The Beginning of Mass:
How personal is your relationship with Jesus during Mass? The entire Catholic liturgy is an encounter with the True Presence of Christ, and it should change us: We should be healed by it. We should feel loved and become more fully loving as a result of it. Our hearts should become more peaceful. Our tendencies to sin should be transformed into greater strength to resist sin. A true encounter with Christ makes a difference. This is what attending church is designed to do.
Mass begins with a gathering song and procession. This is as important as any other part of the Mass and should never be missed.
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I’ve decided to do a series of episodes on the Mass, because there’s a lot of misunderstanding. There’s a lot of, shall we call it, “un-understanding”. We don’t understand it deeply enough. We have some understanding, but it’s “under understanding” – it’s not as full as what the Mass. The Mass is so rich in uniting us to Christ, and God the Father and the Holy Spirit — so rich in uniting us to each other in the Body of Christ — so full of faith-building wealth that we need to grasp it. We need to become fully aware of what it offers so that we can receive all that it offers: all that God is offering to us through it.
Jesus Reveals Himself in the Catholic Mass
So let me ask you this: How personal is your relationship with Jesus during Mass? We go through Mass all too often rotely, or maybe we skip Mass altogether. There might be people listening to this podcast who don’t go to Mass every Sunday. Some, because they cannot. Some because they can, but just choose not. There is something missing when that happens. Something very valuable missing.
People don’t choose to stay home from Mass because they think they’re missing out on something. People choose to stay home from Mass because they don’t understand that they are missing something – something that they want all the way down to the depths of their souls. And so these next few episodes of this series on Going Deeper into the Mass are all about what it is that our spirits hunger for that God provides to us through the Mass.
Again, I ask the question, “How personal is your relationship with Jesus during Mass?” Because, the entire Catholic Mass is an encounter with the True Presence of Christ. And because of that, this should change us. We should be healed by it. We should feel loved by Christ, and by God the Father, and by the Holy Spirit, and by one another because of Mass. We should become more fully loving as a result of going to Mass. Our heart should become more peaceful. Our tendencies to sin should be transformed into greater strength to resist sin – because a true encounter with Christ makes that kind of a difference. This is what the Catholic Mass is designed to do.
Do you know how many times Jesus reveals himself to you in the Catholic Mass? Seven times. When? When does this happen? There are seven parts of the Catholic Liturgy where Jesus reveals himself:
- Opening Hymn
- Introductory Rites
- Penitential Rite
- Liturgy of the Word
- Liturgy of the Eucharist
- Communion Rite
- Concluding Rite
Each one of these seven parts is extremely important – extremely valuable — makes a difference (or is supposed to be making a difference in us) and is meeting the needs that come from deep within us — if we are aware of what is going on and consciously participate in what is going on. In the next few episodes of this podcast show, Footsteps to Heaven, we’re going to look at each one of these, one at a time…. For the complete transcript, download it using the form above.
SHORT VIDEOS FOR GROUP USE:
You might also be interested in our video series on this topic, entitled “Take, Eat, and Drink”. This is a set of 17 short segments (three to five minutes) that is used by catechists but is also good for personal use. Each video ends with a question for personal reflection or group discussion. See it @ gnm.org/take-eat-drink/.
My Soul Shall Be Healed
Terry Modica’s study guide about Ecclesia de Eucharistia (The Church of the Eucharist), an encyclical by Pope Saint John Paul II, enables readers and group participants to enter more fully into the mystery of the Eucharist and deepen their intimacy with Christ while enriching their celebration of Holy Mass.
My Soul Shall Be Healed explains in ordinary language how to understand the very important Church document . You’ll be able to apply it to your every-day life in today’s world. Find out more or order your copy now >>
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