We spend the Christmas holiday with my immediate family every year. I took the kids to Christmas Eve mass at my parents’ parish this year. En route, my son asked, “Are we members there?”
I told him no, his grandparents are, but we are not. He then proceeded to ask if we needed to be members to attend services. I said no, we’re welcome to celebrate Mass there.
“Good,” he said. “Because I don’t think there should be membership at all. It’s not like you are special if you’re a member of the church or not. You’re no better than anyone else. It’s not like you get a front row seat to God or anything. Anyone should be able to go to church and listen about God and talk to God. It’s not fair if only certain people can go to the house of God. Everyone should be able to feel God’s love.”
I’m not sure there’s really anything I need to add to that. He’s right. You’re no better than anyone else–we’re all in this together, this thing called life; and we’re all deserving of the love and attention of whatever Higher Power or force you believe in. And if you don’t believe in a Higher Power, we’re still all in this together, and no one’s better than anyone else. And we’re all deserving of unconditional love.
I was going to explain the ins and outs of registering as a parish member, but then I stopped myself. Because I dare say his train of thought goes beyond religion or spirituality as well. Any organizational or societal structure that imparts the illusion that you’re special or afforded special rights or entitlements due to membership or other form of elitism is just false. You’re no better than anyone else.
This Christmas season, I send you peace and joy from our ordinary house of love.