DON’T JUST “GO TO MASS”!
When Jesus gave us the “new commandment” to love one another, he added something: “as I have loved you.” This new part was lived out by Jesus in three ways: at the Last Supper when he gave us his body and blood for the first time; and then the next day gave himself for us on the cross; and finally when he rose from the dead!
In St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians and the first three Gospels, we learn that Jesus gave himself to us completely: his body and blood. But in the letter to the Corinthians and in St. Luke’s gospel we also have the command: “Do this in memory of me.” St. John does not give us the meal, but he gives us another service and command at that meal. He, their Lord and Master, performed the humble service of washing their feet, and then gave them the command: “as I have done for you, you should also do.”
In celebrating the Eucharist we enter into he creative tension of the dying and rising of Jesus, and thus becoming a more perfect manifestation of his Body, the Church. We are told that the celebration of the Eucharist is the summit and source of our Christian way of life. Everything we now have comes to us in and through the celebration of the whole action of the Mass: from the beginning, the Liturgy of the Word, to its completion, the receiving of his body and blood. We are then sent forth to continue to live this tension in our daily life of dying to many things, and rising to the new life and attitude of Jesus: a true poverty of spirit.
Therefore, we Catholic Christians don’t just “go to Mass”. Having celebrated together as a living community of love, we go back into the world of daily life, trying to live “eucharistically”. We truly celebrate Jesus’ death and rising, not only in the Mass, but also in our daily lives. Jesus said: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Lk 9:23). Sharing in the Eucharist brings all of us into greater communion with God and with one another. So what can I do today to show my unity with my brothers and sisters in our Whiting/Robertsdale Faith Community?