Tuesday, 25th Week in Ordinary Time—Year I

I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

The Jews would joyfully sing these words as they came into Jerusalem, to worship the Lord in His temple. They understood why they should lift up their hearts and give Him their thanks and praise. The Lord was always with them, but He was most especially with them at the temple. It should be the same for us today, whenever we come to Mass. Jesus Christ is always with us, but He is most fully with us at the Mass.

What if your guardian angel appeared to you and carried you through space and time, and gave you a place at the table of the Last Supper? How closely would you listen to Jesus’ every word and prayer?

What if your angel then brought you to the foot of the cross, to witness Jesus’ sacrifice for you? How faithfully would you attend to Him there?

What if your angel then brought you into heaven, among all the saints and angels, into the presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? What would you feel? How would you pray?

The truth is that you can encounter the Last Supper, the cross, and heaven at every Mass. The power of Christ brings these realities, through space and time, to you. Jesus’ one sacrifice is really made present to us and we join in the combined worship of heaven with earth.

Granted, all of this is not undeniably-obvious, These realities are veiled to our senses, but encountered through our faith. Just because something is unseen, doesn’t mean that it’s not real. If we never had radios how easily would you believe in radio waves? They’re invisible, intangible, and span time and space, but they’re real indeed, and you can experience them if you are tuned-in to receiving them. How can you be tuned-in at Mass? I offer four suggestions:

First, before Mass, pray for the grace to worship well. I fear that often we do not receive because we never ask.

Second, bring a personal intention to every Mass; that is, a person or a cause that you want Christ to grace through His one sacrifice today. For example, my intention for this Mass is for the Marshfield Area Catholic Schools. Always bring an intention to Mass, because the Mass has more power in the world than we realize.

Third, pray with your whole voice, your whole mind, and your whole heart. Just because you are not always speaking during Mass, doesn’t mean one should ever stop praying. As you hear me pray the Eucharistic prayers make them your own. And when you sing, sing as if you were singing for the Lord, because you really are.

Fourth and finally, direct your eyes, your body, and your thoughts toward the one to whom you are speaking. Most of the prayers of the Mass are directed to our Father in heaven, though some are directed to Jesus Christ. Know the one to whom you are speaking to, and follow through with your eyes and your body accordingly.

As we saw in the Gospel, merely showing up at the house where Jesus is, isn’t enough for a person to achieve the greatest intimacy with Him. Likewise, merely showing up at the Mass where Jesus is, isn’t enough for a person to achieve the greatest intimacy with Him. Those who hear the word of God and act on it in faith and worship, they become the closest to Christ. So let us go rejoicing, to encounter Christ at the Last Supper, at the cross, and in heaven, at this Mass, in the house of the Lord.

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