arrive at our family dinner party and are greeted at the door by young
cousin David, since Aunt Susie is busy in the kitchen and Uncle Larry is
in the back yard working at the rotisserie. We notice the preparations
already made. The house is spotless; furniture nicely polished and
carpet vacuumed. Our family portrait hangs in a place of honor over the
fireplace. A brief glance brings to mind Mom and Dad who have already
gone to heaven. We see the joy in their faces and offer a brief prayer
of thanks in memory of the example they have set for us.
Moving into the dining room we encounter
the table set with fresh linens, candles and floral arrangements.
Silver utensils, fine china plates, and crystal goblets are set at each
place. But dinner isn’t ready yet, and as the family arrives we move
about to chat, renewing and strengthening ourselves with stories of our
common history, family and friends.
Everyone is here, young and old, and in
between. Our gathering also includes a few close friends and the newest
members of the family: son-in-law Robbie, and grandchildren Sarah, and
recently baptized Diego.
At Mass we have our greeters and ushers to
welcome us in. Our custodians, altar society and environment team have
prepared the space by giving it a thorough cleaning and have decorated
it with flowers and banners that reflect the day’s occasion. Our
sacristan has laid out all of the items needed for our celebration. The
linen is freshly laundered and pressed, the crystal sparkling and the
golden communion bowls shine as they are placed at the credence table
for later use in our gathering.
All the members of our community are here:
young, old and in between. Our newly baptized members, who only this
last March became full members of our faith community, and even those
individuals who have gone before us in faith, setting the example for
how we should try to live: the Communion of Saints.
We are all here to celebrate but as we look
around to take stock we realize that someone is missing, a friend who
is ill today or a family vacationing, they are sorely missed and we long
for their presence among us when we gather again.
(May 22, 2005)