“It’s the Mass that matters.”
In early 20th century England, a politician used a rallying cry against English Catholics at a time when they were largely ostracized. This rallying cry found a ready audience, not only with those sympathetic to the politician’s anti-Catholic position, but also among Catholics themselves. These Catholics turned the politician’s words into a slogan that succinctly expresses the essence of their faith: “It’s the Mass that matters.”
It’s the Mass that matters. How those words touch a chord in American Catholic hearts today, when so many now find themselves unable to attend Holy Mass. The state of emergency created by the COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) outbreak has made it imprudent, in the judgment of many Church leaders, medical experts and politicians, to celebrate public Masses for the next few weeks.
There are many good articles already articulating the reasoning behind the suspension of public Masses, as well as offering inspiring advice about how to make a spiritual communion and to spend the Lord’s Day at a time when participation in Mass is impossible. In this article, I would like simply to reflect a bit on the gift of the Mass, the greatest gift we have from God in this life.
This is an extremely difficult time for Catholics who love and depend on the Mass, which is the “source and summit” of our lives as followers of Christ and members of his Church. But good fruit can come even from such heavy crosses, perhaps especially from our heaviest crosses. And one kind of good fruit we can cultivate now is a renewed love for the Sacrifice of the Mass and a hunger for the sacrament of Holy Communion.
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