Our older son is finishing up his junior year of high school. Yep. The milestones come fast and furious: AP exams, Junior prom, ACTs, and an upcoming trip to Europe with his orchestra.
Last night at 8 p.m. Mass I sat with our two teenagers and thought: what happened? The older one with the beard, the sweet eyes and those dimples still evident behind the sometimes scornful attitude. He puts his head on the pew in front of him. "I'm tired," he says when I chide him. He takes out his cell phone. "Stop texting." "I'm not. I am turning it off." The younger one chimes in. "He is. I saw him turn it off." The older one heads to the bathroom, the phone in his pocket. Yes, he genuflects first. He returns 10 minutes later. "Sorry," he says to me.
The younger one is running full throttle into teen-dom. Last night, fresh into an argument with his dad at the basketball court, I loaded him into the minivan. He was hungry and angry and we had no time to eat. His father already had been to Mass - at 9 a.m. - and we were too lazy and tired to go with him that morning.
And so we ended up at the latest Mass in the day possible ,entering a church that had endured a day of heat. Our parish is centuries old and lacks air conditioning. It was so horribly hot, I kept waving the missalette in front of my face. This annoyed our boys, who kept telling me to stop. All I could think about the whole time - God forgive me my distraction - was drinking a cold beer when we got home. And worried that the seemingly placid older couple next to us was wondering what kind of a mother was I and where was my husband.
And yet....here we were, the Feast of Corpus Christi, learning, once again, that we are the mystical Body of Christ. We the flawed, the impatient, the scornful, the overheated.
We are beggars before Beauty and Mystery. Christ lives within us. We are His hands and His feet in this world, sometimes despite ourselves.