Mass means mission. It’s our mission, given to us by Love, to take the hope we’ve received and pass it along to others. Attending Mass is a radical act of self-care. It helps us to refuel and remind us of why it matters that we keep doing the work we’re doing in the world even when we don’t see the results we think we should.
A Reminder There Are No Perfect People
Yes, there are hypocrites, liars, thieves, adulterers, fornicators, murderers, molesters, and sinners of all shapes and sizes sitting in the pews beside you. There is even one serving at the altar during Mass. That should give you hope. If Love can find these people a place in His home, He can find you one, too. You do not need to be perfect for Love to enter in to your life and change it. Love doesn't need you to be perfect to serve Him, He simply needs you to be present and to share what you can. Be open to receiving the gift of Love and willing to recognize that you need it.
Everyone Is Here for the Same Reason
We all come to Mass for the same reason. We’re all in search of Love. We’re all looking for Hope. We are all longing for Joy. That’s what brings us together, that’s what unites us, and that is something to take wish us when we go out those doors. If we can carry that Love, Hope, and Joy out into the world with us, we know we are carrying something with us that everyone wants.
A Foretaste of Heaven
In the middle of a climate of so much disagreement, with so many divisions, and so much death, it is nice to be in a place where we can all get along, even if it’s just for an hour. Going to Mass is a reminder that it is possible to create that situation here on Earth. When God’s will is done, that we love one another as He loves us, His kingdom will come. Mass is a foretaste of what it will look like when that happens.
A Reminder That We Are Not Alone
Sometimes the battle to spread our message of love and hope to the world can be a beating. It helps to remember that we aren’t the only ones who are fighting that same battle. There are others out there who believe the same things we do and are working toward the same goals we are. Mass is that reminder.
Encouragement to Care for Ourselves
Love does not expect us to gather at Mass for His sake. He gathers us together so that He can pamper us. He wants us to engage in a radical act of self-care by getting ourselves filled back up so we can take care of the people who need us to serve them. In every Mass, we are given the exact message we need to carry with us for that day’s journey. We are encouraged to fill our hungers with Him.
Inspiration to Continue Serving
Everything about the Mass is designed to give us the inspiration we need to continue serving others. The fact that we are gathered together in this time and place to enjoy this feast of Thanksgiving is a fruit of the service of the souls that came before us and we can see that our service to others plants trees of shade we may never sit under ourselves but that others may benefit from generations later. We are reminded in the music that plays of the hope and the joy that awaits us if we will but choose to serve. We hear in the readings the letters Love has written to us and the difference that Love can make. We hear in the homily an explanation of the message of Love and how we can begin to live it and share it with others. It’s all there.
Expressing Gratitude for Love
We come to Mass because we are grateful for the presence of Love in our lives and we want to cultivate more of that. Gratitude cultivates the soil of our hearts and prepares it to receive Love’s greatest gifts. The more we choose to thank Love for what it does for us, the more room we create in our lives and our hearts for Love to come in and take root. Love doesn’t need to be glorified. We glorify Love because it reminds us not to take Love for granted but to make efforts each and every day to welcome Love to come in deeper into our lives.
Strength for the Journey
We are given the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical food we need to strengthen us in the journey to spread love to others during Mass. Every object of beauty is meant to refresh our souls and remind us that Heaven is real and that someday we will be in a place that is even more beautiful than this, not for an hour, but for an eternity if only we will persist in our struggles.
Taking It Out Into the World
Mass ends, and we are sent out into the world to carry Love, Hope, and Joy to others. We are called to bring peace and unity to a divided, war-torn world. This is our mission. And in sharing love with others, we find love increase in our own hearts. In sharing hope with others, we find hope for our own lives growing. In sharing joy with others, we find our joy increasing.
Tomorrow: Hope and the Power of Community
I will explain the role that community plays in helping you to unlock hope within yourself and how your service to community plays an invaluable part in helping you to understand yourself, your place in the world, and to find your power to transform the world.