It’s spring break at UMD, so the CSC is short-handed. This is traditional. It’s also Holy Week. This does not usually happen during spring break. I managed to schedule one lector for each Mass, including myself at 7 p.m. I only go to the 7 when I have to, so I started out the evening with some bias.
That was my first mistake. God decided to humble me. (That’s what I get for asking for it.)
When I arrived at about 6:45, the chapel was mostly empty. Julie is away, so Hark came to cantor while Matt played piano. I caught Fr. Kyle between confessions and candle-lighting, and we agreed to go for the long form of Matthew’s Passion narrative for the Gospel. I was worried about my knee, but I knew the Holy Spirit and I would work it out like we usually do.
Moment of Humility #1: The whole neighborhood showed up for Mass. There were less than twenty students (maybe ten) in the entire congregation. My worry came back.
Moment of Humility #2: I read from Isaiah and the Letter to the Philippians with no trouble. I reminded the congregation to follow along in their hymnals to speak the crowd’s parts, and then I plunged into the Gospel. Without another lector, I had to read both the narrator and voice parts, which was tricky, but doable. (Contrast this with last Palm Sunday.) Around the halfway point, my knee got tired, but I asked God to help me not fall over, thereby making a scene. He humored me by strengthening my knee after I knelt on it during the pause for Christ’s death.
Moment of Humility #3: Father Kyle gave a nice, concise homily. It was only when he gave the introduction for the general intercessions that I remembered I was supposed to go back up to read them.
Moment of Humility #4: After the fraction and “Agnus Dei,” Father Kyle asked for an Extraordinary Minister to help distribute communion. No one moved. I’m not an EM, so I couldn’t help, and Maura got sick, so she had stayed home. After a tense moment, a guy I’ve never seen before came forward. He stood in the wrong position, so the progression of the lines was awkward, but we managed to get Jesus to everyone who wanted him.
Moment of Humility #5: After Mass, Fr. Kyle and I chatted while he straightened up, and then he walked me to the door. Only after I’d crossed the street did I realize I was still holding my hymnal.
It’s times like these when I pray, “Lord, thank you for reminding me that you are God, and I am not.”