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On the weekend, I like to sleep a little later than the usual 7:00 a.m., which is when the alarm goes off Monday through Friday. This means that on Sunday I end up going to the last mass of the morning. I am sure you notice wherever you attend mass or Sunday service that the same people sit in the same places. This is true at the 11:15 mass in my church. I sit on the left-hand side, about halfway down beside the second window. Each Sunday, the same couples and families sit nearby.
Shortly before mass begins, Beth hurries into church. She walks quickly down the middle aisle and sits in the fourth pew. Periodically she turns to see if her mother has parked the car and come into church. Mother and daughter sit together in the same pew each week. They are easy to notice because Beth has Down’s syndrome.
Beth is a lovable - and happy - young lady. She sits beside her mother occasionally whispering something to her. She will then look at her mother with a big grin! Many times during mass, she will slip her arm around her mother’s waist and give her a hug. After the priest gives his homily, Beth gets ready for the highlight of her day. Slowly the priest will rise from his chair and walk towards the center aisle. At this time, Beth rises from her seat and carefully approaches the small table on which rests the bread and wine. With tenderness, Beth picks up the bread and with a broad smile hands it to the priest. She then returns to the table, picks up the wine and does likewise - always with a smile.
From my seat, I see all this transpire each week. All the “regulars” know the joy that fills her heart as Beth performs these sacred duties every Sunday. She probably knows better than the rest of us that Jesus will soon be present on the altar of the church. I admire Beth for the obvious love and joy in her heart. She is not afraid to show her affection to her mother. She is not afraid to show the rest of us her love for Jesus. We can all learn a lesson in love and happiness from this gentle young lady.
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