On the cross, Jesus sacrifices his very life (surrender and destruction). But that is not the end of the sacrifice. Transformation happens. His sacrifice redeems and transforms the world. What does this mean for us today? Our worship is participating in the one sacrifice of Jesus at Mass. This does not mean “watching” the Mass. It means participating in the sacrifice. By lifting up the sacrifice of Jesus in the Eucharist but also by offering (surrendering) ourselves with him on the altar. Every part of our lives that we refuse to join to Christ’s sacrifice will simply end. But handed over to God through Jesus, with Jesus and in Jesus, your whole life is not destroyed — it becomes something new.
Ironically entitled “The Hour that Will Change Your Life,” Fr. Mike’s talk in the Basilica on Friday was centered around the importance of worship in the Mass (the real hour that will change your life––if done intentionally). Illustrated by charming stories of his childhood and relatable anecdotes about being a young Catholic, his exploration of the Mass focused on how religion is based on worship, and on worship’s irreplaceable core: sacrifice. Fr. Mike encouraged the crowd to be more intentional in the Mass and not so concerned with “what you get out of it.” He affirmed that there are two main purposes of every Mass: to glorify God and contribute to the good of the entire Church. Without being condescending or harsh, Fr. Mike stressed that the Catholic Mass is not for the attendee—it is for God. When members of the Church come to worship Him at Mass, they are participating in the sacrifice that Jesus offered for each one of us. In characteristic fashion, Fr. Mike tailored his talk to the student-packed audience by including examples relating to ND football. He compared the congregation in the Church with the football field, where we are active participants in the sacrifice of the Mass. While gesturing at the altar, he said, “The field isn’t here,” then pointing to the audience, “It’s here.” To challenge students to move out of complacency, he asked: Why would God allow us to refuse Him? To sit in indifference and stare off into space? “My guess is,” Fr. Mike said, “To get closer to us.” In every Mass, in every tabernacle, in every consecrated host God Himself is “disguised,” allowing us to ignore Him “because He is so in love with you.” Thus, how we participate in Mass is a very important decision. Will we remain with Him by the Sea of Galilee and receive the Bread of Life, or will we allow the shock of His love to dissipate in our hearts and choose to walk away starving?
The church building will remain open during normal hours so that you can come to pray. The Parish Office will close effectively immediately, but will continue staying partially operational - working from home. If you would like to communicate with our clergy and/or staff, please visit our redesigned website.
Keep the Faith and stay connected. During times of crisis is when God’s people are often at their best. While we pray for the people affected by this virus, we also pray for all people suffering, hurting, and in need. Our increased use of our website and social media, electronic giving, online delivery of discipleship content and prayer services, and better connection to each other will all leave the church in a stronger position after the virus passes. God’s people will experience God’s abundant care and faithfulness when we walk in prayerful obedience and faith.
Last but not least, let us encourage each other. Let us pray for each other. Let us turn to our Blessed Mother for her undeniable protection. To Jesus through Mary, may He continue to protect and richly bless you and your respective families!
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