For most people my age, it will be hard to get up on a Sunday morning and go to church. Crawling out of bed with a hangover and not being able to eat because of the hour fast before Eucharist. Then you have to sit in a very uncomfortable pew for an hour whilst, usually, an old priest delivers a sermon on a topic that you don’t really care about or know anything about either.
But for me it is a completely different matter. For me going to church isn’t about going to a building but to Mass and more importantly to Jesus Christ made present in the Blessed Sacrament. When you enter the building you know that you are entering some place that is special due to the beautiful stained glass, the lovely flowers, the statues of the Saints and the lingering smell of incense that gives the place a holy aroma.
When you dip your hand into the Holy water and make the sign of the cross you are doing to things. One is to remind yourself of baptism. It is through this Sacrament that you are brought to new life in Christ and become a member of his one church. The Second reminder is that through the cross we have been made righteous. That is the symbol of God’s saving grace. And it is to the cross that we return every mass as the sacrifice of Calvary is made present in the Eucharist. The reason that we see a corpus on the cross in a Catholic church and not a bare one is the same reason again, to remind us of where we are. Most protestants say that we should use a bear cross because we worship a risen saviour. But we must also venerate a crucifix because God’s salvation is still on-going that Jesus will always be nailed to that same Cross for our sins.
The Homily may seem a bit boring and an added extra to an already long service but it is integral into the liturgy. It is through the preaching of the early church fathers that we get our understanding of the faith. Though you may feel that what the priest or deacon is saying doesn’t apply to you, still pay attention for they are telling us the good news and if we understand it then we can all go out and tell others.
The main part of Mass is the Eucharist and that is the most important part of any Christians life because made present before you is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We shouldn’t want to hide away from Him. We shouldn’t have to feel so unworthy to receive Him. But because of our nature we all do and always prostrate ourselves before God and ask for his unending mercy.
Getting up every Sunday just to fulfil your obligation shouldn’t feel like a chore or a tradition that was forced upon you by parents but a willingness to enter God’s glory and worship the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the whole world. To quote Psalm 42 “And I will go to the altar of god, to God, the joy of my youth.”
‘Et introibo ad altare Dei: ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.’