Thursday, March 22, 2018

Seven Bogus Reasons to Skip Mass

... As promised:

8) I don’t like the people I see there. Then you will really hate heaven! What will you do?

7) I can talk to God anywhere. True; but you can’t be joined to the Body of Christ just anywhere. I mean, both the people who form the Body of Christ, gathered together; and I mean the Eucharist. These things happen at Holy Mass.

6) If I’m not there, it doesn’t make any difference. This is doubly wrong. Your absence makes a difference to others: if part of your body isn’t working right, you may not realize it right away, but you will feel the difference sooner or later. Our parish is weaker when not all its members are taking part. And your absence makes a difference to you. One of the things we discover in life is that we become our choices. If we choose to be generous, we become generous; if we choose laziness, we become lazy. If you get together with a group of friends regularly, missing once may not matter that much. But miss twice, three times…at some point, guess what? You won’t even notice; you will have left them behind.

5) Church is full of hypocrites. That is 100% true, because Christ came to call sinners. So, you’re saying that if everyone in church were perfect, you’d feel more at home?

6) I’m tired. Some people truly are tired: you will see them coming to Mass on crutches and in wheelchairs, carrying oxygen tanks and struggling to get around. And if we are genuinely sick, we are excused from Sunday Mass attendance. Every one of us knows the difference between being actually sick, and looking for excuses.

3) I’ve got something else to do. Sometimes we don’t have an easy choice. Many people work in jobs where it’s very difficult to avoid working on weekends. Emergencies happen. These, too, are legitimate reasons to miss Mass. However, very often this isn’t forced on us; we made a choice. Yet we don’t want to own it, and admit that we consider playing sports or watching TV or golfing or shopping or choosing to work to be more important. At a certain point in life, we start dating, and we get serious about a guy or a girl. Tell me what happens when you tell that special girl or guy, sorry, I can’t be with you, because of sports, shopping, TV, work, etc.? The relationship doesn’t last, does it?

2) My parents don’t go, why should I? It’s true that if your family doesn’t go to Mass, that makes it harder. As we grow up, we all reach a point where we become our own people. Sometimes we take a course our parents don’t. But also, we start to realize that our parents won’t do it for us. Mom and dad won’t always be there to wash your clothes and get you out of bed in the morning. It’s called growing up. What’s more, sometimes our parents do the wrong thing. Our friends too. Why should we follow their example?

1) I don’t get anything out of Mass. This, too, is wrong two ways. First, maybe it’s not about what you “get.” How about, it’s about what you offer? We come to Mass to participate in a sacrifice, in which Christ offers himself, and we are called to make our own offerings. Some people offer money, some offer their time and talents, but all can and should offer their own prayers and needs, praying for our own conversion and for the needs of others. So maybe come to Mass not to get, but to give?

Second, it is simply false that you don’t “get anything” from Mass. You actually do, but either you don’t realize it, or you don’t value it. Do you receive any kindness or warmth? Do you read and hear God’s Word? Do you get to witness the Sacrifice of Christ, made present on the altar? Do you receive the Eucharist? Above all, do you think God gives you grace in the Mass? All this really is given you. Do you value these things?

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