Memorial Day is past, and 95 is clogged even more than normal which means the summer vacation period is beginning.
I’d like to take a moment to put before you a reminder that I give every summer regarding Vacations, Mass, and proper dress for Mass:
Summer brings vacation, and that means relaxation for most folks. One of the great benefits of summer is that life slows down significantly for us. I still exhort you to make Sunday Mass the cornerstone of your week. If you need to find a Catholic Church near to your vacation in Toledo, Timbuktu, or even Toronto…there are 2 websites I recommend: CatholicMassTimes.org and MassTimes.org.
Summer also brings different wardrobes.
I remember as a child that it meant that we would break out the white pants that would be my “Sunday Clothes” for the summer. Remember those: Sunday Clothes? We each would do well to just pause and examine our consciences about how we dress for Jesus during the summer. The most common argument is that, “Jesus doesn’t care what I wear!” or “God doesn’t need me to dress up!” We are right to say that God doesn’t need me to dress up…I need me to dress up! However Jesus does care what we wear, but not because He is judging us based on our clothes. He cares what we wear because how we dress is part of our preparation for and participation in Mass! When we take the time and effort to give Jesus our best (clothes, time, attention, and love) he can pour out his blessing into our souls! The concept of “Sunday Clothes” is that I give Jesus my best , because that is what God deserves, the best of me. I recall with great fondness how I would untuck my shirt every Sunday, the very second that I walked out of the Church Door!
Let me also be clear to say that nobody is to be turned away or judged because they are wearing shorts and flip-flops. There are times when we are literally coming from the beach, or on our way to a soccer match, or even sometimes folks can be simply struggling to feel welcome at Mass. I recall a conversation in another parish with a teen who was inappropriately dressed for Mass, where they were actually hoping that I would hammer them so that they could have an excuse not to come! I know you pray for wisdom as parents, let us also pray for wisdom as a parish family to be gentle with our struggling sheep, but also challenging all to grow deeper in faith every day.
Pax et bonum (peace and all goodness),