i have come to realize that one of my most favorite parts of the mass is when the priest says, “let us now offer each other the sign of peace.” i realized it today when i was at mass this afternoon with my maryknoll family…the mother of one of the staff member’s passed away, and so, we had a mass for her mother, now that 30 days had passed. during the kiss of peace – i felt joy, i saw lots of smiles, and i reflected on that for a little bit.
the mass was solemn, it was a good one, and we talked about God’s presence from the beginning until the end of our lives and how eternal life is with God. the mass was not set under a, “we are all gonna die – be ready” tone, but it was a faithful topic to reflect on. anyway, during the sign of peace, joy filled the room and it was very apparent to me.
recently, i have been realizing that this is one of my favorite parts of the mass because 1) we are able to talk, express our emotion to the people we are seated next to, and we are not forced to just stare straight ahead at the altar ahead of us…instead, we are given permission to talk! and express ourselves to our neighbor…to the body of christ. that, which is community! i also thought about how 2) we all need peace, and it is a beautiful part of the mass where we are able to reconcile with others, ourselves, and even if for a brief moment, we can make eye contact with a stranger and wish he/she peace. i think it’s pretty powerful.
even within families, the reconciliation is possible even at that brief moment. sometimes the kiss of peace is really powerful – when goodbyes have to happen or moments of transition are about to occur, at mass, yes, it is possible to just start breaking down after those wholesome hugs and ways of sharing peace. some of my most favorite moments happen during this time…
attaining peace internally can sometimes be a challenge, and that is why i am glad it is included in the mass…each and every time. in a way, i look at it as jesus saying, yes, crystal, have peace with yourself too – you’re doin’ a good job. i’m proud of you, and i love you. haha clearly that is something that i have needed to hear recently!
on the flip side, sometimes it is really sad when i realize that i have run out of people to say, “peace be with you” to…and then i think about how much i miss my family and friends. while i have enjoyed going to mass by myself here in baguio city, i have realized that it is kinda sad too – and i do miss going to mass with faces from back home.
but soon enough, it shall happen! and for now, i will continue to share my peace with those i am physically far away from. prayers go a long way…good thing God transcends all space and time. distance has nothin’ on us.