By Rae Grellner
As a kid I always went to mass on Sundays with my family and usually Wednesday’s with my school. I have never really gone through the stage of NOT wanting to go to mass; I’ve always been drawn towards it, and for most of my life I haven’t really known why.
By the time I got to high school the mass became a comfort, something I did with my family each week even if we were hours away from my home parish at some basketball tournament. Mass was a constant in my busy high school life. After being confirmed I started finding a deeper meaning in the mass, I was not only drawn towards it, I longed for it – and still at this point I did not fully understand why. By my senior year I was going to daily mass; Jesus was seeking my heart, he was the one pulling me out of bed each morning, it wasn’t my alarm, and no it wasn’t my parents.
Although it was not until I came to college that the wondrous mysteries of the mass were unveiled to me. I understand now why I’ve always loved the mass. Truly every heart is drawn towards the mass, because every heart yearns for Jesus and it is our opportunity to receive him fully in body, blood, soul, and divinity.
"Truly every heart is drawn towards the mass, because every heart yearns for Jesus and it is our opportunity to receive him fully in body, blood, soul, and divinity."
So what do I understand now that I didn’t before? First of all the mass is heaven on earth. It’s not just the congregation, the alter servers, the choir, and the priest. It is all those who have gone to heaven before us, the angels, the Saints, the Virgin Mary, and most importantly the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The words said during the mass come straight from the Bible and the actions performed encompass long standing tradition; the Catholic church didn’t just make this stuff up, it’s real and it’s the truth.
Throughout the mass our prayers are lifted up to Heaven and Jesus ascends down to earth. He is present in the words of the Old Testament, the psalms, the New Testament, and the Gospel. And by his grace each person partaking in the celebration is shown a unique and personal revelation even though we all hear the same words.
Why come to Mass?
- You get to see your friends/make new friends.
- It is the core component of the Church that Jesus built.
- You get 30min-1hour to just let Jesus love you without worrying about the craziness of life.
- Personally, it includes my favorite sacrament.
- It isn’t just something we Catholics do for fun, it was built on Scripture and tradition; Jesus told us to do it!
- It is the single best thing you can do in one day.
- You don’t have to change anything about yourself to go to mass, but ultimately it will change you.
- Catholics all around the world will hear the same words you did the very same day - that’s just cool.
- You encounter Jesus in the word and in the flesh.
- It is a giant prayer of awesomeness.
- It will help you become a Saint.
- No one has ever said, “I regret going to mass”, EVER.
Before the most holy sacrifice of the mass the congregation recites the phrase, “We lift our hearts up to the Lord.” When we say this we are preparing ourselves to partake in the greatest mystery of all time. We are surrendering our hearts, the very center of our being, to the one who created them out of love, and paying full attention to what is about to take place. Jesus comes down, the words of consecration are said, and in that moment I NEVER doubt God’s love for us. He humbles himself to take on the form of bread and wine so that our bodies may become one with His. This is our most intimate encounter with Jesus, receiving Him in the Eucharist, and this is by far my favorite part of the mass. This is what I was drawn towards since I was a child, the peace, joy, comfort, mercy, fullness, faith, and love that overflows inside my heart after receiving that tiny unleavened host, Jesus our Savior.