My reflections on the Catholic Mass
What up erbody! Today I thought I would share some thoughts about the Catholic Mass and why it is so unique. Just so you understand where I am coming from, here is a quick recap of my faith journey. I grew up Catholic, but when I got to college I stopped practicing my faith. I started trying to find enjoyment in the party scene. Fortunately, a few guys reached out to me and I started getting involved with a non-denominational ministry and was reunited with my faith once I started to understand how Jesus Christ offered Himself on the cross for my sins. I was involved with them for a few years. If you had asked me at the time what denomination I was, I would probably have said, “I don’t consider myself in any denomination because I am a Christian, and Christ is all the matters.” Of course, I still whole-heartedly believe that Christ is the most important and foundational aspect of my faith. But, I found many things in the Catholic Church that deeply enriched my faith, and the Mass was one of them once I had a correct view of it.
That being said, when I first came back to the Catholic Church, I didn’t like the Catholic Mass much. I had thoughts like, “Why don’t the priests have better speeches?”, or “Why isn’t the music more modern? I don’t like the traditional music…”, or “Why don’t we focus on preaching the gospel more?”… I could go on. It took me about six months of reflection and learning about the Mass to start realizing just how wrong my mindset about going to Church on Sunday was, particularly when it comes to Mass.
I was reading a book (to which I forgot the name of), that showed me a new perspective, one which I wish I had had all along. The author mentioned that he too is now Catholic, and had come from a Protestant background. He too had many complaints about the Mass similar to mine. The great realization he had (which was not really a new realization, considering this concept has been around for 2000 years), was that the Mass was all about the sacrifice! I read this at first and thought, what the heck does that mean? But as I continued studying, I realized that the Mass was never really about what WE get out of it. Going “to church” on Sunday, in the 2000 years of Catholic Church history, has never been there so that we get hear an incredible sermon, or get to sit with all our friends, or get to hear incredible music. Don’t get me wrong, all of those things are great. But the Mass is and has always been about the SACRIFICE. It’s about the Eucharist! It’s about coming together to worship Christ. This new perspective completely changed my attitude during worship on Sundays, and even during weekday Mass for that matter. I no longer was going to Mass for my personal enjoyment of listening to a great homily or great music, but to worship Christ. And what better way to worship Christ, what better way to be close to Christ, than through the Eucharist. The Mass is the one place on Earth, throughout all Church history, where Jesus continues to regularly come to us in the FLESH so that we might be as close to him as possible.
This is a mystery which continues to befuddle and amaze me, that Christ would give us such an opportunity; that we can come to worship Him in such a real and present way. That is the real heart behind the Mass; us coming together to worship Christ through a sacrifice which unites us to the institution of the new Passover Meal, (the Last Supper), which was the first Mass. No, we are not sacrificing Christ over and over again in Mass. The Mass is inside and outside of time. We come together to unite ourselves in a sacrifice which is united with the one true sacrifice of The Lamb of God on the cross!