Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oh Dear, I've Lost Jesus...

I'll never forget the CYO Mass I attended in college where Fr. Joe, the beloved little old Irish priest, misplaced the host under the patten and exclaimed that he "lost Jesus." The good news is that Jesus was never lost and our Mass continued once he realized what happened. 

Although an amusing story today, it illustrates a sad but common reality in how many we lose focus during the Mass and instead let the details and our own sense of "me" get in the way. Please don't get me wrong....I'm not doubting any one's sincerity and love for Christ when I write this...but I think we've lost sight of the center of the Holy Mass..Jesus.

We recently attended Mass at another parish while visiting it's town. (Said parish and town's name will remain nameless to protect the innocent....and the guilty.) I'll just say that this is a rather large, newer church whose builders spared no expense when it came to amenities but missed the boat when it came to a "space suitable for worship." Don't get me wrong - this church has potential but sadly a bit more catechises on the Mass is an order. The raised choir "stage" behind the altar, digital hymn boards, parade of EMHC's slathering the on hand sanitizer before communion, and the complete lack of anything resembling Jesus in the sanctuary, make it very difficult to concentrate on the suffering and death of Our Lord. If dear Fr. Joe had "lost Jesus" during this circus, no one would have noticed.

Beautiful music and immagry, vestments, incense, and "full participation" are a wonderful part of our faith. Our Lord deserves no less than the best we are able to do. We just have to understand that these things are supposed to enhance the Mass and not take away from and become the focus unto themselves. Fortunatly, this parish has a new pastor who I think will guide his flock to understand what is important. I'm looking forward to visiting this church in about a year or so.

Let's pray that our clergy and lay people develop a deeper understanding and love for the Mass and that we don't "lose Jesus" in the details.

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