Oct 28, 2019
From the desk of Fr Stephen…
Recently I was talking to a young adult about going to Sunday mass. I asked them whether they attended Sunday mass regularly. She said no, but that she did not think she was going to hell for it. I thought about that response and said that going to Sunday mass has nothing to do with whether we will be saved or not. Actually, I do believe it is a sin to willfully miss Sunday mass, but that was not the point of me asking her this question. For me, it has much more to do with our attitude towards the ever good and loving God. We owe God absolutely everything in our lives. We are totally indebted to him for everything, and the least we could do is show our gratitude to him for our salvation.
In God's eternal plan, He asked his Son to willingly come to earth, to suffer and die on our behalf. He did this because he loves us beyond anything we can imagine. He willingly gave his life for us that we might live. This is really too much for us to comprehend. How could a God, the creator of all things, take upon our sinfulness and make reparation for us? This question baffled St. Alphonsus all his life, the depth of the love of God for his creatures.
The word Eucharist comes from the Greek meaning THANKSGIVING. When we come to mass, we come to give thanks. We don't come to mass out of obligation, or because we think God will throw us in hell if we don't go. We go to give thanks for all God has done for us. This is important, God has created us in his own image. He formed us from the dust of the earth to be in a relationship with him. That really is the meaning of life; to be in relation with God who loves us so much. This is why we must make every effort to come to mass as often as we can in our lives. We don't come out of obligation, we come because this is where Jesus, the Son of God, is present, and where he wants to feed us his sacred body and blood.
When you look at it, if you have faith, and many people don't, this is the real problem with people not appreciating the liturgy. Why wouldn't we put the liturgy first in our life? I want to go to mass today because I want to give God all the praise, honor and glory. I go to mass because I realize that my soul is going to die without it. I go to mass because I want to love God with everything in me and because he deserves it. Me going to mass has nothing to do with me going to heaven or hell. I should go to mass even if there were no heaven or hell. I go to mass because this is where Jesus, my friend, has come to be with me. What ingratitude on my part if I don't thank Jesus for all he has done for me.