The Mass is the most important and sacred act of worship in the Catholic Church.
The Mass incorporates 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, and on Holy Days of Obligation – not just on Sundays when you wake up early enough, it’s convenient, or when you feel like it. Attending Mass is not just an obligation, it’s a privilege. God knows we need it. Going to Mass is good for your eternal soul. You love and feed your family whether you feel like it or not – right? You need to feed yourself and your family spiritually whether you feel like going to Mass or not too. Love is much more than feelings. Love is a sacrifice. (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.)
Many Catholics do not attend Mass as they should, perhaps because they do not realize it is a requirement and a mortal sin to miss it, or maybe because it is not a priority in their lives. It is human and natural to forget, want to sleep in, take it for granted, or become numb to it, but you have to continually work to overcome that trap. The devil is real and loves it when you stay home. If you don’t understand the Mass, are bored, or looking for better “entertainment” – then pray for understanding. You don’t go to Mass to be entertained. Jesus is there regardless. Some priests are more gifted with amazing homilies. Some are not. Have you prayed for your priests? Pray for them all and go to Mass every Sunday. (And daily Mass if you can!)
At Mass we are being offered the greatest gift God has to offer, Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist. He never abandons you so please do not abandon 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. An inspiring homily and beautiful music absolutely add to the beauty of the Mass, but even without these things, Christ is truly present. This alone should make you want to never skip Mass, be there on time, not leave early without a good reason, and attend daily Mass if you can.
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 of the Mass that Jesus Christ Himself gave to us 2000 years ago. Jesus is waiting for you. Just go. God loves you!
Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday!