Why should I go to Mass?
February 9, 2020, 12:00 PM
We humans, with our ability to know and to love, are more than a random by-product of a cosmic explosion; we are more than just “evolved animals.” An intelligent Creator designed us for a purpose: to know, love, and serve Him in this life and to be happy with Him forever in the next. Despite what the commercial says, all the Snickers in the world won’t make us “really satisfied” – and neither will all the money, success, power, pleasure, and popularity. Only living out our purpose will. In the words of St. Augustine, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Only the God who made us – and for whom we were made – can fill our hearts with the peace and love we long for.
In the Mass, God gives us the only thing that makes us “really satisfied”: His very self. While we can and do encounter God in other ways – for instance, through prayer, reading the Bible, or serving others – all of these actions point to and are enlivened by our reception of Jesus, body, blood, soul, and divinity, in the Eucharist. Just as food strengthens and sustains our bodies, the Eucharist nourishes us spiritually by uniting us with the risen Christ (see CCC 1392).
So, the Mass is the richest encounter we can have with God this side of eternity. It helps us fulfill the core purpose of our existence: union with the God we were made for. Only by being united with Him can we truly know and love Him – and truly serve Him by loving others with His own divine love. Because it fuels us to live out our purpose (i.e., knowing, loving, and serving God), the Mass gives us the grace we need to live life “to the full” (see Jn 10:10) – not just an average human life, but a life full of grace, which is a share in the inner life of God Himself. This life of holiness is the life we were created to live. Any other kind of life, no matter how successful it may seem, is a failure in the ultimate sense – a failure to live out our very purpose. Anything less is empty.
Finally, we should at least attend Mass every Sunday because God, knowing us and our needs better than we know ourselves, commands us to. (See the third commandment and Jesus’ command at the Last Supper to “do this in remembrance of me”). So, unless we have an urgent reason to disregard God’s straightforward command, it is foolish not to heed His words.