Kathy Bernard - Publisher

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
Exodus 20:8


A Catholic wrote on FaceBook that it made no sense to go to Mass every Sunday.  "I've gone for 30 years now",  he  wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons.  But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them.   So, I'm wasting my time and the priests are wasting their time by giving sermons that will not be remembered past the Sabbath.

This started a real controversy on-line, much to the delight of the church member.  The replies were numerous and many agreed with him.  The emails went on for several weeks until a man wrote this clincher: "I've been married for many years.  In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals for me and my children.  But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those wonderful meals.  But I do know this... they nourished and gave me the strength I needed to keep moving forward.   If my wife had not planned and cooked these meals, the substance of life, I would not be the healthy man I am today.  When I leave the dining table, I am satisfied to know that this loving hand is there to always sustain me.   

"As I return home from Mass each Sunday, I reflect on the homily and the beauty and deep peace that I feel.  I thank God for His SPIRITUAL food that feeds my earthly needs.  My soul thrives on His Word and gives me the serenity that comes from faithfully honoring the Sabbath. Together we, as a family share in the Holy Eucharist.  If I do not go to mass each Sunday for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"

In addition to the readings and the homily by the priests, the Eucharist is one of the vital reasons we as Catholics go to Church.  It is the cornerstone of our faith because of what lies at its heart; the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  It is the source of all life for Catholics who believe that the bread and wine becomes the real body and blood of Christ our Lord.  It is not just a symbol of God, but God made physically present to us in a way we cannot experience through prayer alone.  Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you; he who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:53-54)

Douglas McManaman (Catholic Education Resource Center), speaking on the topic "Why would someone not want to go to Mass?" tells,  "If we believe that Christ is really and truly present in the Eucharist, then it is not going to matter that the singing or the sermon is boring.  What matters above all is that we receive communion. There is no greater privilege than that of being able to participate at an ordinary Mass and receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Such a privilege only adds to the debt we already owe to God. It is  an element of our own happiness and feeling that this debt that has been paid in full.  The more we grow to love the Mass and hunger for the Eucharist, the happier we will become."  - Douglas McManaman is a high school religion teacher with the York Catholic District School Board in Ontario. He is currently teaching at Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy in Markham, Ontario.  He studied Philosophy at St. Jerome's College in Waterloo, and Theology at the University of Montreal.  Mr. McManaman is the past President of the Canadian Chapter of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. He is on the advisory board of the Catholic Education Resource Center. 

The Eucharist is food for the hungry soul, medicine for the spiritually sick, a source of grace to empower us to live the way God intends for us. We forfeit this holy time if we do not attend mass for it is a sacramental union between the Good Shepherd and His flock; a union available to all who are present at mass.  We are repeating the Last Supper, as He asked us to do.  For those who are ill, communion arrangements can be made to bring the Eucharist to the home.

And so, we are trusting in His promises every time we go to Mass which is why it is so important to attend.  It is public and communal, and is a celebration where we are called to praise God in unison.  While we can and should engage in the private worship of God throughout the week, our primary form of worship must be attending Sunday Mass.  At Sunday worship, we support and encourage, giving strength to those we come in contact with who may be trying to bolster a weakening faith and in doing so, we strengthen our own.  Church worship on the Sabbath is all about our unique encounter with God, Jesus Christ and like believers. 

How many of us are like the man on FaceBook who said,  "I don’t need to go to Church?  I’m a good person, I will go next week.  I have things to do".   It is then we lose the great opportunity to praise God in unison, listen to the gospel readings, and hear the homily before celebrating the Holy Eucharist. 

Therefore, be obedient to the Third commandment:  “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8 reads.  Someone once wrote, "If you really thought about who you are, Who God is, and how much thanks you owe Him, you would want to go to Mass. The Mass would become the source and center of your spiritual life."  It is not about what songs the choir sings, or judging how the homily is presented; it is much more.  If our hearts are right and we listen to what God's word is proclaiming for all of us, we will leave God's house with His many blessings that will carry us through the week until the next Holy Sabbath.

Douglas McManaman sums it up:  "But above all, we have a debt to God that cannot be fully repaid.  Everything we have been given, every blessing and every human good that we enjoy, comes ultimately from God, the First Cause of all that is." 


Father Eugene OHagan of the Parish of Ballyclare and Ballygowan: Church of The Sacred Heart and Church of The Holy Family. Diocese of Down and Connor
Father Martin OHagan of the Parish of Cushendun: Church of St. Patrick (Craigagh), Church of St. Mary, The Star of the Sea (Culraney). Diocese of Down and Connor.
Father David Delargy of the Parish of Hannahstown: Church of St. Joseph and Church of St. Peter, the Rock , Diocese of Down and Connor.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love
Do you love Him back?"  - Saint Augustine of Hippo

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