Catholics speak up: So, why do I go to Sunday Mass?

| October 31, 2009 | 0 Comments

It’s a way to recharge.
It’s a vaccination for the week ahead.
It’s a joyous thing.
It’s another opportunity to reach people.
It’s a priority.
It’s an amazing hour where we meet our God.
It’s Jesus in the Eucharist.
It’s Mass, and there are myriad reasons why Catholics participate every week.

mollyschorrMolly Schorr, 29, is youth ministry coordinator at St. Vincent de Paul in Brooklyn Park. She and her husband, Nick, attend St. Cecilia in St. Paul.

Schorr goes to Mass because:
1. “It recharges my call to be in Catholic ministry.”
2. “The Eucharist . . . allows me to reconnect my faith back with Christ and strengthen that relationship.”
3. “It’s an opportunity for me to get together with people of a similar faith background and . . . be supported and sustained by the larger community.”
4. “It strengthens my relationship with my husband. That time to come together and celebrate the Eucharist and be able to discuss it and dialogue about it afterward has been vital to our married relationship.” 

And, she says, the Eucharist provides a physical relationship with Christ, to better understand him and his role in their lives.

suzannegarciaSuzanne Garcia, 37, provides immigration services part time at St. Odilia in Shoreview and St. Stephen in Anoka with her husband, Deacon Ramon Garcia. They and their two children are members of Our Lady of Peace in Minneapolis.

Garcia says that she “needs” to attend Mass: To receive the Eucharist, which recharges her batteries, and to thank the Lord for all her blessings.

“People wait in line . . . [and] spend a lot of money to do different things, when the most valuable thing we have is right in our church,” she says. “If we had any idea of the richness that we have in the Catholic faith, we would be there every day.”

frkwateraBenedictine Father Michael Kwatera is director of Oblates and liturgy director at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville.

Father Kwatera explains why the church calls us to Mass every Sunday: “Every Thanksgiving Day, a father would face the inevitable question from his teenaged children: ‘Do we have to go to Mass? Why?’ His standard answer was: ‘Do you have anything to be thankful for?’ That ended all arguments.

“The father’s question is at the heart of why we Catholics go to Sunday Mass — better, why we participate in Sunday Mass. For here we remember and give thanks for what God has done for us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for what God is doing for us now, and for what God will do for us in the future. As we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, we share in the salvation that is ours in him, today and every day.

“Our Christian liturgy really is the worship of God that the entire Body of Christ does together. That is why we need to be present in the Sunday assembly and take our God-given, privileged, yet humble part in Sunday Eucharist. We should be there, not so much of a fear of sinning and going to hell if we don’t, but from a sense that the Body of Christ isn’t quite complete if I, a member of it, am absent.

“Imagine trying to play baseball without a pitcher or first baseman. The Sunday Eucharist looks for us, for each of us, because God looks for us to become the Body of Christ there, assembled for praise and thanksgiving.

“The church does not ask us to merely ‘attend’ Mass on Sunday. College students may passively ‘attend’ a required lecture and put very little of themselves into it. But Sunday Eucharist asks us to put all of ourselves into it, because we are responding to all of God’s blessings in our crucified-yet-risen Savior that are offered to us there. That is why God has reserved a place of honor for us in our Sunday eucharistic assembly.”

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