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Jesus spoke of heaven being like a valuable pearl in which, when one finds it, he sells all he owns to purchase it. I have found the Mass to be that pearl, that treasure, that fills me with a desire to participate.
God Almighty gave us a glimpse of heaven when he gave us the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is a full communion of heaven and earth, for, at every Mass, Jesus is present.
And where the Son is, there also is the Father. And where the Father and Son are, there also is the Holy Spirit.
And where the Most Holy Trinity is, there also are the cherubim and the seraphim, and the archangels, all the angels and saints, and the Mother of God.
All of heaven is at every Mass.
I remember, years ago, being at a Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption.
My wife and I were sitting there before Mass when the priest walked up and commented on how few people were there.
He was obviously disappointed with there being only about six people attending one of the most sacred celebrations of the Church.
I said to the priest, “Look around, Father, the church is full.”
I feel privileged and honored to be able to participate in such a holy communion of heaven and earth.
I didn’t always think this way but have come to believe this with all my heart, all my mind and all my soul.
So, when I think of this, I wonder why others don’t. Could it be we were poorly catechized growing up?
I think, in my case, that is probably the reason. There are a lot of changes that have taken place in the Church during these past 60 years. One very noticeable change is the decline of attendance at Mass.
Another is the decline in the number of Catholics who believe the teachings of the Catholic Church.
I remember growing up in the ’50s and ’60s, the churches were full — not just the Catholic Church, but the Protestant churches, as well.
The whole Mass is a gift from God, and our response is an offering of thanks for that gift.
Sometimes during the Offertory, I look up above the priest as he raises the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ as an offering to God the Father and see the Father towering high above the priest. I can almost hear God say in a voice of a proud father, “This is my Son, listen to him.”
I believe we need to catechize the laity and perhaps some of our priests and bishops so we better understand the Mass.
We need to excite the laity to learn more about our Catholic Church.
The priests and bishops can speak volumes from the pulpit, and some do.
I feel cheated when attending Mass where the priest skips some prayers and hurries through the Mass.
God is good.
- letters to the editor