Every summer we are reminded and admonished by our priests that the summer is not a vacation from Sunday Mass, emphasizing that we should take this into consideration while away on vacation over weekends. And how do we react to these reminders? In different ways. Personally, I do not have a problem with this, but I read with interest an article titled “10 Good Reasons To Go To Sunday Mass” in one of the bulletins issued by a church I go to frequently. I decided to share with you the thoughts and suggestions of the writer during this “difficult” vacation period.
1. God asks us to make one day holy. God asks us to set aside one day per week to refocus physically, mentally, and spiritually. We live in a secular world. Going to Sunday Mass helps us to see everything from a different perspective. We begin to see in the depths of our being that God is in charge.
2. Jesus gives us the gift of Himself. When we go to Sunday Mass, we are doing what Jesus commanded His followers to do. It is a command of love, to love God and others and to be loved by God. Jesus is present and comes to us in the Word of God we hear proclaimed and in His Real Presence, in the Blessed Sacrament.
3. We need to be part of a community. When we come together at Sunday Mass to pray and worship God, we satisfy a deep need, human and spiritual, to be in communion with other people. The other parishioners — even if we don’t know all of them —give us support, affirmation, and encouragement in our attempt to live the Gospel message. They help us to see that we are not alone in living our Catholic Faith.
4. God has a special message for us. When we listen to the readings, the homily, and the prayers of the Mass, God speaks to us in a special way. We should come away from each Sunday Mass with at least one new thought or inspiration that will have a positive impact in our lives.
5. We need to talk to God. When we go to Mass, we speak to God through our singing, our communal responses and prayers, and our personal prayers from the depths of our hearts. During Mass we have the opportunity to ask God for what we need, to promise God we will do what He wants us to do, and thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed on us.
6. People need our prayers. We can pray for other people anytime, but when we pray for others during Mass, we pray in a special way. It doesn’t matter if the other people are separated from us by distance or by death.
7. We need to stand up for what we believe. Being a follower of Jesus is counter-cultural. At every Mass, we have the opportunity to stand up and proclaim what we believe publicly. We admit that we believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and in the teaching of the Catholic Church.
8. We need to acknowledge that we make mistakes. At every Mass, we have the opportunity to review the past week. We admit that we have sinned in thought, in word, in deed, in what we have done and what we have failed to do. With God’s help, we resolve to change our lives.
9. We need ritual in our lives. Mass is offered as a Sacred Ritual. This means that through the familiar prayers, and movements, through the Divine Miracle of Transubstantiation, changing bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus, we are formed, disciplined, and consoled. The “sameness” of the Mass supports and nourishes our spiritual journey every week.
10. We need to experience something bigger than ourselves. When we go to Mass, we share in the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. When we offer our ordinary lives to God through Jesus, we enter into God’s great plan for the world’s salvation.
(Adapted from an article in Our Sunday Visitor.) Krystyna Piotrowska-Breger
PSYCHOLOGIST, Dr. Krystyna Piotrowska Breger, graduate of the Jagiellonian Institute may be able to help in the following situations: ?? Problems of adjustment (changes in personal life) ?? Family conflicts ?? Adolescent issues ?? Onset of psychological problems ?? Drug and alcohol dependency Dr. Breger also provides services at UNITAS. Consultations available by appointment only through the parish rectory .