I don’t want to leave

by Fr. Jeff

At 6pm, we celebrated a Vigil Mass for the Solemnity of the Assumption. In an effort to help our families, we held the parent meeting for our parish religious education program immediately following Mass. All of the children went across the street for activities in the parish hall while the parents learned about the direction of religious education.

As I visited the children, I was struck by their laughter. The young ones finger-painted, the older ones played kickball. Some played duck-duck-goose, others a game of tag. But whatever they were doing, they were filled with joy.

Reflecting on the evening, I see it was simply a realization of the Church:

Celebrating the Eucharistic sacrifice therefore, we are most closely united to the Church in heaven in communion with and venerating the memory first of all of the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, of Blessed Joseph and the blessed apostles and martyrs and of all the saints. –Lumen Gentium, 50.

The Eucharistic celebration of the Assumption brought the parish together. The effect was an hour of joy for the children.

When the meeting was over, the parents walked across the street and called for their children. As I listened to them leaving, I smiled as I heard them reveal this mystery of the Church.

They were brought together by the Eucharistic sacrifice. United by that celebration of You and the Saints, their cry is what the Church will cry out on the day when we are united with You in the Kingdom of Heaven:

I don’t want to leave!