As noted in a previous column, the Catholic publication, Our Sunday Visitor, cited many reasons that influence the decision of people to return to the practice of the Catholic faith. Some return because they have acknowledged mistakes and seek forgiveness and spiritual healing. Some return because they want their children to have a sound spiritual and moral foundation. Some return because they want to be part of a faith community and to have a sense of belonging. Some return because they truly want to help others and realize that the Catholic Church offers many opportunities to touch the lives of others. Some return because they believe that the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth and grace. Many return because they feel an intense longing for the opportunity to encounter Christ in the Eucharist. They yearn for the spiritual nourishment that comes when they receive the Body and Blood of Christ. The Eucharist has been cited as the number one reason people return to the Church. They have come to realize and appreciate the value and importance of attending Mass.
Our Sunday Visitor has provided some good reasons to go to Mass. It stated, “God asks us to set aside one day to refocus physically, mentally, and spiritually. We live in a secular world. Going to Mass helps us to see everything from a different perspective.” It also stated, “At every Mass, we have the opportunity to stand up and proclaim what we believe publicly. We admit that we believe in God, in Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, in the Catholic Church, in the communion of saints, in the forgiveness of sins, and in life after death. It is a powerful statement of allegiance and an opportunity to recommit ourselves.” The publication also reminds us that, “We are strengthened by the Eucharist and sent out into the world to bring the Gospel message to all people. The Mass gives meaning and purpose to our lives.”
As we reflect on these words, we are challenged to reach out to our loved ones during these summer months and invite them to Mass. We are also reminded to truly give thanks to the Lord for the gift of the Mass, the gift of the Eucharist and the gift of our faith.