School Mass on All Saints Day

All of our all-school Masses are good, but this one was extra special on several accounts. First, it was grandparent’s day at our school and there were about 65 sets of grandparents and students out of a school of 290. We hold Mass in the church across the street and it was packed to standing room only. After Mass, the grandparents toured the school with their student as the rest of us tried to have class. As a teacher, interruptions to my classroom are irritating, but today, it was fun. I think my students enjoyed it too. Not because it delayed the lesson, but many of our elderly guest were fun, engaging, and energized by the students as they popped into our classroom.
Second, it was All Saints Day. I have always liked this feast (technically a solemnity) because it reminds us that we are all part of something much, much larger than ourselves, that we are part of the Body of Christ, Branches on the Vine, or whatever favorite metaphor that comes to mind. (Mass itself should do this too, but this day seems to emphasize it more than usual.) The Church (with a capital “C”) is much larger than just the earthly church. It is directly connected through Christ to the church in heaven and in purgatory (i.e. the Church Triumphant, Church Suffering, and Church Militant). The saints in heaven are praying for us as we pray for them. Wow! (For a long time, I have had this feeling that someone had prayed for me to find faith.) Of course Christ is always with us, but through Him, all of heaven is with us also. We are never really alone. Anyone who really loves is never alone. Something for me to remember.
Third, the Deacon was not able to make this Mass, and so, by luck, it was my honor to distribute the Blessed Sacrament next to the priest to the school and their grandparents. WOW!!! I got to smile and look half the school in the eye as I held up the Host and said, “Body of Christ.” What a charge! My smile grew wider and brighter as Communion went on, especially when I presented to the students I have in class (which is about half the school). I must have appeared giddy with joy. It felt even more special to give the Host to those few students who just came back from a four-day retreat with me this past weekend. What an honor and privilege! I am not worthy, but God uses us mere creatures where He needs. Thank you Lord for choosing me for this day to serve you and my students!

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