How can it be a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday???

face of jesus crucified

Look at His eyes. Who would ever dare insult Him? Who would have the audacity to spit in that Face? But that is comparable to what we do when, for no good reason, we miss Mass on Sundays or holy days of obligation. Why? Because no prayer, no act can compare with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. If we could even begin to appreciate its worth, we would realize what a wonderful privilege it is to be present at this awesome, sacred Sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross for love of us! No matter how spirit-filled and beautiful a prayer service may be, it has little value compared with the value of the Mass, because the value of the Mass is infinite. Its value is without limit because it is Jesus offering His life to the Father. It is an act of Jesus ~ an act of God. It is a privilege because in the Holy Mass Our Lord offers us an opportunity to unite our lives with His as an offering to the Father of us all.

How can the Mass be the same sacrifice that Jesus offered on the Cross two thousand years ago? It is possible because the Mass is outside of time. Using the lips of the priest, Jesus’ words that change bread and wine into His Body and Blood echo throughout the centuries: “This is My Body; This is My Blood.” It is the greatest event that could ever take place on earth. If only we could begin to comprehend this mystical re-presenting of the sacrifice on the Cross, all Catholic churches would be full everyday for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Only in eternity will we know its value. Then we will be filled with tremendous gratitude to God for having given us the grace to go to daily Mass if we did, or we will greatly rue the fact if we could have gone but chose not to out of indifference.

The Church, knowing the infinite value of the Mass and wishing her members to benefit from it, instructs us to attend Mass at the minimum on Sundays and Holy Days designated as obligatory. It is a serious offense against God, a mortal sin, to miss Mass through one’s own fault on Sundays and/or on Holy Days of obligation. Not attending Mass when one is obligated to do so is refusing to join with the entire Church as the People of God in offering our lives to the Father in union with Jesus’ supreme sacrifice on the Cross and to thank God for this single greatest act of Love ever witnessed on earth.

He shed every drop of His Blood for us. What a terrible insult to God to be too busy to thank Him for His sacrifice and to unite our lives with His as an offering to the Father. What an insult to claim to be too busy to spend the one or two hours a week it takes to fulfill our obligation to the One Who gave His entire life for us! Can you imagine the uproar if most people were told to spend only an hour or two on the telephone a week? Or watching TV? Or using the computer? So you can see that it is like spitting in the Face of God to be too busy to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation. If we better understood the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we’d be filled with gratitude for the opportunity to attend Mass, and we’d be greatly disappointed if we were unable to do so. Let’s pray that someday soon we and all peoples will come to better understand the value of the Mass. And remember, its value does not depend on the quality of the music, although music can help prepare our souls to surrender to God. Nor does the value of the Mass depend on the quality of the preaching at the Mass, although a good homily can certainly be helpful in teaching and guiding. The Mass has infinite value even without music or preaching, because it is like stepping into a time machine and being present at the crucifixion. It is the miracle of miracles! Thank You, Lord, for the gift of the Mass! Help us understand and appreciate it more and more. Unite all Christians in Your truth and love and may everyone, every person on the face of the earth, someday share in these sacred mysteries: the sacred sacrifice and the sacred meal where Jesus is the Lamb slain for our sins.

At Mass we are present when Jesus is sacrificed and eaten by His People, as was prefigured in the Paschal lamb that was sacrificed and eaten by the Jews. How blessed we are to eat the Sacred Flesh of Our Savior and drink His Precious Blood! For those who receive Him worthily, in the state of grace, it is an opportunity to be transformed into His very Self. St. Faustina prayed, “Lord, divinize me by means of the Holy Communion I receive each day.” Yes, Lord, divinize us.

The opposite of spitting in His Face is gratitude for this gift of infinite value. Thank You, Lord! With all our heart we thank You for the Holy Mass.