We were invited to join our granddaughter at her school The school was having a Mass to celebrate grandparents. We loved being with her as we sang the songs and heard about how important we are in the lives of grandchildren.
When it came time for the Eucharist I was reminded of the many other times I have been in churches where I was unable to take communion. I was saddened by the fractured church of Jesus Christ of which I am a part. For centuries we have imperfectly tried to work out how to follow the one who broke down barriers between people. We have a lot of work to do.
But, on this occasion, my mind was on something more personal. I was not reflecting on how these church practices exclude others because of important theological differences, but how I have excluded others from my heart’s table because of important differences.
How many times have I given someone a look that made them feel unwelcome in my presence? How often have I been reluctant to sit down at table with others who hold different perspectives? How many times have I been hurt and not been anxious to sit at table with others whose actions hurt me? What can I do to overcome my contribution to exclusionary behavior?
So, on this occasion, I celebrated mass seeking forgiveness for my own contribution to the separation to which I have contributed. I want to have the courage and grace to open my heart’s table. I am glad for the glimpses of wholeness I get when brokenness is overcome in hugs and tears.