6 Sep 2019 | Posted by: chadmin
Throughout the Liturgical year, the Mass the Church celebrates each day is determined by a hierarchy of theological importance. A Holy Day of Obligation ranks as the most important time to attend Mass. There are five Precepts of the Catholic Church for one to stay in “good standing” with the Church. One of the five Precepts is to “Attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. We believe in the importance of attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days because not only of the gift of Communion, but the message of the Mass that day. Each Mass and day of the Liturgical Year has a theme to the Mass and a clear message to the Scriptural readings. In addition to attendance at Mass, the precepts invite us to “confess sins once per year,” “receive Communion once a year, preferably during the Easter Season,” “observe the days of fasting and abstinence,” and to “provide for the needs of the Church.”
There are many ways to spiritually, physically and materially provide for the needs of the Church. The prescribed days of fasting and abstinence refer directly to Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and Fridays in Lent. Confession at least once-a-year allows for a spiritual reset and cleansing of the soul. While we believe in the power and importance of receiving the gift of Holy Communion, the precept is actually to attend Mass and not to receive Communion every week. One wants to be in a spiritual state to receive Communion, through the gift of reconciliation. However, it is vitally important to be at Mass listening, praying, sitting, standing and kneeling in adoration of the Lord. This importance is emphasized by the hierarchy of days on the Liturgical Calendar.
September 8 is the Feast of the Nativity, or the birth, of Mary. Mary holds a place of extreme importance and distinctive honor in the Church, as the Mother of Jesus. The Church joins us in celebrating birthdays as a celebration of the entirety of a person’s life. However, all that we celebrate about Mary is of less theological importance than the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Every Sunday is a celebration and a remembrance of the Resurrection of Jesus. For this reason, the Sunday Liturgy takes a higher importance than the Feast of the Nativity of Mary. While it is important to remember the importance of the birth of Mary, we celebrate the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time at Mass this weekend.
Once again this weekend the Gospel encourages us to prepare to meet God. As humans we prepare for all sorts of things in life. The Bible invites us to understand that the most important preparation in life is for the gift of eternal life. As Christians, we prepare by following the precepts of the Church, which invite us to focus on our practice of faith. The practice of the faith allows us to think about the mysteries of God while preparing to receive God in Holy Communion and to meet Him face-to-face at the end of life. Like all things that we have a perceived long time to prepare for, sometimes we are better and more focused than others. Attendance at weekly Mass gives us the weekly food for thought to maintain a proper preparation to meet Jesus one day.
May God continue to guide and encourage us all. Have a great week. Go Bears!