Thousands of years later, we celebrate the Mass everyday. But do we live the Mass?
2nd Pillar of the Catechism: How Catholics Worship
1. Review what happens at Mass. Go to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's web site at: archmil.org. In the Search box located in the upper right corner of the home page, type in "C4 Mass videos." Click on the C4 - What Happens at Mass? and watch the video by Bishop Hying. This is where you can watch short clips on many questions of the faith and sacraments. You can even search C4 Confirmation videos.
2. Reflect on why and where we worship. Watch the C4 - Why Go to Church? video by Bishop Hying. Also, find out the mission and Mass times of our parish by visiting the St. Lawrence web site, and then, scan our bulletin. Click on the Weekly Bulletin tab. Then, click on the Current Week tab to read today's bulletin. How are the Confirmation candidates of St. Lawrence living the Mass? See page three for their project mission.
3. Spend some time exploring the Mass. Click on the Our Faith tab on the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's web site. You may want to look at our Liturgical Calendar or Holy Days, investigate the Items used at Mass, or the Sacraments.
"The Church is heavenly, and is nothing else than heaven," St. John Chrysostom.
As we close this area of study, consider the question many people ask: why go to Mass?
- First, do you have it all figured out? Does your life make perfect sense? Or, are you struggling to make sense of your life? "The homily during Mass is meant to help us make sense of our lives. It is through the homily - the reflection offered by the priest following the Gospel - that we reinterpret our lives in light of the Scripture readings. And because we, the people of God, have a responsibility to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ when we leave the church, homilies exist to help us. A successful homily is measured on its real impact on people when they leave church and return to their homes and schools. Even though the homily is one of the few times at Mass when the words and gestures have not been predetermined, it can transform our lives. In the history of the Church, a single homily could bring countless numbers to repentance, stop rioting, and most importantly, change hearts. And this is what we should expect from a homily at Mass: transformation" (Fr. Grassi, J.Poprocki, pgs. 49-51). His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan recently talked about the invitation that Christ gives us. Will you accept His invitation and come to Mass to be transformed? Listen to his homily: To Whom Shall We Go?
- "Church history is full of living homilies: Thomas Kempis, St. Francis of Assisi, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and many others who walked the streets smiling, sharing alms, embracing the lonely, and serving others, making it possible for people to consider an alternate vision of reality" (Fr. Grassi, J.Poprocki, pgs. 55-56). Who is a living homily for you? Are you a living homily for others? To start your work as a living homily imitating Christ, you must first receive Christ. Then, you can live the Mass by using your life as an example of an alternative to despair, hatred, dishonesty, gossip, and selfishness. Explore Thomas Kempis' book, The Imitation of Christ. Choose one link in Book Four: The Invitation to the Holy Communion.
With our communities being so diverse, it is the living homily, centered on the truths of Scripture and Tradition of the Church, that will speak to people. I pray you grow to love the Mass, learn to give yourself in unity with Christ on the cross during Mass, and join with Jesus in being a living homily of love to the world every day after Mass.
As you expand your knowledge of the Mass, you may question: "When did the Church begin?" Or, "Did Christ want us to go to Church?" To find out when the Church began and how Christ brought together people in community, watch Bishop Hying's video: Jesus is Everywhere, Why Church.
References: Signs of Life by Catholic Scholar, Dr. Scott Hahn, and Living the Mass by Fr. Dominic Grassi and Joe Paprocki.
Faith Opportunity: Want to find a Mass time?