March 1, 2014
“Mass is boring.”
“I don’t get much out of Mass.”
Ever heard these things? Or said them yourself?
If the reason you go to Mass is because “that’s what Catholics do,” this is something we need to check ourselves on.
Why does the Church require all baptized Catholics to go to Mass every Sunday? Simply put, we wouldn’t be able to spiritually survive going longer than that without being fed by our Lord. Would you ever consider going a week without eating food? While we see the need for physical nourishment, why would we ever consider going beyond a week without feeding our immortal souls with Christ’s Body and Blood?
Perhaps “Mass is boring” because we’re boring. If we don’t participate and engage ourselves but come to Mass with an attitude of wanting to be entertained, we’re not going to be satisfied.
How can we expect to show up for Mass and have it change our lives when we don’t desire it to make an impact on our lives? When we’re not praying for nor desiring communion with God, not responding in Mass, not listening to the Word of God and not caring that we’re receiving Christ’s Body and Blood? Or having the “I just do it to please Mom and Dad” kind of attitude?
C’mon, what basketball team has a chance of winning the state championship by just showing up—without ever having practices, running drills, doing conditioning, receiving instruction from the coach?
We can’t just sit there like “sourpusses” (Pope Francis’s word); let’s take a look at the blessings in our lives—and why we owe God worship.
The effects of the grace from the sacraments depend on the disposition of the recipient! That means someone could be a daily Mass communicant yet still be a nasty person. If our hearts have put up roadblocks to receiving the grace, the sacraments won’t change our lives.
So, how can you enter more deeply into the Mass? Give yourself to God at Mass! Participate in singing praise to Him. Respond with the congregation. Give yourself back to Him during the offertory. Leave the church as a person being sent to share the Gospel with those we meet during the week.
Do you know that time during the Mass when the collection is taken and the bread and wine are brought up to the priest? That’s the offertory—and that’s when we should offer ourselves to God. The money, bread and wine are our sacrifices to the One who gave us all we have. During this time, lay yourself upon the altar; give yourself to God—as you are. Be real. Give Him the desires on your heart, your prayers for others, and lay your sins before Him. Surrender it all to Him, and let Him work in you!
If you start doing this, your experience at Mass will change. You get what you give. God will only change your life as much as you let Him. Let’s give Him everything this Lent!