The Mass is the most important and sacred act of worship in the Catholic Church.
The Mass incorporates the Bible (Sacred Scripture), prayer, sacrifice, hymns, symbols, gestures, sacred food for the soul, and directions on how to live a Catholic life — all in one ceremony. Through time and space, we connect with the original Last Supper.
The Church teaches that the Mass is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary. This is misunderstood by many who claim that the Mass is a re-crucifixion of Christ. It is not.
Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded.
Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church.
If you are Catholic, you are obliged to go to Mass every Sunday – not just on Sundays when you wake up early enough, it’s convenient, or when you feel like it. You love and feed your family whether you feel like or not right? You need to feed yourself and your family spiritually whether you feel like going or not too. (Legitimate reasons to miss Mass would be along the lines of illness, needing to care for the ill, and lack of an available Mass within a reasonable distance.)
A lot of Catholics don’t attend Mass as they should, perhaps because we do not realize it is a requirement and a mortal sin to miss it, or possibly because we take for granted what is really happening at the Mass, and it is not a priority in our lives. But if you really understood and knew what was happening, you wouldn’t just go on Sundays, you would want to go every day. Think about the hours you spend on Sundays watching sports, sleeping in, or going to the gym to get physically fit. What if you went to the gym just one hour per week? How physically fit would you be with just one hour? God asks for only one hour per week at Mass. (Please give him many more hours of this throughout the week in prayer, reading the Bible and other Catholic books, or at daily Mass.) Mass will help bring us closer to Him, bring grace in our souls and is a beautiful way to start your week.
It’s human and natural to forget, want to sleep in, take it for granted, or become numb to it, but we have to continually work to overcome that trap. The devil is real and loves it when you stay home. At Mass we are being offered the greatest gift God has to offer – the source and summit of our Faith, Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist. Go whether you feel like going or not. Love God always, even when you don’t feel like loving Him. He never abandons you so please do not abandon Him. Love is much more than feelings. Love is a sacrifice and putting others before yourself. Going to Mass is good for your eternal soul.
Attending Mass is not just an obligation, it’s a privilege. God knows we need it, and it is His gift to us. Mass should be the highlight of our week. We should look forward to it and want to go. And when we don’t, it’s a reminder that we need to work harder to more fully understand the reality of what happens at Mass.
Staying home thinking missing Mass doesn’t matter, or that watching it on tv, or being a good person is enough – is wrong. If you are a Catholic, you are supposed to go to Mass every week, and on Holy Days of Obligation. If you don’t understand the Mass, or are bored, and are looking for better “entertainment” – then pray for understanding. We don’t go to Mass to be entertained, or demand that the priest’s homily be exciting, or if it isn’t we aren’t going back. Some priests are more gifted with amazing homilies. Some are not. Pray for them all and listen to God’s word and participate in the Mass regardless. Learn your faith. Ask questions, study, read the Bible, and learn what it means to be a Catholic Christian. We go to Mass to worship God. We get down on our knees at Mass to humble ourselves before our King. It’s not about “us” remember. We go for Him.
When we receive the Eucharist, we truly, physically receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, of God Himself – at every Mass. If you’re looking for a personal relationships with Jesus Christ, you can’t get any more personal than when you receive Him in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith.
Christ is truly present in the Eucharist with or without a dynamic homily. Notice how it is the altar that is front and center at a Mass, not the pulpit. The Mass is a sacrifice. We go to Mass to worship God, hear His holy word in the Liturgy of the Word, and receive Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. An inspiring homily and beautiful music absolutely add to the beauty of the Mass, but even without these things, Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. That alone should make you want to never skip Mass, be there on time, not leave early without a good reason, and thank God for this wonderful gift.
Read, study, seek more understanding, and most of all, pray that you will come to a better appreciation and love for this most beautiful gift that Jesus Christ Himself (not man) gave to us nearly 2000 years ago. God loves you. Please go.
Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday!