Lord have mercy! It’s 9:03 am and Mass still hasn’t started. Father arrived late—in fact, he looks as though he just woke up. Can’t he get out of bed at a decent hour so that we’re not kept waiting all morning?
Lord have mercy on me for failing to consider that perhaps Father had a good reason for being late. Maybe he was at the hospital during the wee hours with a dying person and only managed a few hours of sleep.
Lord have mercy! Can’t that woman control her kids? Why does she sit up in the front pew anyway? If she’s going to drag all four of them to church, you think she’d have the decency to sit in the back.
Lord have mercy on me for forgetting that her husband is a long-distance truck driver, who often works weekends. It’s a testimony to her faithfulness that she never fails to bring her small children to Sunday Mass. Remind me, Lord, to give her a word of encouragement and perhaps even offer to babysit her children sometime.
Lord have mercy! Look at the ripped jeans that boy is wearing! And his ears are pierced! Not to mention the blue streaks in his hair—what kind of parents would let their son come to Mass looking like such a freak?
Lord have mercy on me for judging that young man–and his parents–by his appearance. Only you can read his heart; only you know the struggles his parents have faced. Forgive me for not being pleased and grateful that he has come to Mass at all. He endures the ridicule of his friends every time he steps through the church door, yet he continues to come.
Lord have mercy! Who ever told that cantor he could sing? He sure botched up the Responsorial Psalm—again. There must be better singers in this congregation; why don’t they volunteer to replace this guy?
Lord have mercy on me for forgetting the widow’s mite. It is not the gift itself that counts, so much as the state of the giver’s heart. If he sings with a heart full of love and a desire to serve You, O Lord, then his effort is pleasing to you. He would gladly share cantor duty with others, but the choir’s repeated pleas for new members have fallen on deaf ears.
Lord have mercy! Look at that woman’s shabby, out-dated clothes. I’d be too embarrassed to go to the grocery store in that outfit, let alone to Sunday Mass.
Lord have mercy on me for my vanity, my selfishness, my upside-down priorities. I have enough clothing in my closet for ten women, and I haven’t worn many items in years. Most don’t even fit me; why haven’t I donated them to thrift shops? Lord, help me to clean out the clutter in my closet—and my soul.
Lord have mercy! Look at those people chatting after Communion. Why, they didn’t even take time for thanksgiving after they got back to their pews. If I were Father, I’d say a thing or two to people like that.
Lord have mercy on me for paying more attention to other people’s behaviour than to the miraculous visitation that has just taken place in this church and within me.
I have received you, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, yet I have neglected to focus on this mystery and sing your praises in the quiet of my heart.
The Publican and the Pharisee vie for ascendancy in my heart and mind. Only God’s grace can quell the inner musings that are not so much prayer as condemnation: Thank God I’m not like those people! Instead, my prayer must be: Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. Help me to be more like you.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on me.