OBLIGATION: LAW AND LOVE
We do not go to Mass in order to give something to God but to receive what we truly need from Him. The Church’s prayer, which is addressed to God, reminds us of this with the words: “Although you have no need of our praise, yet our thanksgiving is itself your gift, since our praises add nothing to your greatness but profit us for salvation.” So, why do we go to Mass on Sunday? It is not enough to respond that it is a precept of the Church; this helps to preserve its value, but alone does not suffice. We Christians need to participate in Sunday Mass because only with Jesus’ grace, with His living presence within us and among us, can we put His commandment into practice, and thus be his credible witnesses.
· We are obligated by Church law to participate in Mass on Sundays and Holy Days.
· We are also obligated to participate in Mass as a response to the love of God, shown and shared through Jesus Christ.
· The more deeply we grow in gratitude for the blessings of life, salvation, faith, gifts and resources, the more fully we will celebrate the Eucharist.
· Our participation in the Eucharist changes us.
What obligations do I have in my life? What things do I undertake purely out of love?
What helps me to be mindful of my blessings and to grow in gratitude?
How is my relationship with Christ and the celebration of Sunday Mass central in my life?
How do I know that I am obligated to participate in Sunday Mass and Holy Day Mass? How is this obligation different from other obligations I have?