Monday, August 22, 2011

I Don't Get Anything out of Mass!

A homily that I heard once and some wisdom from an old friend I think really put the Mass and our participation in the Mass into perspective. I remember the homily began by the priest telling us that our parish had lost a family to a non-denominational church down the road. He said that this family actually came to him and said they were leaving and going to this other church for two reasons. The first was that the music was better. The second reason was because they didn't feel like they got anything out of Mass.

At this point I remembered something a friend once said that made a lasting impact on me. She said essentially, "I don't come to Mass for the music or for the homily or for anything other than Jesus. I come because Jesus is here in the Eucharist." I wish that those people had known my friend. Because there is no where that you can go to be so close to our Lord as you are when you receive Holy Communion at Mass.

The priest reiterated this sentiment and then he added that we shouldn't look at Mass as some form of entertainment. Worrying if it  lives up to our standards for keeping us excited. He said that we should not worry about what we get out of Mass because God will provide what we need from Mass if we let Him. Instead we should worry about what we bring to Mass. That we should bring everything, all of our hopes, all of our plans, all of our anxieties, all of our problems, our very lives to the alter at Mass and offer them up with the prayers of the Church and watch what God will do with them.

Isn't this really at the heart of being a Catholic? To offer up every part of our lives in union with the whole Church and in union with Christ's sacrifice on Calvary. And really, what more could you ask to get out of Mass than receiving our Eucharistic Lord and a participation in His Eternal Sacrifice in union with His Holy Church!


nm said...

my perception is that when people don't 'get anything from the Mass', it's because they sit towards the back and there are too many distractions between them and the altar. being up front, keeps us focused. hmm, the last six words are pretty profound in their own right. maureen gave me your address. good words, christian

Brian Vinson said...

Right on. Jesus is here. If you "didn't get something out of it" it's because you were ignoring His Presence.

And your last paragraph is the kicker - "To offer up every part of our lives in union with the whole Church and in union with Christ's sacrifice on Calvary" - people who "don't get anything out of Mass" (or church in general) are those who aren't offering up every part of their lives.