When I was growing up, I didn’t exactly receive the best catechesis as far as Catholicism is concerned. When you combine this truth with the fact that as a child I really wasn’t interested in religious things to begin with, it’s no wonder that when it came to the Mass, I had absolutely no idea what was taking place and why it was necessary for me to be there.
The Eucharist is the heart of the Church’s life. Everything we do and everything we are centers on what takes place at the Mass.
Each time we go to Mass, we are witnessing the unbloody sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ being offered up to the Father for the sins of the world. Jesus is the Lamb of God who was slain for the sins of the world. At Mass, we are literally present at this Sacrifice. After the Sacrifice is offered up to the Father, the meal is served, and we receive the Body and Blood of the Lamb that was just sacrificed. During the sacrifice at the Mass, Christ pours out the graces of His salvation upon His Church, which is His Body. This is why it is so important that Catholics attend Mass as often as they can. We desperately need to receive those graces if we are going to overcome the world. The Mass is the most important act we can participate in during our earthly lives.
When I see Catholics talking during the Mass, not paying attention to what is taking place, allowing their children to run and scream all throughout the sanctuary, and joking around during the Consecration, I must conclude that they have never been properly catechized regarding the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and what is literally taking place. When I see altar servers laughing, joking, and playing around while chewing large wads of bubble gum, I am utterly convinced that they have never been educated on what is truly taking place at Our Lord’s altar.
At the Mass, Jesus is offering Himself up to the Father for the salvation of the world. It is a holy time, a sacred time, a precious time. It is a time when we are reminded that the Creator of the world laid down His life for His own creation in order that our sins might be atoned for and we ourselves reconciled to God.
Many Catholics need to be re-educated when it comes to their understanding of the Mass and all that is taking place during it. We are to be reverent at Mass, quiet at Mass, and thankful at Mass. When we go up to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord, we need to do so humbly. Christ, the Lamb of God, has just been slain for the sins of the world. At Holy Communion, we go up to receive that Precious Lamb who was just sacrificed. When I see people high-fiving each other, shaking people’s hands, slapping each other on the back, or text messaging while going up to receive the Body and Blood of the Lamb who was just slain, my spirit becomes grieved and my heart is crushed.
This is why it is so important that both adults and children take the time to learn the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We need to fully understand what is taking place at the Mass.
To desecrate means to take away the sacredness of something. It means to treat something or someone as not sacred; to profane. Let us take the time to educate ourselves and rid ourselves of ignorance, brothers and sisters…
…for ignorance is the bitter root of every sacrilege and desecration that has ever been committed among men.
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