So here I am again on my podium sending my thoughts through the internet hoping that it will connect with someone. The reality is that I don’t know any more than you; in fact I probably know quite less. Yet despite my somewhat lack of inexperience, I still feel the need for my voice to be heard. You might be asking yourself, “after months of silence, why speak now?” If I’m honest, I’m asking myself the same thing. I sometimes think that my voice cannot make a difference, it doesn’t matter what I think or feel. However, I was reminded quite recently that, “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21). Thus the words I speak and write are important. I want to take the time to address a question that has been muling in my mind; what is worship and why do we worship?
This question first came to me in the middle of Lent through Redeemed online. On March 20th, the devotion challenged the reader to consider why do you go to church? The answer is obvious; as Catholics we go to church to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist; right? Apparently not, for as Father Dave explains, “we go to church to encounter Jesus.” Now I am not saying that one can’t encounter Jesus in the Eucharist or that one shouldn’t strive to encounter Jesus there, but what is more important is that there is an encounter.
If I am being honest, I have not encountered Christ in the Eucharist. I partake because I believe what Jesus said is true, which is that, “my body is real food and my blood is real drink and whoever eats from me shall have eternal life.” (John 6:55). However, I tend to personally encounter Jesus through music, message, and community. I know that I am not alone in this.
I think that as Catholics we forget this. I think that we expect people to walk in and get it and if they don’t “get it” then they shouldn’t be Catholic. However, even the I believe in every teaching of the church and I will defend her at every turn, I don’t want Mass to be a Eucharistic obligation, where I attend just to adhere to Jesus’s words,. Instead, I want to attend a Mass service, where I encounter Christ. I know that one day maybe the Eucharist will be enough for me, but until that day the church needs to make sure I have other avenue’s to encounter Christ. It reminds me of 1st Corinthians 3:2, “I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready” Some of us need the milk of the gospel and yet the church tries to give us solid food straight away.
I would like to know:
- why do you attend Mass?
- How do you encounter Christ and does Mass help you to encounter him?