We have an opportunity before us as we change the parish weekend Mass schedule. As we decide which new time to attend Sunday Mass, we can base our decisions on good, sound faith.
Most of all, we can just be thankful to get to go to Mass, since Eucharist is a word which means thanksgiving—that will put us deeply in the correct situation and with a faith perspective.
We are thankful for many reasons, of course; we have many personal reasons to be thankful to our gracious God. Yet all of us are thankful for our salvation, for the risen life of Christ we share in this Holy Meal, and for the weekly chance to offer our lives, including our prayers and our tithe for all. This is the heart of the Eucharist, the heart of our faith—can we make it from our hearts too?
So it’s not about “me”—that’s why we gather in community and look toward Christ—it’s about what Christ has done for all humanity. Should we be grumpy or reserved about that?
On a practical level of thanksgiving, we will have as many different choices of Mass times as any parish in our Diocese. In fact, only three other parishes have the same number of choices as we will have (5 with as many Masses in English).That leaves 114 places in our Diocese with fewer choices (3 or less) of Mass times, many places with just one choice. Aren’t we blessed! Can we be thankful, authentically Eucharistic?
And, as we contemplate the time we will choose for Mass and ready our schedules, it would be a great opportunity to schedule the proper amount of time for Mass. Make a good start. The Commandment is “Keep holy the Lord’s Day.”(Not, “Try to fit God in for the least amount of time.”)Whatever time we choose, we can get in the habit from the beginning to 1) allow plenty of drive time; 2) allow time prior to Mass to park and pray; 3) ourselves to appreciate the whole Mass and reap all the grace the Church offers in the Eucharist and not leave at Communion time or before the priest leaves.
Then we have taken the opportunity for true communion with others who gather and with our Lord—and be thankful!