Monday, July 20, 2009

Mass: An Obligation or a Necessity

I had kind of a brutal day yesterday. I got off of work at 7:30 in the morning and had to be at Kauffman Stadium at 12:30 to work the Royals game. I was then supposed to be back to work tonight at 9:30. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time for sleeping. Oh wait-there is something else you are supposed to do on Sunday. Oh yeah!! Mass!! How was I going to fulfill my Sunday "obligation?"
I'll tell you what. I would have been real easy to go home and sleep after the game. Instead, I left the game and went to 6pm mass and after mass I came to work (I switched with someone and came in early) Please don't think I'm bragging and saying, "Oh, look at me! I'm so pious. I went to mass!!" No. I'm not saying that at all because the smart thing would have been to go to mass on Saturday evening and then I COULD have gone home after the game and taken a nap.
Why didn't I just skip mass though?? Well, besides the fact that it's a mortal sin and dying with mortal sin on your soul when you die means you go straight to hell. And going to hell--well lets be blunt--that would suck.
There is more to it than that though. I need mass. I NEED the Eucharist. Last time I said in confession that I missed mass, I got a friendly butt chewing from Monsignor Blacet. I took what he told me to heart (isn't that what you are supposed do with lessons learned from the confessional?) Monsignor Blacet told me that when we intentionally miss mass it's like telling Jesus, "Don't worry, Jesus. I don't need you this week. I've got it all under control." Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth because I need Jesus every week. And what a better place to find Him than in the Eucharist.
For the record, I wasn't let down either. I was tired but I had an wonderful experience at mass. Have you ever partaken in the Eucharist and had a physical experience? An experience where you feel the grace radiating through you. I kind of simplified it to a couple of my friends and said it's like when you have that first cup of coffee in the morning and can feel it pulsing through your veins. That's how I felt yesterday.
Please do not ever think you are too busy or that things are too complicated in your life. Ask yourself if you are too busy to pass up the person you need the most. No excuses. You NEED the Eucharist. And if it's been awhile since you've been to mass then get your rear to confession first and get to mass!!


  1. Can I ask what are your thoughts on this situation: I'm an oncology nurse and my job requires working every other weekend Saturday and Sunday. Currently, I work night shift from 7p-7:30a three times a week. Like your choice to go to Mass in between your work shifts, I also make sure I attend Mass after work Sunday morning before heading back that night. However, night shift is wearing me down physically, emotionally, and spiritually because it goes completely against my body's natural clock and it's especially demoralizing to sleep away half your days off from 9a-5p and then stay up while everyone else is going to sleep. It's unnatural. The problem is that should I switch to dayshift working 7a-7:30p I will not get to attend Sunday Mass every other week. Yes, I can go to daily Mass, but somehow I feel like I would be missing out. I completely hear what your saying in how much we need Jesus in the Eucharist and Mass and I'm torn with what to do. Suggestions or thoughts?

  2. Sorry it's taken so long to respond.
    Believe me--I know what it's like to work all night long. I've been doing it for eleven years. I know what I would do--I would make every effort to make it to mass.
    That being said--i can see what you are saying . . . are you really participating in mass if you are batteling sleep?
    I know the church says that Sunday is a Holy Day of obligation because it is a "mini-Easter." On the other hand, would you be doing what God wants by taking one of your other days and giving it all to god since you can't give your Sundays--would that "count."
    I can't honestly say.
    All I can say is that the church says that by not going to church on Sunday is a mortal sin. I know I would make every effort to to go every Sunday.
    Whew--tough dilema!