an uplifting liturgy. The choir and the lowly Presider on the other hand are running on adrenaline considering the load of work in the past few days. After Mass, the Deacon said to me that he hasn’t seen these numbers in the church in a long time. Mind you, I couldn’t even get into the door. I was at a loss. I started wondering whether my homily would work in a crowd that couldn’t wait to leave for family gathering. I had a terrible headache before the entrance procession and it was usually due to exhaustion.
By the time, I kissed the altar, faced the people, I immediately recognized new faces. The way they looked at me was kind of intimidating. I don’t read minds but it seemed they were waiting to hear something profound. Presiding has never been made easy. It’s demanding and brings out my inner compass. Early on, I learned not just to show up. I pray for forgiveness, strength, accuracy and fidelity before leaving the sacristy. I make sure the message is “strong, loving, loud and clear.” That’s my aim but it doesn’t happen all the time. I’ve made mistakes, lots of them but I can’t take them back, not even apologize because that’s how it operates.
The point I’m trying to get across is that much as I wish to give good service on Easter Sunday Masses and put things in perspective, to please everyone is not of my best interest, it’s God and the church I was privileged to serve as a Priest. It can be a huge disappointment especially for those who expect much. Anyway, no big deal, who knows what’s on their minds and hearts. I can’t exactly tell. In however you want to frame it, I’m certain, they came to worship the God who raised Jesus from the dead and not me.
Happy Easter! Amen.