This was just the way it was. You went to mass with your community. You said hi to some of them afterwards and you would no doubt see some of them later in the week at school or at the grocery store. I never really though much about it.
Fast forward to a Sunday morning in 2013. I am not going to mass in my hometown. I am going to mass in a town that I have lived in for less than a year. On the average Sunday morning I would be lucky if I knew by name even one other person in the church besides my husband. I have gotten involved in the parish but it is not quite feeling like I am part of the parish community yet. It is something that I miss greatly. It is something that I have gotten upset about and am continuously working towards. But in the meantime I sometimes feel very alone even with the church is filled.
But today I saw things differently. I cannot remember the exact wording but during one of the prayers the priest said something about Jesus recognizing the people in the church today. That's when it clicked.
Knowing the person who is sitting next to you is not nearly as important as knowing Jesus.
While having the person sitting next to you recognize you is nice, it is not nearly as important has having Jesus recognize you.
How are we living? Are we living our lives in a way that Jesus would recognize us? Do we talk to him? Do we spend time with him? Could we even expect him to recognize us?
I am still working towards becoming part of the community. But now I recognize that I don't go to mass to be part of a community. I don't go to mass to say hi to my friends. I go to mass to see Jesus.