We had something like twenty visitors never seen before by anyone one in the parish at the 11:00 AM Sunday Mass October 13, 2019. We’re a super tiny church, so they stood out. There were two odd occurrences.
During the homily there was a blindingly bright camera flash – like the gunpowder flashes that were used more than a century ago. Not a flash you can can simply ignore. It stopped everything, including me for a good five seconds, as my eyes were unexpectedly dazzled. I don’t know what that was about (for good or evil) but everyone in church instantly fully turned to see what this disturbance was all about. We will see. I don’t like this on any level, and it also raises concerns these days, and so is also imprudent: a little distraction on this side of church, a security incident on the other side of the church… that kind of thing.
The other incident was in administering Holy Communion. A Lady presented herself in such an odd manner that it was entirely obvious that she had never received Holy Communion before in her life. I asked her if she was Catholic and she said she was. Perhaps she was baptized Catholic, but I have to say that it seemed to me she was a full-on liar, though she was certainly stately in appearance and staid and polite in manner. She reached out one-handedly to snatch away the Blessed Sacrament. I said no, that she would have to receive right then and there. Accompanying her staring for a couple of seconds into my eyes with an entirely wry, sardonic smile, she said that no, she was not at all going to receive and so instead, she simply walked back to her pew without the Blessed Sacrament. It was as if to say that she had failed THIS time, but that might not at all be the case the next time. Sorry, but I was creeped out altogether.
Maybe she just wanted to bring Communion to a dying relative who requested this, but, I mean, she could tell me that then and there or she could then have come to see me right after Mass. That would have been the dignified, polite thing to do, right? In either case I would have said that I myself would go to see that person. Perhaps they need the Last Rites, right? That’s how it’s done. That’s what priests are for.