Sunday, August 15, 2010

Why Should I Go To Mass?!!

Thoughts on Holy Mass and you, from one of our Lady's altar boys on the glorious Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

By Andre J. Bottesi, 15

To Jesus, through Mary. + + +

One question Catholics and non-Catholics often ask is “Why go to church?" Catholics may further ask themselves, "What am I getting out of going to Mass?” A lot of people approach their attendance at Mass as an action they are taking to get something they want, without fully understanding exactly why God wants us to attend Holy Mass.

Think of it this way. Some people wish that they could live forever. If you go to church and live a holy life, you will go to heaven and live forever. God calls us all to be saints! Some people say, “Well, I don’t go to church but I live a good life, I don’t sin that much, and I donate to charities.” To willfully decide to not attend Mass, without sufficient reason for not going, is to disrespect what God has told us to do. God gave each of us life and has a mission for each one of us to accomplish. We should go to church and thank Him for the opportunity.

Some people go to church but attend only because they feel they have to, and lots of people say they find church boring. Well, those people should ask themselves why they find it to be so boring. Holy Mass is actually very engaging and involved; you get to sit, stand, kneel, sing, pray, receive Jesus in the Eucharist, and so much more! How can that be boring?

Some may feel that going to Holy Mass is just an extra thing to do when they are already so busy, but it isn’t, not even close! Your participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass is necessary for your discipleship, and your relationship with God must take precedence in your life above all other things.

One of the greatest graces you can receive by going to Mass is receiving the Eucharist. Church is also a very powerful place to pray for someone, for we are praying in the True Presence of God. Who knows, someone may be at church praying for you during Holy Mass right now. There is a Mass being said somewhere on earth every few minutes. Going to church is such an important part of your relationship with God and your mission, so why would you want to miss it even once?

People commonly say “I work on Sundays so I can’t go to Mass.” However, God told us to keep holy the Sabbath, and so we should not work on Sunday unless absolutely necessary. To do otherwise is to go against God's will. In addition, many people can find a parish with a Mass at a time they are available. To find the Mass schedule of parishes near you, go online or call local parishes. Holy Mass is a wonderful, vital part of your day and your life. Don’t miss out because you feel like you can’t make it.

The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt, 1853-4
Jesus wears the crown of thorns and holds the light,
He is our light,
and politely knocks (notice no doorknob)
at the door that has not been recently opened,
eager to be allowed into our homes and our lives.
May our beloved Savior never be neglected or rejected
by what we have done or failed to do!

Going to Holy Mass will strengthen you and keep you going throughout the rest of your week. Remember too that you can go to Mass more than once a week. Try going twice a week. Then when you feel ready, go three times a week, then four, and so one. In no time you may find yourself going to Mass every day. Remember to keep your church attendance in balance and definitely don’t go if you are sick.

Let the work of your hands be the work of His hands.

You should also get involved in the Mass. Join the choir, help bring up the gifts during the offertory, and if you are a guy a great way to get involved in the Mass is to become an altar boy. You can also be an usher or greeter. There are many different jobs available. I am glad that I am an altar boy. Participating helped me understand the Mass more and I began to see Holy Mass in a whole new way. It is such a wonderful experience!

Corpus Christi

Church is a word that means something different to everyone.
Write down some words that come to mind
when you hear the word "church."

The words you wrote may be how you feel about the Mass, a memory from Mass, an emotion you feel when you hear the word, etc. There could even be a random word that you think of when you hear the word church. No matter what you wrote, the words represent what you think and feel about going to church.

There is something I want you to do. Speak to someone in your parish and become involved in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, if you aren’t already. I also want you to make a chart on a piece of paper and put it up on a wall in your house.

The chart will look like this.


The Gospel Reading

One thing I learned at Mass today

Make the chart, and write the words that come to mind when you say the word "church" under the chart. Then fill in the chart each time you return home from Mass. Start out by doing this for one month. After one month, write down at the bottom of the sheet the words that come to mind when you hear the word "church." Compare the two lists of words and see if there is a difference.

I hope that this can help you have a better understanding of church and the Mass. Keep going and keep growing closer to God.

If you want to find true Joy, go to Mass. Every person's mission includes knowing Him, loving Him, and serving Him. Life is too short for you to miss out on praising God, thanking Him, and receiving Him during Mass. Jesus waits for you in the Eucharist at Mass.

If everyday troubles are making it hard for you to see the joy in life, then go to Mass! Mass will help ease your burden and will give you His strength to keep persevering. No matter how bad things may seem, God will have good come out of it when we unite our wills with His. God has a plan for you. You are special and God will always love you!

Do not be afraid to face God if you did something bad in your past. You can be forgiven for anything you have done in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). God does not want you living in fear of Him, He wants you to step into the light and share your sorrow, your joy, your excitement, your pain, everything with Him. The One that saved you sees you in a special way and loves you beyond anything you could imagine!

God wants you there and eagerly waits for you,
and all in heaven rejoice
when you worship God in His house,
a place called church.

There is a place reserved for you at His table.
See you in church!!

Once you fall in love with the Mass,
check out Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction
and fall in love with God even more!

God is at work in you!

Thank you, Andre, for leading souls to Christ.

Thank you, Blessed Virgin Mary,
for being our Mother
and for showing us the way to Jesus.

Photos: Copyright 2010 JKP.