Do you know that surprised look—the one that they describe like seeing a deer in the headlights?
I’ve seen it quite a few times these past weeks.
Can you imagine trying to leave Mass early and think that you are going to sneak out the side or back door and then encountering a 6’ 6” almost 300 lb. man in black standing there ready to say “hello?”
It brings me back to my former days as a principal. Oh those good old days when I was catching students smoking in the bathroom or trying to cut school!
The look is priceless. I wish I had a camera. It would be a perfect post for YouTube.
Try not to make eye contact. Look down quickly. Walk fast. (I wonder what you are thinking. Well, maybe not.)
Honestly, I really don’t get it. If you have just received the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, is it really appropriate to leave church while still chewing the communion host?
What’s the hurry?
I was taught a long time ago—in elementary school, in fact—to make a proper thanksgiving after receiving Holy Communion.
Tell the Lord Jesus that you love Him. Thank the Lord for all that He has done for you. Petition the Lord for the various needs that you have. Tell Jesus that you are truly sorry for all of your sins and beseech His mercy.
If done sincerely, properly and reverently, it takes at least a few quality minutes of your time.
Yes there are some legitimate excuses for having to leave early and this may happen occasionally! But in all honesty, far too many people have developed a very bad habit of leaving Church before the Mass is ended, before the final blessing, and before the priest has left the altar.
Even if you are not able to receive Holy Communion for some reason, the practice of making a spiritual communion is still a legitimate option.
If this message applies to you, I ask you to think seriously about what I have just said. While I may be annoyed by this practice, it’s really Jesus who you are disrespecting—to use the language of today’s youth.
Jesus deserves more from us than eating and running.
Save that practice for those fast food joints!
Fr. Ed NamiotkaPastor