With the announcement that the general dispensation from the Sunday and Holy Day obligation will be lifted on May 23, Father Scott Bailey, pastor at Risen Christ Parish in Denver, recorded a short 8-minute video for his parishioners with three reasons why it is so important for Catholics to attend Mass in person as opposed to watching it online.
Father Scott’s three reasons to attend Mass in person:
1. Removal from the “ordinary”: While a relationship with Christ should be part of our daily and weekly routine (God is with us always), breaking out of our routine and engaging in something out of the ordinary helps us to deepen our love for the Lord. Just like a married couple may have many wonderful and loving moments throughout the week, they also need time set aside to grow in their relationship. By stepping into the Mass, we enter into a sacred space the Lord has established specifically for us to encounter him in an extraordinary way.
2. Receiving the Eucharist: Jesus is the Lamb of God, and the Eucharist is the incredible gift of his Body and Blood, which we can participate in and receive sacramentally when we attend Mass. And not only is it a gift, but it is also necessary for our salvation. As Christ tell us in John 6:53-54, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” Finally, the Eucharist transforms us to be more like Christ and have a heart like his.
3. Because the Church says so: Today’s culture isn’t big on individuals being told what to do, but the reality is that Christ gave his Church the authority to bind certain things on us during this life, that will be bound in heaven. Christians have gathered together to celebrate the Mass and the Eucharist on the Lord’s Day since the time of the Apostles, and over the centuries the Church has evolved that tradition into an obligation that draws us into a life of deeper holiness.
For more information on the Archdiocese’s announcement on restoring the obligation, including acceptable reasons to still stay home, please visit https://archden.org/return.