THE CATHOLIC MASS: God’s gift, our opportunity

Jun 6th, 2010 by Arnold Jago in Jesus, Modern Church, Sacraments, Suffering

To non-Catholics, what goes on at Catholic Mass (the Sacrament of the Eucharist, Holy Communion) must seem a bit of a mystery.

Catholics believe that at Mass they receive on their tongue the Body and Precious Blood of Christ — yes, literally, the Presence of Christ himself.

The reality of one’s Catholic-ness must also remain after the Mass in changed lives — lives full of love for God and for our brothers and sisters whom we meet every day.

* * *

Today is the Second Sunday after Pentecost.

It falls a few days after the feast of Corpus Christi (last Thursday) which honours the Body of Christ in the Eucharist . . . .

and a few days before the feast of the Sacred Heart (next Friday) which honours the divine and human love of Christ shown in his redemptive suffering and death on the Cross.

* * *

At Mass today, the priest reads words from the First Epistle of Saint John:

Do not be amazed, brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. He who does not love, remains in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.

The proof of the love of God is that Our Lord laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Anyone who has sufficient worldly goods and sees his brother in need, and refuses him compassion: how can the love of God remain in him? My little children, let us not love merely in words or in talk, but in deeds and in truth.

* * *

That’s today’s take-home message — religious people are always in danger of being quick to talk love but slower to help out in real life.

Likewise, of course, non-religious people — perhaps even more so.

God, in Christ, has shown us an example of infinite and supernatural love . . . .

He offers us supernatural help through his sacraments, especially the Mass, to practise the love that we preach, willingly and generously.

If God loved us so much . . . we too, must love one another

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