A Few Thoughts from Father Joseph on Returning to Mass
As many of us know it has been a difficult time for all of us this last year. Both at home and at Church. However, as vaccinations have become more widely available and as many have recieved them already, life is expected to return to some semblance of normalcy.
Many Bishops have discussed the matter and it has been agreed that it is now safe to return to Mass but to continue to keep viglant, that the process will be done in stages, masks will still be worn, social distancing is kept to 3 feet, and for some parishes, if their shepherds choose to offer commuion on the hand, it may still be kept at this time.
If you are truly, truly afriad of catching the virus, then stay home. But if you've gone out to lunch or dinner, if your meeting with groups of people, attending sporting events and participating in other forms of entertainment, then you're truly not afraid.
The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, if we are attending the above said events, but not attending Mass, are we truly making Christ the center of our life or are we making other things a priority? It's a good question to ask ourselves.
Canon law states, “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass.” Then there is the reason behind the rule.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls the Eucharist “the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice.” As a result, “the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.”
As we begin to return to some sense of normalcy, let us not only let it affect our lives in the secular forum, but let us remind ourselves that our identity first and formost is in Christ and that we meet Christ in every Eucharist at the Altar. Let us begin to take this time to rebuild, to welcome eachother back, at to nourish ourselves at the table of the Lord so that we might be refreshed and renewed in his presence, bring that light of faith to the World. Know of my prayers for you all.
May the Peace of Christ be upon you and upon our World.
- Fr. Joseph Gates