“Instead of imposing new obligations, (Christians) should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet”
Since our eight-year old Katie will be making her First Holy Communion this year, we have redoubled our efforts to ensure that everybody is paying attention during Mass. Driving home, we all must share one thing that stayed with us from the readings or homily. Katie has taken it seriously (so far) and likes to read along in the missalette. As we recited the creed last Sunday, I bowed at the appointed part. Katie leaned over and asked me why I did that. With a fatherly arm around her shoulder, I leaned down and pointed lovingly to the instructions in the missalette telling the reader to bow. With a look only a tweenaged girl can provide, Katie whispered, “Dad, I can read. I know they tell you to do it. I asked you why you do it.”
Thankfully I knew the answer to that one, but Katie’s simple point made me think about the way I lead and the way I live. How often do I follow instructions, or worse, point others to instructions without taking time to share the why that lies behind them? When others really want to know why, do I constantly point them to what? Especially in my prayer life, do I ask for what I want or do I ask why He wants it? I may not always remember the homily, but I’ll never bow the same.