Ite Missa Est
For the last few weeks I have been in the process of relocating from Tampa, Fl. to Charlotte N.C. A new job and new part of the country to begin exploring, it also means time to find a new place of worship.
My first stop was at the church closest to where I’m living; St. Thomas Aquinas CC. A brick structure with post and beam ceilings, shaped like a cross, with several beautiful contemporary stained glass windows in the gables. (Sorry, stained windows are difficult to get a good shot of with a phone cam.)
The priest wore a habit under his garments, telling me he was an “order priest”. This means that he is a member of a religious order as opposed to a diocesan priest who is not. My guess for now is that he is probably a Capuchin Franciscan friar, an order which was mentioned in the parish history.
Being alone for about a week as my wife and children finish things in Florida, I found myself thinking about things like distance, separation and of course reunion; especially reunion. I can’t wait for them to get here! Strange that such concepts are at the heart of the Christian faith. But there’s a paradox here too. For distance and separation are things overcome by a deeper reality that we have through communion. As the readings were spoken I mused upon the fact that these same scriptures were being read in every catholic community today. The Eucharist was the same spiritual food partaken across the world and through the ages, the most Blessed Sacrament. And in a similar way my wife and daughters were also present through the ties that bind us in that ancient institution, created by God; the family.
Ite Missa Est; the mass is ended. I walked out, shook the priests hand and walked through several gardens to my car. The kingdom of God among…..us.