I took Shea to Church the other day. It was just the two of us sitting about three rows back from the altar on the right hand side. We sit up front more often than not because either we are late and that’s where the rows are open OR I sit there to get them to engage… at least a little… rather than look at the backs of peoples heads. This particular Mass had a “guest” priest. We were a solid five minutes late which means I have NO clue who he is … but he’s a priest.
About 20 minutes into the Mass Shea is looking around. She then looks at me and says
“Is Jesus here?”
I can feel the father of multiple children behind me listening to the conversation.
“Yes, he’s here, he’s on the cross on the back wall.” I motion to the crucifix hanging on the back wall of the altar.
She looks at me perplexed and asks “where is he?? I don’t see him?”
Again, I motion to the back wall. I the follow that with “Jesus died.” Again noting my audience.
Shocked she looks at me “He did?”
“Yes, but He’s here, He’s all around us and in us.”
She looked at me, looked at the priest and said “Well… then… who do I hug every week?”
“You hug the priest, not Jesus.”
This didn’t make much sense to her… but it ended the conversation.
Shea thought Father Dom, the weekly priest was Jesus… when she saw him outside with the guest priest after Church I’m sure she felt much better because she went right over and gave him a hug.