Over Memorial Day weekend my family and I celebrated this unofficial start to summer by working a booth at our parish festival. Prior to the start of the festival on Sunday, many festival volunteers gathered together under the big tent to celebrate Mass. The sense of community I felt was awesome as I looked around at the numerous people all coming together to praise God.
A friend of mine recently revealed what a lot of us feel, or have felt at one time, about attending Mass. Mass for some people can become redundant and feel like more of a burden, rather than a joyful praising-God event. And that is a reason that many Catholics fall away from Mass attendance or even from the Church itself.
As for me, I love starting my week off by attending Sunday morning Mass. I believe that the difference in how attractive Mass is for us is all in one’s attitude toward it. Mass isn’t about what you GET out of it; it’s about what you GIVE!
I have taught my children that the MINIMUM we can do for God is to give one hour of our time at Mass to thank him, to acknowledge the gifts he showers upon us, and praise him for his mercy. One hour out of the whole week is not too much to ask for a God who gave up his life for us.
I’ve also taught them that skipping Mass on vacation is not an option. I believe that in some circumstances, Mass-skippers not only break the third commandment, but also the first.
“I am the Lord your God, you shall not have strange gods before me.”
If we give up Church for golfing, for shopping, for vacation, or for any other excuse, those excuses are “strange gods” …in my humble opinion. Sadly, some vacation travelers also take a vacation from God.
As we begin this summer season filled with summertime fun and activities, l hope that we remember our number one priority is to GIVE thanks and praise to God our Father for all that he has blessed us with.