Friday, May 27, 2005

I have a co-worker who is a Buddhist. She is from Thailand, so she and her family are REAL Buddhists, not some Americans who have glommed onto some popular fashion, like so many where I live.

She has an aunt and a cousin who are visiting the States and they asked me if I would take them to Mass this Sunday. I was happy to oblige them but I felt a bit taken aback. I wondered if they wanted to go because they felt some need to worship (there are no Buddhist temples nearby) or was it out of tourist curiousity? It was the latter, actually.

The young girl, who is attending college in Thailand, asked me some questions. She said she was studying world religions in her social sciences class. I was astonished that she understood that Catholics believe that the bread and wine are the Body and Blood of Christ. I know some college-age Catholics who don't realize that! She and her mother asked me questions about protocol at Mass as well. They wanted to be sure to dress properly and show respect. I felt a little ashamed at how often we Catholics don't share that desire. Sometimes when I go to Mass I see that many people dress as if they just came in from mowing the lawn. Baseball caps on backwards, baggy jeans, holey T-shirts... our attitude towards worship is so casual and mindless.

But external trappings aside, my great hope is that they might find a desire to our Lord on this feast day, Corpus Christi Sunday. From the the Gospel that day, John 6:51-58, are compelling words to eat and drink our Lord. I pray that that a spark might be lit inside them, bless their hearts.