I hate being late for Mass. In fact, it drives me nuts. My husband is the Master at being On Time, which is defined as not being Too Early and not being Too Late (hence calling it “On Time,” the Voice-that-sounds-just-like-him in my head responds).

We define On Time a bit differently, and in the years of our wedded bliss, I have found myself altering my definition. If we’re walking in during the entrance hymn, I can now still call myself On Time. If, however, everyone is seated (as in after the processional), then we’re Late.

I wonder if Mary ever struggled with this in the mornings when it was time to go to the temple and worship. I get up plenty early, and usually so does my husband. But at some point, the ability to manage our precious getting-ready moments slips right through our fingers. Maybe it has to do with the snuggling toddler; maybe it is a function of weekend wallowing with each other; maybe it’s just poor time management.

We spend all week managing our time, getting the most out of every hour, multi-tasking until we collapse in our bed at night. It seems that Sunday, as a day of rest, should be exempt from that.

But then we’re Late for Mass.

I see Jesus, hanging there on the cross, and feel like I have really let him down by being late to this Banquet Feast that I so need, that I spend the week yearning for. I see the assembly, I hear the music, I feel myself, once again, coming home…but I’m Late.

I have resigned myself to thinking it’s not the end of the world. There are worse things than being a wee bit Late to Mass (like not being there at all, the Voice-that-sounds-just-like-my-husband in my head pipes up).

Even so, my Advent resolution is to be On Time (or, dare I say it, Early) for Mass. If that means I rouse the sleeping hubby twenty minutes earlier, so be it. If that means I don’t get online first thing (*pause for gasping breath*), there will be time later.

After all, Mass won’t wait for me. I have to get there to receive the graces I need to get through my week!