Other day, on a Sunday I had been to St. Francis Assisi Church at Kakkanad for the 10:00am Mass, specially celebrated for Children. Though the mass is in Malayalam, and I don’t understand a thing, I decided to be a part of joining my Christian brothers and sisters here. Since before reaching the Church was not sure of the mass timings, but by grace of God I reached quite early. So just took my seat in the centre benches of the Church. Said my personal prayers there, and was waiting now for the Mass to start.
Just then some few other parishioners had already taken place with me, and joined me in waiting for the mass to begin, and same time I heard a bell ringing. It was the bell of the Catechism Class for the kids of the parish. We all started hearing a loud sound, more like a stampede coming towards us, and in a rush through, the church was flooded with all kids, running and pushing each other to sit front in the church. With all the smiles and the laughs, and the joy, they were so happy to be there for the mass.
A lightning struck my mind, and found myself one among them. I was also pushing my friends and so called ‘enemies’, to sit the front. Get a hymn book for myself, and try my best to sit far away from the teacher, coz else I’ll be her boxing bag in the church for that mass. Now the main thing was, I didn’t know what was mass all about, neither my some three to four random people went forward and read a book about Jesus, why there was a group of people singing melodious songs which I also used to hum around, why the priest used to wear Gold like bright clothes, and why break the bread and then drink that wine. I had no clue, but every Sunday, it was a best feeling to come meet my Christian friends, talk with them, have fun with them, and then take part in the mass, sit in the front rows, listen to the priest telling us elaborately about who was God, who was Jesus, what he did for us, and what should we do, and how good we should be, and so on. Though I didn’t follow everything he said, since I was not such a goody goody fellow, I did my best.
Years passed, days moved on, and I started understanding the importance of mass better. About the Bible and Gospel Readings, the homely, the Choir, the Bread symbolically turning into flesh of Christ and wine into blood. But sadly the enthusiasm, the urge to go for, mass decreased. Not that I didn’t have friends, not that I couldn’t sit with them for the mass, everything was same, but the feeling of going into God’s kingdom to remember the Last Supper, the miracles Christ did for people had lost all its importance in my life. Mass turned out to be obligation, a compulsory part of Christian life, to just visit the Church and come. I started liking the religious ideas of my Hindu friends, not that I knew much about it, but I knew that they could go to Temple, anytime they want and only if they feel.
Mike test.. Mike test.. 1..2..3.
Just then I was pulled back into reality, the choir master of the Church I was currently in was testing the mikes for the Choir to start singing. So then I took part in the mass with my other folks.
But what made me change today, to spare my time on a Sunday early morning, to not laze around at house, but come so far, walk for 30mins in this age, and then catch a transport just to be here for an hour at the temple of God, celebrate the mass in a language I hardly understood. When years passed, I joined into a community of Couples for Christ, which has a part of Youth for Christ. In next five years of my life, my understanding changed, my love for God increased, and day by day it just kept increasing. Now in this 5 years of tenure I came across a small booklet, The Holy Mass -Explained to Catalina by Jesus and Mary. Through this book, not only my understanding changed, even my perspective about going for mass changed. If you get a chance do read it.
Not only did I start concentrating well, but being there for mass much earlier. So when compared us the so called ‘matured people’, to the kids, I prefer to be a kid, who has less understanding, but more love, trust in God. Whose Joy and enthusiasm to be in the temple of God, is what I pray for to have in my heart, mind and soul daily.