From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy
The third commandment of God is to remember to keep holy the day of the Lord, and keeping holy the day of the Lord is something that Christians of all faith traditions should strive to do. In addition, the Catholic Church has issued certain precepts (or duties) for Catholics. The first precept is to keep holy the day of the Lord by participating in Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation. I think it is fair to say that at times some of us struggle to comply with this precept.
Most of us are busy people living in a busy environment. Yet some of us find time to eat at good restaurants. We find time to go to the movies. We find time to go shopping at the mall. We find time to go to soccer practice and basketball games. We find time to go to the beach or to the lake. We find time for short vacations. We find time to visit relatives and friends. Yet some of us have trouble finding time to spend with the Lord through our attendance at Mass.
As we spend time with the Lord, we are encouraged to participate in the Mass in a spirit of reverence and respect. We are also reminded of the need to dress modestly in his presence. Our Catechism states that “…modesty guides how we look at others and behave toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.” “It inspires one’s choice in clothing.” If we were to be in the presence of a president, or king or queen, or some other high ranking dignitary, most of us would think carefully as to how we should dress. At Mass, we are in the presence of the King of Kings, and yet some of us apparently do not put too much thought into how we should dress. We should therefore strive to embrace modesty in dress and avoid wearing clothes that could be distracting in some way. Certain summer apparel which may be appropriate for a dinner or a picnic may not be appropriate for Mass.
As disciples of Christ, we are challenged to set a good example for others and to truly and publicly live our faith. We are therefore invited to dress appropriately and prayerfully consider making time for the Lord by making the Mass the heart of our day, not just a small part of our day, each Sunday and on each Holy Day of Obligation. This is especially true as we strive for rest and recreation during this time of summer.