Significant Reasons to Attend Sunday Mass
Posted: Jun 21, 2020
Let’s understand why the Mass is God's precious gift to all his people, and we wouldn't think of refusing that gift. Here are eight reasons to go to Mass:
1. The Command of God.
The Third of the Ten Commandments offered to Moses by God is, "Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day" (Exodus 20:8).
2. The Command of Christ.
Why must we keep the Sabbath holy by going to Mass? The Mass was created at the Last Supper by Jesus before his Crucifixion. The Last Supper was the first Mass.
When the hour came, he [Jesus] took his place at the table with the apostles... Then he took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you. Do this in memory of me" (Luke 22:14,19).
When we celebrate the Mass, we repeat the Last Supper, as Jesus commanded us to do. In doing this, we remember and re-present his wonderful gesture of love for us on the Cross —consuming our sins upon himself so that we, if we follow his commandments, can live with him forever in heaven.
3. The Command of the Church.
The Church guides that we should fulfil the command of Jesus ("Do this in memory of me") by attending Sunday Mass (or the Vigil Mass the night before). The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994, pp. 493-94) narrates that Mass attendance on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation is the first of the six Commandments of the Church. These Commandments of the Church also need attaining Communion at least once a year in the Easter season, confessing any mortal sin as a preparation for Communion, and observing the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence. These Commandments interpret the minimal responsibilities of a Catholic. To fail to fulfil them through our own wrong doings, the Church guides, is a serious sin.
4. The Church Speaks with the Authority of Jesus.
Why should we obey these teachings of the Church? Where does the Church get its authority? From Jesus. In Matthew 16:18-19, Jesus made Peter the head of his Church — the first Pope. He gave Peter and the Church "the keys to the kingdom of heaven": I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
The Church's authority in faith and morals is absolute as Christ's authority is absolute.
5. What we do at Mass.
The Mass is first of all a sacrifice — the ideal sacrifice, created by Jesus. Through the priest we give Jesus, Body and Blood, to the Father, just as Jesus gave Himself to the Father on the Cross. In an un bloody manner, we repeat — make present — Christ's death and Resurrection. With this memorial of Jesus, we give God our praise, sorrow for our sins, and deepest gratitude.
The Mass is also a meal. At the Consecration, the bread and wine, through the power of the Holy Spirit, become the Body and Blood of Christ. Not just a symbol, but Jesus's real flesh and real blood, under the appearance of bread and wine. When we receive Holy Communion, we receive Jesus Himself. He is real food for our soul. He said this very plainly: I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. (John 6:55-56).
What are the benefits of Holy Communion? It builds our union with Jesus; He lives within us in a special way. It cleanses us from venial sins. It gives us grace to avoid sin in the future. It strengthens our love of God and neighbour.
6. Why do we have to Worship with Other People?
God made us social beings. He wants us to come together in community to worship Him. Jesus said, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I" (Matthew 18:20).
7. The Advantages of Mass.
If we give God a chance, He will help us experience the marvellous advantages of the Mass and the Eucharist.
Mother Teresa once wrote: "Jesus is my God/ Jesus is my Spouse/ Jesus is my Life/ Jesus is my Everything. Because of this, I am never afraid." Mother Teresa went to Mass every day. If we love the Mass as she did, we, too, will live in Jesus and he in us, and will we never be afraid. Follow the path which leads towards the Journey to Heaven.