As we were nearing our destination of our first road trip this summer, we passed by a Catholic Church. My backseat was filled with two, just turned teen girls and my daughter, a soon to be teen. As I was focused on finding the hotel my daughter stated, as a matter of factly, that we were passing a Catholic Church and one of her friends asked me to drive slowly to see what times the Masses were on Sunday!
Now, I shouldn’t have been surprised and was in fact very proud that my wife and I apparently got through at some level to our daughter! And it speaks volumes of the upbringing the parents of her two friends had done. But I was surprised at this brief moment of religious clarity on their part. I had spent 3 hours hearing the latest music, most of it sung by the three at the highest possible decibels, listening to gossip on boys and of course the requisite whining on material items they wished they had.
But at that specific moment they had a beautiful pause, albeit it for a brief instance, to wonder about Mass times!
I remember not too long ago on my walk how Mass was reserved just for Sundays and when we took a vacation, it wasn’t only from work or school – but also from other “responsibilities” like Sunday Mass.
One of the first things we have done for years, is to seek out a local Catholic Church close to the area we are vacationing in. It has always been a wonderful experience. We learn about the universality of our religion and enjoy the different cultural differences each community has to express in a Catholic Mass.
In this past Sunday’s case the priest was there to greet each family before the Mass as they entered; not afterwards like at our parish. This parish has the custom of having all parishioners share in the Blood of Christ as well as in the Eucharist. We all share in the same faith but it’s really interesting to see how different faith communities worship – while still staying within the parameters set by the Catholic Church.
We had a wonderful, relaxing and fun vacation, including a spectacular sunrise enjoyed from our room every morning. The least we could do was to take an hour to thank our Lord for the wonders he has given us, as well as to thank Him for the opportunity to vacation as a family….
As this summer starts I hope we all share the same Mass opportunity with our family. I am listing below a link to be able to find a Catholic Church and Mass times in whatever area you are vacationing. Just input the zip code of the area you are visiting. Make this a natural part of vacation planning for you and your family! www.masstimes.org or 734-794-2100.
Sunrise at Melbourne, Florida