From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris…February 12, 2017

For the last few weeks I have been writing about our behaviors and attitudes surrounding the Mass. What we do shapes us and ability to participate in the Mass. The Mass is the most important thing we do each week; it is our intimate encounter with the transcendent God and His great work of salvation. Anything that we might use to make a comparison with the Mass will utterly fall short.

I often hear or read the line that we need to make the Mass more relevant. I know where this comes from; it comes from a recognition that many people have stopped going to Mass. Many have drifted away to different denominations with more “engaging” services and more “relevant” sermons. There is a desire to stop the hemorrhage and to bring people back to active participation in the Church. This is a good and noble desire, but the often used means to accomplish this desire are, I think, wrong.

If we take the Mass seriously, there is always going to be something “irrelevant” about it because it is not first and foremost about our lives. It is first and foremost about the worship of God and the offering of sacrifice. Yes, we come to listen to the Word of God, to be nourished by the Most Holy Eucharist, but all of this is about making our lives a participation in the sacrifice of Christ. We come to unite our lives to the sacrifice of Christ made present on the altar so that with Him we, our lives, might be offered to God as a pleasing and acceptable sacrifice.

On the surface there is nothing relevant about this, and yet, it is the most relevant thing we can do. The Mass takes seriously our everyday lives because it incorporates our everyday lives into the transcendent mystery of Christ and His Death and Resurrection. In light of the Mass, our ordinary, everyday lives are no longer ordinary; they are part of Christ’s great work of salvation. Our lives are lifted up with the Body and Blood of Christ and offered to God; the sacrifice of Christ for the glory of God and the salvation of the world includes our lives, our ordinary, everyday lives.

This puts our lives in a whole different context. The focus of our vision extends beyond ourselves and our lives become a part of a larger reality, the reality of God and His mighty works. Participating in this reality should be the focus of our thoughts and energies. The Mass is the most relevant of all events because it is the most directly irrelevant. The Mass makes our lives relevant beyond the small measure of our everyday lives, and we are called to approach in such a way that we may truly be a part of this transcendent event.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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