Sunday, December 04, 2011
The Mass Is Not Like Angry Birds...
The Mass is not a superficially entertaining game. We do not come to Mass to be entertained. I hear people often say (and I used to think the same thing myself) "Mass is so boring, I dont get anything out of it and no one ever talks to me after Mass is over."
The truth of this statement depends upon our interior disposition. If we are coming to Mass unprepared and expecting to be entertained and have things be "about us" then, yes, we will be bored. If we dont know much about our faith or the meaning of the prayers, then reciting them will seem monotonous and needless. If we don't realize that we are coming to receive and be received BY the King of Kings and our hearts are full of sin, then we will leave untouched and frigid.
There is a quote by someone (sorry, I cannot recall the author) who said, "the truth is the truth if no one believes it and a lie is a lie even if everyone believes it."
When we see an amazing piece of fine art and we stop and ponder it, we enter into it very deeply. The more we know about the artist, the symbolism within the painting and the time in which it was painted, the more we are absorbed into its beauty. It's not "entertaining" but richly life-giving. This is the Mass on every level.
In the Mass, we engage all of our senses to receive and be received. We encounter Jesus as the Word of Life and we encounter Him as the Bread of Life and the Lamb of God. We profess our faith. We pray and sing together as a community. And the more we study about our faith and the more we come to know Jesus, as He is, personally, the more we are absorbed into His beauty and life. It's incredible.
In the end, we are responsible for our own holiness or lack thereof. The priests at our respective parishes lead us and guide us, and hopefully they feed us, but in the end, they are not responsible for our personal holiness. All of us have equal access to Jesus and the Sacraments, so we must journey on this path responsibly.
There is a time for games like Angry Birds, sure. There is nothing wrong with being entertained at times. But there is a time for all things.
Above and beyond all, the Holy Mass is the time we enter into and are transformed by Eternal Beauty Himself.