Reflections from Fr. Dennis

Seven Reasons to Go to Sunday Mass

Promote Sunday Mass. Not daily Mass. Not Eucharistic Adoration. We love those and pray that they will increase a hundredfold. But not everyone will be called to those. Every Catholic is called to Sunday Mass, and making that commitment is not just sufficient ~ it is simple, doable … and can be transformative.

An individual or family who makes the commitment to never miss Sunday Mass will see their whole life change. They will go from being “Catholic-affiliated” to having a healthy Catholic identity. The Sunday Mass commitment in itself will reorder their priorities such that they aren’t living according to what they think best, but according to what God thinks best.

During this fall, why not make the commitment to invite someone back to Sunday Mass? One good way is to combine it with something else: Mass and brunch, Mass and lunch, Mass and a visit to a museum.

Here are some talking points about why Mass is important.

We owe it to God. This is the most important reason, of course. We owe God a debt of gratitude for creating us, redeeming us and giving us every single thing we have. The least we can do is “Make Holy the Sabbath Day” as the Third Commandment has it.

This debt of gratitude isn’t just the dutiful fulfillment of a rule ~ it’s an “inner necessity. The early Christian martyrs died for honoring Sunday: “Without Sunday we cannot live. Those who return to Sunday Mass and that weekly connection with God will start to see what he means, and wonder how they ever lived without it.

Mass is great family time. Everyone is going in different directions throughout the week. Even families who want to eat together often find that they can’t, because of work, school, sports and activities. It’s easy to free up an hour on Sunday or Saturday afternoon to go to Mass.

Families who go to Sunday Mass always remember this special time that they spend together, for a purpose. Please, go with your children to church and take part in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration! You will see that this isn’t time lost; rather, it’s the very thing that can keep your family united and centered.

Mass offers Bible guidance. We have all heard stories of people whose lives were changed by Scripture. The Word of God has a power that cannot be underestimated. Archbishop Charles Chaput tells the story of an actor who had to play a pagan Roman. In researching the role, he was shocked by the routine brutality of pre-Christian Rome. It made him realize how many of the virtues of fairness, tolerance, kindness and aid our society takes for granted come from the Christian faith.

Our own lives would be utterly different if we had no exposure to the Scriptures ... and they will be even better the more exposure we get. You get three Scripture readings at each Sunday Mass. They will transform our lives as surely as they transformed our society.

Do it for others. Even if during certain periods of our life it seems that we are getting nothing out of Mass, our going every Sunday still helps lots of other people. Our children will be formed by what we do. The excuses we make to skip Mass will become the bedrock principles of their faith. Our insistence that we always go will usually rub off on them, too (sooner or later).