Missing the Mass

Today and tomorrow — Good Friday and Holy Saturday — there will be no Mass. No bread and wine will be turned into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. 

On Good Friday, the Crucifix is placed on or in front of the altar. We venerate it by genuflecting. Photo by Fr Lawrence Lew on CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

On Good Friday, the Crucifix is placed on or in front of the altar. We venerate it by genuflecting. Photo by Fr Lawrence Lew on CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

(The Easter Vigil Mass — which will be held on Saturday night — is of course a Mass, but it’s already considered a Mass for the next day.)

No Mass for two days! 

It may sound unremarkable and so-what-ish, but it is a big deal.

The Mass the “source and summit of the Christian life,” says the Catechism. It is towards the Mass that all Sacraments — including Confession, of course — are oriented. All the Sacraments are there so that we can all participate well in the Holy Eucharist as one People of God.

The thing is, the Holy Mass is sooooo immensely rich and profound that creating a separate blog about it (All About the Holy Mass!) seems like an inevitable future for me. In fact, I thought about making this blog so that more and more people can fully participate in the Mass! (I guess you know that if we think we have committed a mortal sin, we are not allowed to receive Communion.)

I said the Holy Mass is sooooo immensely rich and profound, but for the sake of this post and in light of today’s commemoration (the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ), here are three of hundreds of reasons why the Mass seems so underrated now:

  • Knowing that he was about to die, how lovingly must Jesus have done all he did in this meal! (If you know who painted this, please tell me! I like it. Thanks.)

    Knowing that he was about to die, how lovingly must Jesus have done all he did in this meal! (If you know who painted this, please tell me! I like it. Thanks.)

    It is the best physical Gift of our Lord! He leaves not photos of himself, or a lock of hair, or teddy bears with love notes, but himself, his very self. He left, yet he remains with us in the Blessed Sacrament (better than Skype).

  • It is the closest thing to heaven itself! If in heaven we become one with but God, so do we in Holy Communion, if we have the right disposition. The only difference seems to be just that here we are still mortal — subject to death and sin and time — and the Sacred Host is dissolved into our poor bodies. Our senses cannot grasp the mind-blowing supernatural reality that happens to us when we receive Communion, that’s why we can still comment that the Host is bland.
  • It is the best reality happening on earth! Imagine all the glories of Michael Jackson and Beyonce’s concerts (okay, don’t imagine too much), and the majesty of all the royalties in the world now and in the past, and all the World Youth Days and papal visits — all those are nothing compared to one simple Mass. I think it was St John Mary Vianney who said that Creation itself (that is, Genesis and all its ‘effects’ — the universe!) pales in comparison to a single Mass. Because in Creation, no-thing was turned into being; while in the Mass, poor things — bread and wine — are turned/transubstantiated into God, the Creator and Master of the Universe himself!

*Panting*

So there.

I invite you to read more about the Holy Mass. Writings by saints like St John Mary Vianney, St Josemaria Escriva, St Therese of Liseux, and St Thomas Aquinas are sure to inspire you to be more attentive at such an ordinary- and simple-looking rite.

Sometimes I get a kick out of imagining the above saints and their peers and all the angels in heaven in an eternal gasp as we, sinners on earth, receive Communion.

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