Epiphany Sunday

Bitingly cold
Mom moves even more slowly
Than usual

Afternoon mass
In a nursing home’s
Round meeting room
With large windows
It’s light and warm
Even on this freezing day

The priest waits quietly
On a folding chair
At the altar’s side
Small portable altar
Small portable keyboard
Small portable lectern
White linen cloth over the altar
Paten and chalice
Water and wine
Hosts and linens
Candles and altar book
All in place

A simple mass begins
We sing We Three Kings
Everyone stays seated throughout
Mostly elderly residents
Some with family members
Walkers and wheelchairs
Cracking, catching voices
Wandering attention
Long lives lived
Who knows how
To bring them here
To this home, this time
This mass, this community

Mass continues
Readings, prayers, familiar hymns
Then the words of consecration
“This is my body”
Elevation of the host
Someone coughs
“This is my blood”
Elevation of the chalice
The highly polished gold chalice
And I see
I see the room and the people
Reflected
Reflected on the cup of the chalice
Like a wide angle lens
The chalice captures and holds us all
Together
Imprinted shining
On the golden chalice

We are so lucky
We do not have to follow
A strange star
To an unknown destination
God comes to us
Where we are
Gathers us in
A shining community

A reflection
A revelation
An epiphany

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