Front and center since Pope Francis made the scene has been the topic of the poor. The Church's relationship with them , our personal relationship with them, material poverty versus spiritual and moral poverty Et cetera. The poor we will always have with us. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.
So with this rolling around in my head, off we went to Easter Vigil Mass. We all know the difficulties that we sometimes encounter at big holiday masses as we attempt to pray and enter in to the liturgy, only to be assaulted on every side with one thing or another. This year it was a couple ladies directly behind us who complained about every last thing. If the one said ''oh my God" once, she said it fifty times. I know it is a longer mass, but my children never behaved so poorly as those two. I had to keep saying, to myself, "poor in spirit, poor in spirit, poor in spirit."
Something else that kept getting my attention was a necklace worn by one of the lectors. This woman trained me to lector, and is sweet and soft spoken. But this necklace looked like something you would see in a room by itself, in a thick glass case, with laser beam security alarms. It had cut stones the size of quarters with some other very sparkly stones, possibly diamonds, strung in between. And folks, it was not fake. I just couldn't stop looking at it. How it caught the light, how elegant and not gaudy, despite its size. Mind you, I didn't want it, it just fascinated me. I do kind of wonder if I was subtly judging her for owning/wearing/wearing it to church. Not really sure. For all I know she gives away more than she keeps.
But what really hit home for me was this.
This is similar to the necklace I wear. If I wasn't so tired, I would take a picture of mine -- it is a nest with the birthstone of each child. Mine has eight stones, seven for my living children, and one representing the two in heaven. It's gorgeous and unique. I receive compliments all the time. I had it on at mass, and I thought, --these are my jewels. There is no price that can be put on them. I am richer than I deserve to be, and more grateful than I have words for.
Wishing everyone a Happy Easter!