I have a pretty amazing life, but one of its highlights each week is the greeting of peace during Mass at the the Cathedral. For those of you who don’t know, the greeting of peace occurs just before we all take communion, and it’s a way of being at peace with each other before we all share in the beauty and mystery of the sacrament. Each week, though, I’m sitting with the choir, and the greeting of peace is our change to, well, greet one another. It’s a bit of a hug-fest, really. I think that I probably get hugged more – touched more, actually – in that two-or-three-minute period than at any other time during my week.
It’s a time, a brief time, in which I’m surrounded by love. One of many times in my week, really, but a time when I’m profoundly aware of how blessed I am to be surrounded by such a wonderful group of people. People who want to hug me, who care for me. People who let me care for them. People who love me, and who allow me to love them. People, wonderful, giving, gentle, loving people, who seek me out because they want to show me their love. Because they want to hug me, not because they need anything from me, or because they feel they have to, but because I am their friend, and they are mine. They like me. And I’d walk through fire for them.
In that minute or two, after the sermon and before the musical demands of the Mass really kick in, I am surrounded by love. And I know how blessed, how amazingly and utterly showered in grace, I am. And every week, I am grateful.
Also, on another note – happy Fathers’ Day. I am blessed to have a father who has taught me so much with his gentle strength, his graciousness, his kindness and compassion, his patience and his generosity of spirit. His sense of humour. His artistic skills. I have a beautiful, wonderful mother too – but it’s Fathers’ Day and so: Hi, Dad.