Why I Don’t Go To Mass (and Why I Do)

I don’t go to Mass for the preaching.

I’ve heard bad homilies, mediocre homilies, good homilies and even great homilies, but I do not go to Mass for the homily.

I don’t go to Mass for the music.

I’m not even going to get into the “Gather” debate….

I don’t go to Mass because it’s expected of me.

“Good” people go to church, and “good” Catholics go to Mass, so the thinking goes. Well, I’m not a “good” person. None of my neighbors would have a stroke if I didn’t go to Mass, and I could use the extra sleep on Sunday morning.

I don’t go to Mass to see and be seen.

There are nice people at my parish, but if I wanted to see some really interesting people I’d go to the local Baptist church where Tim Tebow has been a guest speaker.

And believe me, nobody comes to Mass to see me.

I don’t go to Mass for the fellowship.

I think we have some pretty good fellowship at our parish, but everyone has their own dream team of personal encouragers, and I could hang out on Sunday morning with them in my kitchen over homemade blueberry strudel. Or better yet, in their kitchen.

I don’t go to Mass because they’ve got a great children’s ministry.

Or a great youth ministry, or a great singles ministry, or a great couples ministry, or a great seniors ministry. I don’t go to Mass for the Ladies of Charity, or the Knights of Columbus, or the RCIA team, or the Social Ministries Outreach.

I don’t go to Mass to please family or friends.

My family and a lot of my friends would be much happier if I’d stop going to Mass and start going to their Methodist-Baptist-nondenom-charismatic affair. I’m really not pleasing much of anybody I know by going to Mass.

I don’t go to Mass because I like robes and incense, or because I’m rebelling against my upbringing, or to show support for the reforms of Pope Francis, or because it makes me feel better about myself as a person.

I go to Mass because Jesus Christ, the creator of the universe and my Savior, is physically present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist.

If that isn’t true, then there is no reason to go to Mass.

The sanctuary lamp glowing red before the Tabernacle says it all – He is here! Eucharistic miracles cannot be explained. The demons flee before the consecrated Host. At every hour of the day, Mass is being offered somewhere in the world to fulfill the prophecy of Malachi 1:11: For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. At every hour of the day, people somewhere in the world are kneeling in worship before the physical Presence of Jesus Christ the King, the One Who insisted that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you.

If you’ve left the Catholic Church, Jesus in the Eucharist is what you’ve left behind. It is His Real Presence that we celebrate today.

Your Lord is as close as the nearest Catholic church, and
He is waiting for you!

I believe in my heart and openly profess that the bread and wine placed upon the altar are, by the mystery of the sacred prayer and the words of the Redeemer, substantially changed into the true and life-giving flesh and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, and that after the consecration, there is present the true body of Christ which was born of the Virgin and offered up for the salvation of the world, hung on the cross and now sits at the right hand of the Father, and that there is present the true blood of Christ which flowed from his side. They are present not only by means of a sign and of the efficacy of the Sacrament, but also in the very reality and truth of their nature and substance.

Come home! We’ll leave the lamp burning….

 

On the solemnity of Corpus Christi

Deo omnis gloria!

Photo credits: Lamp in sanctuary of Immaculate Conception Church in St. Helena, Nebraska, by Ammodramus

5 comments
  1. Another wonderful piece Renée.

    The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a respite from the fallen world, a place where heaven and earth touch in the presence of our Lord. It is He, speaking to us from the Last Supper, who consecrates the Blessed Sacrament. We join Him there in the upper room, through His passion all the way to the foot of the cross. His sacrifice is real and present upon the altar now before us. Being consumed by Him worthily, our venial sins are forgiven and we are in communion with with Him, all the angels and saints, and our brothers and sisters present with us, at every Mass ever offered in the past and every Mass ever to be offered in the future. How awesome is that!

    That is why I go to Mass.

    • George,

      “a place where heaven and earth touch in the presence of our Lord”

      You said so beautifully what I was struggling to express! The Mass is Heaven on earth!

  2. Nancy said:

    Wonderful; just wonderful. Thank you for writing it so clearly.

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