WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR – THE SIMPLE GOODNESS OF YOUTH

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On our university campus there is a Mass in English one Saturday evening each month.  The students who organize this Mass call themselves “The English Mass Community”.  This was the first English Mass since the beginning of semester.  Four FCJs attended the Mass on 5th September: Margaret, Rachel, Yustin and I.  The students had clearly worked hard in preparation – the church was brightly decorated with welcome signs, the flowers were beautiful and the Mass sheet given to each person on arrival was well typed and brightly coloured.   The theme of the Mass was “Friends are quiet angels” and through it the students were trying to highlight the need for mutual care, kindness and support of each other.  Fr Harry SJ, who said the Mass, skillfully connected the theme to the Gospel of the day, the healing of the deaf man, by emphasizing the healing power of love and friendship.

As I walked up to receive Communion, the choir began to sing “When I wish upon a star”.  I couldn’t help smiling broadly nor stop the twinkle of humour that danced in my eyes as I walked back to my place.  Just for an instant some heady thought of “liturgical correctness” filled my mind and then it passed out again as I chuckled away with God.  I sat back and looked at the choir…they were singing beautifully and with intense concentration.  I watched the long lines of young people going up to receive communion…they were devote and respectful.  I knew for certain that God was being glorified despite the less than orthodox choice of song.  In my mind I transcribed the words to “When you come to God with an open heart” – for it seemed to me that was precisely what those young people were doing.  I have often suspected that God has less problems with theological/liturgical correctness than we do and last night I was certain of that.  Those young people had worked hard to produce a good liturgy, they had probably spent most of the day decorating the church and those who came took part with a joyful reverence.  I am sure that God was delighted!  Of course, before next month’s Mass I will meet the leaders of the group and suggest that they check the content of the hymns and songs they choose with an English speaker…But not before I tell them how happy I was to be there celebrating the love of God with them.

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