Not every Mass is going to be awesome and deeply moving experience. Lifelong Catholics may have grown so used to the ritual to the extent that they aimlessly go through the motions and find their minds often wander.
So, why do we bother going to Mass?
Here are some reasons why we regularly and actively attend Mass:
So as to Follow the Commandments of God, Jesus, and the Church
The third of the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God says, “Remember holy the Sabbath day and keep it holy.”
Christians observe Sunday as a day of worship and rest so as to honor the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Also the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2042) explains that going to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation is the first of the five commandments of the Church.
And disobeying this commandment willingly is seriously sinful.
To Develop and Express Our Committed Faith
Another reason to go to Mass is to form the habit of worshiping and glorifying God. Ordinarily, human beings develop by forming habits, both good and bad habits.
The discipline of worshiping God helps us to grow into being habitual “adorers of God,” even when we do not feel like that. Like any other commitment, our spiritual life includes discipline and restraint.
Participating in the Mass is one of our duty as a baptized Christians, though it is much more than that. Going to mass is an opportunity to actively express our commitment to Jesus Christ and to help fulfill our role in the Church.
To Gather Together in Christian Fellowship
Living a true Christian life is not easy and a supportive community is really important. We cannot just live as Christians by ourselves. Rather, we are called to enter into relationships with others on our Christian journey through this life.
Without our fellow Christians, our faith would be hindered, fade away and die. It is through unity in active celebration together at Mass that we will powerfully experience the joy implied in the saying of Jesus that “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I shall be there with them.”
To Celebrate With Song
Congregational singing has been one of the most powerful ways for the community to pray together. In that case, St. Augustine said that, “He who sings well, prays twice.”
Many people find good liturgical music quite inspiring and it is also an important part of worshipping God in a community of believers. But, be aware that the liturgical music cannot be mistaken as entertainment.
Good liturgical music is selected carefully so as to reinforce the central message of the Word of the Lord during Mass.
To Pray and Worship God with Togetherness
According to one of St. John Vianney quotes about liturgical prayer, “Private prayer is like straw that’s scattered here and there: that when you set it on fire it makes a lot of little flames”.
But “public prayer is like when you gather these straws into a bundle and light them, then you will get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky.”
So during mass, we come together to join our prayers of A doration, Contrition,T hanksgiving, and S upplication (the acronym “A.C.T.S.”) with the other members of the community.
To also Receive the Word of God
In mass, during the Liturgy of the Word, we hear the voice of Christ in the scripture readings. As the constitution of Vatican II on the Sacred Liturgy says, “it is God himself who speaks when the Holy Scriptures are read in the Church.”
We also hear the voice of Christ in the homily, when the priest asks to apply these inspired words to our lives.
To Commemorate Christ and Perpetuate His Sacrifice on the Cross
Anytime we gather together at Mass, we remember Jesus Christ. Furthermore, as the bishops said at Vatican II, “ Mass is the liturgy through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, where the work of our redemption is accomplished.”
At every Mass, God makes himself present and available to us, with lavish generosity, the saving power of the cross. Also, through the Mass, we offer God our praise, sorrow for our sins, and our deepest thanks for the gift of our redemption.
To Be Filled with Jesus Christ
During the Consecration, the bread and wine, through the power of the Holy Spirit, become the Body and Blood of Christ. Therefore, when we receive Holy Communion, we receive Jesus Himself. He said plainly said this: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him.”
As we know that without physical food we will die physically. In the same vein, without spiritual food we will also die spiritually. By receiving the Holy Communion we as well receive the graces needed to become more like Christ.
St. Augustine expressed himself in one of her quotes, when he said about Eucharist, “Believe what you receive. Receive what you believe. And become what you receive.” This is really why we are called to receive Holy Communion regularly and frequently.
Vatican II placed an emphasis that the Mass is the “summit” where all our activities point to and it is the “source” from which our blessings flow.
The Mass is the means by which our Lord give Himself to us in His Word and in His Real Presence. Therefore, going to Mass frequently allows us to meet Christ within His community and to be with others whose faith makes a difference.