Today was the first day for the new translation of the liturgy at our church. It was an exciting time. As people walked in, the ushers handed out little card with the changes. Father encouraged us to follow them closely. When we got to the first "The Lord be with you" (which was our second response after the sign of the cross) we mostly flubbed the response and gave the old "And also with you" instead of "And with your spirit." He gave us another chance. We were moderately successful throughout the Mass.
This Sunday marked the start of Children's Liturgy of the Word at the 9 a.m. Mass. Jacob and Lucy went across the street with Mommy for that. They came returned just after the homily. The report I got from Jacob said it was fun. The report I got from Mommy said it was a bit of anarchy. They told the story of the Good Samaritan but with a British flavor. This guy packed a bunch of sandwiches and a thermos of tea and headed out on a walking trip. Robbers overtook him and beat him with his own walking stick. And so on. The kids weren't quite focused, which usually causes trouble.
The rest of Mass was more challenging than usual. Lucy was pretty fussy and had to be taken out to the vestibule once; Jacob was very antsy and I had to hold him in the pew at the end of Mass so he didn't leave before the priest. We were in the very back row, which meant we were the first to get the collection basket that starts from the back. We fumbled to get coins in. Hopefully we didn't delay it too much. Jacob did say the Our Father with us. The sign of peace was at a moment of fussiness with the kids and did not go too well. At the end of Mass we didn't light candles since Jacob was ready to go.
The sermon was about the proper way to settle a disagreement with someone. In our modern culture, such conflicts often start out in the public forum and only if it isn't resolved there will people go to one-on-one negotiation to fix the error. But in today's gospel, Jesus recommends the opposite approach: start with a humble and heartfelt fraternal correction person to person. If that doesn't work, bring in two or three others as witnesses. If that doesn't work, then the time to go before the community is at hand. If the person still does not see the error or accept correction, then only in their stubbornness treat him or her as an outcast. This is the way that truly respects human dignity. May we all have the courage to follow this way.