Well it’s that time of year again! Parish festival season is commencing. Almost every Catholic parish in my city has one during the summer months. For some people it may be the only time they see their fellow parishioners outside of Sunday Mass. And I think that’s too bad because it’s important to connect with other believers not just in Church but in the “real world” too.
It’s easy to compartmentalize our friends and acquaintances as our “Church friends” or our “work friends.” But when events bring everyone together in another setting, it’s great to realize that your “Church friends” are actually just “your friends.” In this relaxed environment, it’s easier to reach out and engage other people.
What if we could bring that type of atmosphere into the gathering spaces of our Church? What if people were more open to greeting one another as they entered the Church or even inviting a friend to come with you? I know that attending Mass is a more formal way of prayer, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be somber and inattentive towards others around us.
Encountering Christ in Each Other
I think that a personal encounter with Christ needs to begin with each one of us as we walk into Church. We know that we encounter Christ every time we receive the Eucharist. But we can also encounter Him in other people. God works in so many different ways in our lives. Let’s keep our eyes open and make sure we don’t miss any opportunity that might come our way to experience that personal encounter with Our Lord.
Photo courtesy of Sharon Lape