More People Coming Late For Mass Now, CN, July 24). I would like to share a different perspective. I used to be annoyed, like Mr Dass, by those churchgoers who are late for Mass. Without knowing them, I judged them in my heart.I read Anthony Dass’ letter to CatholicNews (
An experience that changed me happened when I was attending weekday morning Mass at a parish and there was this couple who were perpetually late. They would appear when the celebrant was sharing his homily.
After Mass, some of us would gather together for breakfast and we would gossip about this couple and how disrespectful they were to Jesus to receive communion even though they were late for Mass.
One morning, I met a friend who was attending the weekday morning Mass and I was sharing my disappointment with her.
She knew this couple and explained to me that they had an elderly and sickly parent and every morning they had to send their parent to the nursing home. They had to help the caregiver to nurse, clean, feed this parent and wait for the nursing home vehicle to come and pick up the parent before they could rush for the morning Mass to seek blessing and healing for their parent.
That was why they were usually late.
I was very ashamed of myself for judging them without knowing them. Instead of judging them, I turned to praying for them and I think Jesus heard my prayer. This couple were able to be punctual for Mass not too long after. I am thankful to Jesus for blessing this couple and their family.
Some of the late churchgoers are domestic helpers. They do not have the privilege of time as they may need to finish their housework before they can leave the house. Others may not have the blessing of a supporting spouse to have a Christian faith. They may have to wait for their spouse to go to work or leave the house before they could quietly attend Mass, so that could be the reason for them being late.
Of course there will be those genuinely late churchgoers, but at least they are late and not skipping Mass.
In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are all asked to be merciful to others, even those we do not know or even those that annoy us during Mass like those with special needs and the late churchgoers. We should not judge them for “we know not of what we are doing”.
We should instead pray for these people that they may be blessed with the freedom and privilege of time to be early for Mass.
I hope this sharing could provide a different perspective to life at the Catholic Church Mass.