In order to celebrate the Sunday Eucharist, it’s not enough to follow the prescribed norms or pronounce the right words. It’s not even enough to sing, make the sign of the cross or share peace at the appropriate moment. It’s very easy to assist at Mass and not celebrate anything in the heart; hear the corresponding readings and not hear God’s voice; piously go to communion without entering into communion with Christ; share peace without reconciling with anyone. How to live the Sunday Mass as an experience that renews and strengthens our faith?
For starters, we need to listen attentively and joyfully to God’s Word, and concretely Jesus’ Gospel. During the week we’ve watched TV, listened to the radio and read the paper. We’re disturbed by all kinds of messages, voices, news, information and publicity. We need to hear a different voice that heals us within.
It’s a breath of fresh air to hear the direct and simple words of Jesus. They bring truth into our life. They free us from the deceit, fear, and selfishness that damage us. They teach us to live with more simplicity and dignity, with more meaning and hope. It’s fortunate that we can walk through life guided each Sunday by the light of the Gospel.
The Eucharistic Prayer constitutes the central moment. We can’t allow ourselves to be distracted. «We lift up our hearts» to give thanks to God. It’s good, just and necessary to give thanks to God for our life, for all creation and for the gift that is Jesus Christ. Life isn’t just work, effort and busyness. It’s also celebration, thanksgiving and praise to God. It’s good to get together each Sunday to feel life as a gift and to give thanks to the Creator.
Communion with Christ is decisive. It’s the moment to welcome Jesus into our life so we can experience him in ourselves, identify ourselves with him and allow the Spirit to work, consol and strengthen us. All this won’t happen if we stay closed up in our own small world. We pray together the Our Father, feeling ourselves the brothers and sisters of everyone. We pray that no one lacks bread or forgiveness. We share peace and seek it for all.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf