Rediscover the Wonder: How to Get More Out of Mass

On my way to Mass this morning, it occurred to me that if Muslims believed that God was truly present in their mosques, and that by some mystical power they could receive and consume him in the form of bread and wine, they would crawl over red-hot broken glass for the chance. But as Catholics, we are so unaware of the mystery and the privilege that most of us cannot be bothered to show up to church on Sunday and many of those who do can hardly wait to get out.

Modern Catholics complain about the Mass in a constant litany: “Mass is boring.” “The music is too old-fashioned.” “I couldn’t understand what the priest was trying to say.” “The sound system is no good.” “It went for too long.” “I cannot relate to the priest.” “The people at Mass are not my age.” Maybe, just maybe, we are missing the point.

It seems we have lost our sense of wonder. This is true in almost every area of our lives, but particularly when it comes to matters of faith and spirituality. We have lost the quintessential quality of childhood—wonder.

Do you experience the wonder? Are you able to look beyond what appear to be routine actions of the Mass to the timeless meaning? Do you sense the mystery and power of receiving and consuming Christ in the Eucharist? Do you marvel at the fact? If we believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, then the power unleashed within us by the consumption of the Eucharist is immeasurable.

I often wonder as I watch great athletes compete, knowing that they are not Catholic, how much better they would perform if they believed Christ was present in the Eucharist and they could receive him right before a race. What is true for these athletes is also true for our lives. There is incredible power in the Eucharist.

We don’t go to Mass to socialize. We don’t go to be entertained. We go to give ourselves to God, and in return to receive God. Open your heart, open your mind, and open your soul to the miracles God wants to work in and through you.

Life is not about what sort of shoes you wear. It’s not about what street you live on. It is not about how much money you have in the bank or what sort of car you drive. It’s not about whether or not you get that promotion, or where you and your family vacation each year. Life is not about whom you have dated, whom you are dating, or whom you married. It is not about whether or not you made the football team. Life is not about what college you went to, what college may or may not accept you, or what college your children are going to. Life isn’t about these things.

Life is about whom you love and whom you hurt. Life is about how you love yourself and how you hurt yourself. It’s about how you love and hurt the people in your life. You can’t see these things, but they are powerful and real.

Mass is not about whom you sit next to. It’s not about which priest says Mass. It is not about what you wear or who is there. Mass is not about the music. It’s not even about the preaching. It about gathering as a community to give thanks to God for all the blessings he fills our lives with. It is about receiving the body and blood of Christ, not just physically, but spiritually. Perhaps you have been receiving the Eucharist physically every Sunday for your whole life. Next Sunday, prepare yourself, be conscious of the marvel, the wonder, the mystery, and receive spiritually.

Rediscover the wonder.




Back to blog

Leave a comment