Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,
I hope you are enjoying these beautiful fall days! I was at my parents’ this past Monday and spent a refreshing day outside working on various projects.
This coming week, we have a few special events.
- On Wednesday, I will be joining a field trip with Sacred Heart students to visit Notre Dame. It is a beautiful campus and it is a treat to be able to celebrate Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart as a part of our tour. It is always a joy to visit the place where Jesus’ mother Mary went to school.
- On Saturday, our Confirmation class will be having a one-day retreat with other Confirmation kids from the surrounding region. I will be spending the day there with them. Please keep us in your prayers that we might powerfully encounter the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit!
- On Sunday, October 20th, at the 11am Mass at Sacred Heart, I will be doing a Mass explained. We will celebrate Mass but as I go through each part, I will be taking time to explain the meaning of each step. Mass will be followed by a brunch in the parish hall. The following week, on the 27th, I will do the same thing at St. Mary on the Lake at the 9:30 Mass. (Brunch will follow there as well.)
I am very excited about this opportunity. The Mass is something at the heart of our faith—a powerful weekly time where we come to encounter Jesus. It is both a time to give and to receive. We give something to God: our time, our hearts, and all that is in them. Then having given, we receive grace from Him. Something that is astounding is that at Mass we give God simple bread and wine that He takes and then gives back to us, but better and transformed: the very body and blood of His Son. We are called to surrender all of ourselves and experience that same reality—giving of ourselves and then receiving something back, but better and transformed. At times, our focus can be solely on what we are receiving, but that is a narrowed vision of what Mass is meant to be.
Fr. Joe once wrote a column in “In the Know with Fr. Joe” about the importance of going to Mass, and he wrote this:
“My friend Father Geoff always points out that no one goes to their grandpa’s birthday party asking, “What am I going to get out of this?” They go to the birthday party because they love Grandpa. In the same way, our primary reason for going to Mass cannot be, “What am I going to get out of this?” Instead, it should be, “What can I give in the midst of this?” The radical gift of the whole experience is this: When we surrender our need to make this about what we get from it, we’ll receive more than we could ever ask or imagine.” https://faithmag.com/whats-point-going-church
I once heard someone say that what is done daily will be done dully if not done deeply. So can be our experience of Mass. A way to enter more fully into the Mass is to understand why Mass is the way it is. Many of us growing up Catholic have had parts of the Mass explained at one time or another, but perhaps not fully or recently. It is my sincere hope that this will help each of us enter into and pray the Mass more fully!