April 20, John 4:20
John: Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.”
I live in a beautiful place, and as a matter of fact, I have either surrounded myself with natural beauty or tried to find natural beauty in the places where I've lived. Hence, photography, where I've tried to capture the extraordinary in the ordinary, ie, God.
I attended a wedding with one of my sons. We spoke with the deacon who did the Pre-Cana classes with my wasband and me. The deacon asked my son whether he went to church, and he replied that he did a lot of fishing and that was his church. The deacon said that was just fine because God was in nature. God is nature.
While it would be great if my children went to church (sometimes they'll join me), I understand that they don't get the same thing out of it that I do. Receiving the Eucharist is truly a gift to me, and while I've tried to give them the opportunity to experience it as well, they have chosen otherwise. I have to have faith that they will come back to church in their own time. I know that's what happened to me.
Growing up, if we missed Mass with the family, we had to go on our own. Our dad required a bulletin and a brief synopsis of the Homily. During my teens and twenties, I'd go to Mass sporadically. In college, my brother brought me to Mass, and if I tried to suggest we leave after communion, he gave me the stink eye and said it was only a few minutes longer, and bonus, we received the blessing.
It wasn't until I had children that I better understood the miracle I held in my arms. I wanted only the best for each child, complete with a good faith foundation, whether in church or in nature.
My priest friend says that experiencing God in Mass is only part of the journey. Our job is then to go out and experience God in the world.
Today, may we realize that God is everywhere, in church, Jerusalem, the mountains, the streams, the flowers, the wind, our hearts, our neighbor, our pets, and the person who cut us off in traffic. May we recognize God everywhere and in everything.