Thank you for reading this column today. In the midst of our “busy-ness,” you will often find here quotes from the saints, references to Sacred Scripture and Church Teaching and spiritual advice. Many of us, including priests, have plenty of room for improvement in the spiritual life. I’ve recently heard reliable media reports that fewer than half of Roman Catholic Christians in the U.S. attend Mass each week. Maybe we can let our brothers and sisters know what they’re missing: the life-changing, life-affirming experience called the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit made each one of us in His image. He’s the best friend that we’ll ever have. He loves us infinitely well and invites and encourages us to spend at least an hour with Him in His gift of the Holy Mass – in wonder, awe, love, praise, thanksgiving, adoration and reverence. You see, at His Mass, we’re at Calvary, at the One Sacrifice of Christ made present to us in the miracle of the Mass, where God speaks to us in the Holy Scriptures and He gives us Himself in the Holy Eucharist, where we receive Him in His substantial Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, we experience His love, peace and joy, and we are changed forever.
Have you noticed how churches can be overflowing at Masses for Confirmation and First Holy Communion, and then wonder how many of the children and young adults who received those Sacraments have we since then seen at Mass? We miss them, don’t we? We would love to see them at Mass every week – for the love of God and because we love them. Such an “absentee phenomenon” is not uncommon in Catholic and Protestant churches. What can we do about it? Well, we can pray for one another as we do at Mass. We can view some wonderful testimonials and inspiring materials at catholicscomehome.org, and personally invite people to return, giving them a call or handing them a hand-written card, asking how they’re doing and telling them that we miss them at Mass each week. Invite the children and their parents to attend Mass again – some people are absent due to work schedules, vacation or illness, but many simply just choose to not attend. Because He loves us, Jesus wants us at Mass (“do this in memory of Me…”).
Saint Mark tells us that Jesus did not work any mighty deeds at the time in Nazareth because of the people’s lack of faith (Mark 6:1-6). That is not the case here at Saint Clement Catholic Parish. God is working His mighty deeds here, in our church and our school, where we see wonderful expressions of faith in the many prayers and works of parish members. Yes, God is with us always (Matthew 28:20) and He is doing mighty deeds in our parish – and He does them through us as He calls us to follow Him and His Teachings and to live the Faith that we profess (Matthew 7:7-29; 25:31-46).
With peace and prayers in Christ,