This is how I felt last Sunday when I stepped into the church for the first time in 4 months. The faces, sights, and sounds were familiar. I hope this is how you feel too when you’re comfortable returning to Mass in person.
Who am “I”? This is Brita Jaingue. I’m a wife, mom, and youth minister, although I’ve been on special assignment this school year for the Year of the Eucharist. I’ve had the privilege of serving the high school youth and their families in our parish community for the last 13 years. I just had my second child, a daughter, on December 28th, so I have been out on maternity leave. Our family has been attending virtual Mass throughout the pandemic with the exception of myself when I’d host for the 5pm Mass.
You may be surprised to hear that I was a little nervous to come back to Mass. Some of you may be scared to come back or even feel like you don’t really want to. I get it. With a 3 year old and 3 month old, my husband and I have to weigh every decision we make to make sure it’s in the best interest of the health and safety of our family. To be transparent, it’s going to be hard bringing the whole family back.
On the other hand, Eastertime is a beautiful time to return to the church. We’re all weary from this pandemic and now more than ever I need the strength from receiving the Eucharist. We’ve been stuck on the cross for far too long and now it’s time to share in the hope and joy of the Risen Christ. The lilies, the Hallelujahs, the sunlight streaming through the rosette, and the smiling familiar faces remind me that this is where I need to be…it’s home.
So if you’re nervous returning to Mass for whatever reason, I challenge you to pray about when your timing is right to return. Here’s a simple prayer that I taught my son when he has a bad dream that works for anyone, “Jesus, Jesus, I’m scared (nervous/anxious/etc). Bring me peace.” Jesus is waiting and wanting for us to abide in Him.
May the peace, joy, and hope of the Risen Christ be with you and your loved ones this Easter Season!
Youth and Family Formation Ministry