Those of us of a certain age probably remember what we called the three principle parts of the Mass: Offertory, Consecration, and Communion. These were the parts of the Mass that were considered the most important and were not to be missed, under the pain of sin. The readings were considered less important. But that way of thinking changed a long time ago. We now recognize the Eucharist as a “whole;” it has a “flow” with a beginning leading to an end, and is made up of various parts. The Liturgy of the Word is important just as the Liturgy of the Eucharist is important. Christ is present in the Word and Sacrament. The gathering rite is important in helping us ready ourselves to hear the Word; the dismissal sends us forth to live what we have celebrated. If you missed hearing a reading, it could be that the homily might not make as much sense.
You may remember that Archbishop Vigneron wrote about “good habits” and “bad habits” in his Pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel. He encouraged us to enhance our good habits and work on the bad habits. We have many good habits in our parish! Our parishioners are generous with their time, talent, and treasure. We are very dedicated to serving those in need. We sing well! However, one bad habit we might address is that a number of us often arrive late and even a few of us leave early. Though this happens in many, perhaps most, parishes, I wonder if this is something we can work on in our parish.
I fully realize, from my own experience, that things do happen from time to time, especially in families, which might make us late, but if this is a pattern for you, I would invite you to consider what you might do to address this. Perhaps leave home a little earlier or even get up a little earlier. Think of it like not missing part of the movie or theatrical performance, or think of how arriving late or leaving early affects others. Perhaps think of it as an act of charity to your fellow parishioners, for it really is that! Thanks for considering this and for all you do to make this a great parish!