a different kind of sunday school

My calendar read: Liz – 7am Eucharistic Minister.

Ugh.

Even though I am a morning person, it felt like a lot of effort to get to mass today. I really did not want to go. I waited until the very last minute to shower and dress. I dragged my feet by sending out school-related emails and continued to check my Facebook notifications.

I looked at my watch. 6:51am. Ugh.

I walked out the door at 6:52am and arrived at the church at 7:01am. Mass had started and was already in full swing. That’s actually what I appreciate about the early mass. There’s no messing around, they dive right into things and it moves very quickly.

Then the priest read the gospel around 7:15am and time slowed down for me.

This is the gospel…

passage from mass
i very discreetly took a picture of this from my phone (i figured god would forgive me)

…which tells a story of forgiveness. In this reading, Jesus says to Simon in response to his judgment of a woman who is viewed as a sinner,

“Two people were in debt to a certain debtor. One owed 500 days’ wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?” Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose large debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

He then points to the woman and says,

“…her many sins have been forgiven because she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”

While I’m not a particularly religious person and, quite frankly, sometimes I have a very difficult time focusing on the readings, I heard this one loud and clear and here’s why…

One night, about seven years ago, my friend, Carrie, and I were sitting at our dining room table while our children were upstairs tearing one of the rooms apart. We decided they were safe enough and opened up a bottle of wine. We each had a glass…and then another…and then maybe just one more. The kids were completely content and we were enjoying one another’s hilarious stories (at least they became more hilarious with each glass of wine!).

It was the perfect night. It was also the first time I told her about my brother’s death and how I experienced somewhat of a spiritual intervention (more on that later) while he was missing. She shared with me her most beautiful spiritual moment as well. In her story, she touched upon themes of feeling alone, the loving kindness of others and her faith being tested. The most memorable part of her story involved opening up a bible, putting her finger down on the page and finding a beautiful scripture about a woman who was forgiven.

This morning’s gospel.

My friend, Carrie, passed away three years ago this month…her anniversary is June 15th. I remember at her funeral, in letter to her husband, she shared that she was “just beyond the thin veil” that separates her from him. That she is all around him, their children, her family and her many, many friends. There was something in the way she said it, you just believed it…no question.

When the priest read the gospel this morning, I swear I felt the slightest chill blow across my right shoulder, just where Carrie’s hand had reached out to me that night as we laughed hysterically with one another and the bottle of wine at the dining room table.

And…Carrie was always trying to convince me to get to mass more often too.

I hear you, Carrie.

FullSizeRender (15)
Her are some more words of wisdom from Carrie, which she wrote to her children and I made into a sign. I pass by this every single day.

The Weekly RAKUp:

#153. Served at 7am mass, despite wanting to stay home. (RAK of the Week)

#152. Clean-up yard – helped landscapers chase some papers that were blowing all over people lawns.

#151. Gave a gift card to our landscaper, Eric, for his birthday.
#150. Wrote a thank you note and gave a gift card for soccer coach, Todd, and his new baby.

#149. Bear in the tree. Picked up a little stuffed animal on the side of the road and put him up in a tree (where the owner found him).

#148. Took a quick online survey for a friend.

#147. Let someone in (in traffic) when no one else would (she actually held up traffic by rolling down window to say thank you). :o)
#146. Delivered goodies to a new puppy.

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