"Let the children come to me" (Mark 10:14)
Last Sunday, we had a little one in the back pew who was not having a very good day. I have to admire his parents for sticking it out. With the cry room closed because of COVID, they could have opted to take him outside or simply left Mass altogether.
Instead, they patiently helped him work through his many frustrations and made it through the entire Mass. I loved hearing him in the sanctuary. Children making noise in the church is a good thing even if the parents are embarrassed by it.
The best moment was when he walked with his mother in the communion line. He just needed to be moving and seeing all there was to see around the space. However, that wonder was about to dissolve into a bit of a mess. When she reached the minister and received the Most Holy Eucharist, he had a meltdown. He held out his hand to receive what she had received. In fact, his little face registered more of a demand than an expectation.
We were seated at the end of an aisle, near the front, so we had a perfect view of his little red face and stamping foot when he did not get what he just knew was coming. His little posture made it very clear mom shares everything with him.
I know, deep in her soul, her gut reaction was to give her child what he was demanding. But, of course, she refrained. After quickly, but reverently, consuming the Eucharist, Mom gently took a tiny fist and ushered the little fella back to their pew as he stomped his little boots all the way there.
The innocence of a grumpy child took me back to March of last year when I was the grumpy child in the pew. Unhappy because we were not allowed to have Mass, no Easter, no Eucharist.
I, too, wanted to have a screaming fit,
stomping my feet, because the Bishop wouldn't let me have what I wanted. Luckily, my age and what I hope is wisdom kept me from the tantrum.
I hope I feel the same rage every time I am denied partaking of our Lord's feast. I pray to have the same childish desire for the rest of my life on this earth.
(Photo taken at our parish's Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration in 2014. I love this picture as a beautiful representation of the universal church.)