We've all been there before: you're at a movie, or play, or Mass, and a cell phone goes off. I've had wake services where a young man's phone rang during the reading, then during the homily, then again during the homily! You'd think people would learn - or at least get the hint. It is annoying, and the wish is that people would learn and develop a sense of public decorum that would tell them to silence the things. However, the reality is, it happens.
When a phone goes off on me during the consecration - and it has - my human thought is to stop and glare. But, that is not helpful - nor does it advance the celebration. Such an action would simply draw attention to me, and to the offender, and away from Jesus.
I found this video today, and I am struck by the masterful way that the violinist takes the "interruption" and transforms it into something beautiful.
And isn't that what our liturgy is celebrating anyway? Here, we gather to remember when, it seemed, that Christ's mission was not only interrupted, but ended; but it in that very "interruption" that God accomplishes His great work: our salvation. Perhaps the next time we hear one of those intrusive ring tones, we can remember how God uses such moments as opportunities for grace.
One of my favorite such moments to remember was at a Saturday evening Mass a few years ago when I heard a phone go off. "We announce that people should turn those things off!" I thought. "What's up with this?" The phone kept ringing, until I realized where it was coming from.
My pocket, under my alb.