Belief Briefs - Why go to Mass?

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Why Go to Mass?

Jesus says, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”

So what if we took Him at His word?

Let’s get literal here: when we gather for Mass, we truly believe that God is there for us. One way is through the Gospel we hear.

Have you ever felt your heart leap or a word or phrase really speak to you in the depths of your gut while the readings were proclaimed at Mass? Or have you ever asked yourself, “How did Father know that I needed to hear that message in his homily?”

That’s God getting our attention.

But Jesus doesn’t only want us to hear him. He wants us to experience a profound intimacy with Him.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus broke bread with his disciples and said, “Take, this is my body.”

Then, he held the cup of wine and said, “This is my blood.”

Why would he do this?

He says, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me and I in them.”

Yes, the God of the Universe wants to live in us. He wants us to live in him. He is there, in the midst of us, just as he was with his disciples.

It’s a foretaste of heaven – literally.


Reflection Questions

  1. At the end of Mass, we are sent forth with one of the following dismissals:

    Go forth, the Mass is ended; Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord; Go in peace,
    glorifying the Lord by your life; Go in peace. announce the Gospel of the Lord.

    How does going to Mass help you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ at home, at work, in the

  2. Why is it important for us to gather as a community of believers for the celebration of the

  3. How is going to Mass different from reading Scripture and praying at home?


Sources from Scripture and Tradition

  1. Exodus 20.8-16
    Acts 2.42-46
    Luke 24.18-35
    John 6

  2. St. John Chrysostom (d.401):
    You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests. (From De incomprehensibili 3, 6: PG 48, 725).

  3. St. John Paul II, Dies Domini


Teaching from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Mass

  1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church
  2. Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Questions 450-454; see also Question 234.
    English translation


For Further Reading

  1. Thomas Cardinal Collins, “It is the Lord.” In Cornerstones of Faith: Reconciliation, Eucharist and Stewardship. ©2013, St. Augustine’s Seminary. Published by Novalis. Pp. 40-72.

  2. Ouellet, Marc/ Gasslein, Bernadette (tr.). The Eucharist: God’s Gift for the Life of the World. Foundational Theological document for the 49th International Eucharistic Congress. ©Diocèse de Québec, 2006.

  3. Pierce, Gregory F. Augustine. The Mass is Never Ended: Rediscovering our Mission to Transform the World. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2007