Waseca County Pioneer 111 W. Elm Ave.

Waseca, MN (507) 837-6767


Season inspires peace, reflection

I hope everyone had a great Easter. The weather over the holiday weekend had to be some of the best in a long time.
This week, I made an effort to attend churc: Faith Ryan over at St. Ann Catholic Church in Janesville asked me if I wanted to be one of twelve people to get their feet washed during the Holy (or Maundy) Thursday mass.
It is tradition in the Catholic Church for twelve to get their feet washed as Jesus washed the feet of the Apostles before the Last Supper in the Bible. It was traditionally a ritual that only men were asked to be a part of. It wasn’t until 2016 that Pope Francis decreed women could take part in the foot washing. (In my case, however, it was still twelve males.)
The mass itself was otherwise normal. The only other difference was when we went to the chapel where we reflected on Jesus’s agony in the garden.
As a younger man who struggled with his faith mightily (and still does), I didn’t quite understand what we were doing. But after we left in silence, I had to continue that silence to reflect. It’s the first time in a long time (if ever) that I went to a Holy Thursday mass.
I also decided to attend the Easter Vigil (Saturday Night) because I thought it would be another meaningful service to attend; I was also concerned I wouldn’t be able to attend Easter Sunday mass. I had, unfortunately, procrastinated a bit more than I should have with some work. That was one of the longest services I’ve ever attended, but not necessarily in a bad way. It was an experience I’ll hold with me for a while. The lighting of the candles, the homily…it was both solemn and euphoric.
I’ve been trying to explore my faith a little more lately. Maybe it’s the interest I have in the various churches that I pass on my walks or drives to places that makes me want to invest more time in my faith. Maybe it’s all the church-related events I end up going to for my job. Perhaps it’s the prospect that the world is not in a very good place and that being at church gives me some comfort, some hope.
Whatever it is that’s bringing me back…it’s helping.
See, when I go to mass, a service, a luncheon, or anything like that, all of the world’s problems seem to be left at the door. In mass, we offer prayers for various things going on in the world, but we don’t let them personally bother us.
When all of us offer each other the sign of peace, I don’t see the person in front of me as a Democrat or Republican. When I talk to church people, I don’t see them as a Catholic or a Lutheran. The political, racial, and other tensions seem to be left behind as soon as we enter the church sanctuary. They simply become irrelevant the moment we sit down in our pews. Let those problems stay outside for an hour. Right now, let’s rejoice and enjoy the service.
I think the masses leading up to Easter have given me time to reflect. I mentioned once that I tried being an atheist. That choice left me feeling empty and lost, perhaps at least partly because religion once had an important role in my life, even when we only went to mass occasionally. Another reason, though, is because I truly believe science, logic, or any human faculty cannot explain some of the phenomena –including some very common ones–that happen around us.
But whether or not you are a Christian, I hope you enjoyed Easter. At the end of the day, it’s about being with family and celebrating all that’s good. I think we can all support that, regardless of whether or not we believe in God.


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