One of my brothers, years ago, said that he didn't really get much out of attending church.
I asked him, "What are you expecting to get out of church?"
He stated that he wanted the service to make him feel good.
Are we really wanting the service to make us feel good? Is that really all we are looking for?
I could tell by our conversation, that my brother was not unlike so many catholics, he really didn't understand what the Mass was really all about. No wonder he wasn't feeling fulfilled by the Mass, he didn't understand it.
If he would of only of known what was really partaking in each element of the Mass, how could you not feel transformed each and every Mass.
I think of the Mass as beginning when I wake up each day, and a community of Christians are preparing and gathering for the Celebration, making their journey to the church.
Once gathered as a community of believers, the body of Christ. We offer who we are, our hopes, our dreams, our failures, our successes, everything to our Lord.
We are forgiven of any venial sins by our God's mercy and as we sing the song of praise (the Gloria).
We listen to the opening prayer, opening our hearts and minds to the holiness of our Lord.
The first reading of the inspired word of God from the Old Testament allows us to understand a piece of God as he revealed himself and also brings light to us.
The responsorial prayer is chosen from the Book of Psalms, connects us to our ancestors, their praise, sorrows, and struggles, and ours as well.
The second reading from the New Testament brings the truth of Jesus to us.
We prepare with the Alleluia to here the words of Jesus as written in the Gospel.
As we stand to hear the good news of the Gospel we show reverence and respect for our savior.
The Gospel is proclaimed as it permeates our mind and our soul.
The Homily is then given that assist us to make connections from the readings to our current state in life.
After we have been nourished by the Homily, enlightened, we can proudly give our Profession of Faith. This profession is what we believe, what we stand for, what we would give anything for. So many have died, giving all of themselves for these words that we profess.
The General Intercessions are the prayers of the people. We are a people gathers together, as one body, asking God to hear our prayers, his faithful servants.
The Altar is then prepared for the miracle of the Eucharist.
The Eucharistic Prayer is given, recalling what Jesus had done for us, and using the Words of Jesus, the priest, standing in the person of Christ, makes present Jesus himself in the bread and wine.
Jesus is present, he is right there (MY LORD, MY LORD)
In Jesus' presence, we pray the prayer that He taught us to His Father (The Our Father).
We ensure that we have no hatred in our hearts, making peace (The sign of Peace) prior to receiving out Lord.
We then receive what is almost imaginable. Our Lord, Our Savior, becomes a part of us in the taking of Communion.
As I consume Jesus, He Consumes me, All that Jesus is is now within me. My body and my soul trembles each time He is within me. I am no longer the same person I was just a few minutes ago. How can I be? He who is everything is now a part of me.
Changed forever, the Mass concludes with a short Prayer and Dismissal to share what we are and have become with the world.
If only catholics really understood what was happening on Sunday, or daily Mass, how could they not attend Church and be changed forever.
Ok Gotta go, time for Mass.
Camino De Santiago
Along with a group very special friends, my brother Tim, and two Priests, we will be walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain beginning in August. Please friend me "Deacon Pat Kearns" on Facebook to follow the journey. I realize with limited internet, Facebook will be the easiest way to share the journey. I will share more on the blog when I return. I am also looking forward to using the experience in the current novel I am work on "Climbing Out of the Darkness."