In another thread, someone mentioned being around strangers at Mass. That struck me.
Do you think of the other people at Mass as strangers?
Do you attend the same Mass time at the same parish most Sundays?
How large is your parish? Do you recognize the people you see at Mass?
We attend a large(!) suburban parish. We usually attend the same time each week, but do attend other Mass times. We've also belonged to this parish for more than 5 years. I can't say I know every family in the parish, but I recognize most of the people who sit around us in Mass each week.
I definately wouldn't call them all friends (I don't even know names for some folks :o), but I wouldn't call them 'strangers'. Not in the sense that I wouldn't be willing to wave if I saw them on the street, or strike up a conversation in the grocery store.
I am not introverted, but I'm not the most outgoing person either. I do think though that the people at church are fellow parishioners rather than strangers. People who could be next year's CCD teacher, could be manning the grill at the next KofC BBQ, could be the parent of one of the other altar boys on my son's team.
Do you recognize the people around you at Mass? Do you see the altar boys or youth group kids are your children's school? Do you run into the flower lady at the store? See the Knights on the commute to work?
If you don't go to your neighborhood parish, do you make more of an effort to meet and know the people around you at Mass?