The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC, 1387) categorically stipulates; “Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of the moment when Christ becomes our guest.” Hence, our conduct encompasses everything we do, including what we do in preparation for the Eucharistic celebration.
Last Sunday (07 June 2009), my family and I attended the 8.45 am, Mass at a church in the East of Singapore. We arrived 15 minutes before the commencement of the Eucharistic celebration, when I was attracted by a boy playing a video game on a mobile phone. The lad appeared to be around 12 years-old, and sat with his parents two pews in front of me.
The irreverent conduct of the boy brought to my mind Psalm 69:9: "For zeal for Your house has consumed me, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me." By highlighting this unacceptable behaviour on holy grounds, I am not condemning the boy or his parents. But I want to publicize the importance of maintaining a reverent disposition in church at all times, as stated in 1 Timothy 3:15; "If I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth."
I believe that if Jesus had come up to the boy to gently reprimand him for his irreverence ", He would have told the boy, "Don’t make my Father’s house into a video game arcade." This would have been similar to what Jesus told people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers in the temple: "Take these things out of here! Stop making My Father's house a marketplace!" (John 2:16).
Having said my piece about keeping our Father's house holy, it is incumbent upon parents and guardians to teach their children / wards how to behave themselves in church and in the presence of Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle of the altar.
Shalom and Warm regards
Lionel Jerome de Souza