Written by: Denise Serafini on Monday, May 29, 2017
Our dinner was just about to be served on Thursday, May 25 when I received a phone call. “Where are you? said the voice on the other end.” Having recognized
the voice as that of Dave Ryan, Knights of Columbus coordinator for the Las Vegas events, I replied, “No worries Dave, we’ll be there before 4:30”,
thinking the event began at 6:00. His panicked voice replied, “The event starts at 4:00.” We simply asked the waitress to pack our food to go and hustled
to the car. We raced to get to the church. We arrived to find just a few scattered cars in the lot and it seemed like the church was closed. I called
Dave and left a message asking where they were.
Several minutes later he returned the call. He neglected to inform us that the schedule for the Thursday and Friday evening events had been switched. That should be no problem - just drive to the other church, right? I saw the look on my brother’s face and he says, “It will take us at least half an hour to get across to the west side of Las Vegas.” So much for a 4:00 start! With traffic, we got to the the Church of Christ the King around 5:00.
When we arrived a full church was patiently waiting for the event to begin. Most churches we present at have a logical sanctuary and nave. This one was square and the basics were not necessarily obvious. So we picked a spot in the furthest end and began the set up. I extended our deepest apologies to the congregation and we began sometime around 5:30. The Color Guard, in their regalia, were visibly melting from the weight of their capes and chapeaus in the hundred degree temperatures, but they kept reiterating their apologies for the confusion and helped us set up. More than one said, “Good thing we have multiple events here in Las Vegas so we can get it right!” All the confusion with the related issues melted away as soon as we began.
What amazed me was that the faithful stayed regardless of the extended wait. And even at the end of the event they took time to thank us time and again for coming. Jesus must have been truly touched by their tenacity and sacrifice to spend time with Him in His Passion.
Sometimes we have issues with scheduling and such, and I think they are brought about by the “old boy down below”. What we’ve found is that if you simply keep focused on the goal and never give up it all will work out according to God’s plan. We’ve had a few events on our tour that seemed to have scheduling issues but the good in people and the perseverance shown by each of us involved in the coordination and execution overcomes the negativity that might otherwise overshadow the result.
People were visibly touched by their encounter with the Relics of Christ’s Passion. I watched as individuals and families took added time to venerate. None of them was in any particular hurry to take their leave even though they had spent an added 90 minutes just waiting for them to arrive.
So while I felt like I was in the middle of the Three Stooges parody, “Who’s on First”, to get this event under way, I learned something very special at this event. Jesus was first in the hearts of all those in attendance and any encounter with Him was worth the wait. I am humbled by their demonstration of faith and perseverance.