At Mass, as in sports, it’s better if we don’t just watch

Categories: From the Director

I am not particularly athletic, which is to say I’m not blessed with great hand-eye coordination, dazzling speed or notable strength.

However, I did participate in organized football from fourth grade through my freshman year of college (at Bemidji State); and in the early 1970’s, I was privileged to help coach a pee wee football team at a small community near Akron, Ohio.

(Pee wee football in Ohio was, and I suspect still is, much like youth hockey in Minnesota — except pee wee football is on steroids and has a stick of dynamite in each hand.)

I was, of course, a devoted Vikings fan.

Fast forward to the fall of 1993. My family and I are living in the Chester Park neighborhood of Duluth. It is a fabulous early October day: brilliant sunshine, temperature in the low-to-mid 60s, and crystal clear air scented with earthy autumnal aromas.

I am in the family room, cheering, scolding, imploring and cursing the Vikes. (By the way, at this time the team was winning about half their games while receiving significant notice in the papers and on TV due to abysmal off-the-field behavior.)

I glance out the window to find our four boys are shooting baskets in the driveway.

“That’s nice,” I think to myself. It looks like fun. I return to the game,

but intermittently check on the basketball game going on outside. Face the TV, look outside; face the TV, look outside again.

At last I turn off the television and head outside to enjoy the beautiful day and my kids.

To this day, I might occasionally tune into a few plays — or sometimes part of a quarter — of a football game.

I had spent my time observing sports because I felt I was getting too old to enter into sports. It makes me mindful of those times that I’ve observed the Mass rather than entering into it.

Because I’m too — what?

Busy?

Angry?

Worried?

Tired?

Not if I’m to be a good steward.

I am to live the Mass as Jesus wants me to live in him and he in me.

Stewardship is stepping out in faith to live God’s will.

Let’s not just dip our toes in the water this week. Let’s dive off the deep end.

Curt Hanson, Director of Stewardship and Development, Diocese of Saint Cloud