Be Social After Mass
One of my favorite memories growing up was being social after Mass. This likely had more to do with the copious amounts of doughnuts available in the narthex or Parish hall, but there was something fun and refreshing about not racing home immediately after Mass ended. We got to know the people in the pews, made friends, and I would often get a little excited when I saw people from Church out in the world running errands. That's what good community is.
On the whole, Catholics lag behind our Christian friends when it comes to the social element of Sunday. We've got them beat on the substance of the liturgical aspect, but we've lost sight of the fact that from the beginning of our Church, we were a community. The early Christians gathered in one another's homes for the Eucharist and it's doubtful that they showed up 10 minutes late and left before the final song was over. The focus of Sunday, without a doubt, is the Eucharist, but that celebration is enhanced when we spend more than an hour a week together.
I'll be the first to admit that my family isn't doing too well on this front. Our parish has limited gathering space and getting to the gathering space requires leaving the Church and walking downstairs. It's a lot of friction that's seldom worth the effort. As I get more involved in the Knights of Columbus Council and as Benedict and I venture out into the world more, we're starting to meet more people, and hopefully soon we'll find a friend or two to chat with after Mass.
Connecting with fellow Catholics is fun. I think we tend to believe that there are few others like us in the Church, practicing Catholics who are "normal" or who work in our field. Yet, the Church is bursting at the seams with young professionals and young families.
If you aren't currently being social after Mass, consider ways that you can be. The focus is still on the Eucharist, but the community is built up and enhanced when we connect with one another on a personal level.