By FATHER JIM
“Why do I gotta go to church?” is part of the ritual on weekends in many good households.
Parents of faith try using patience and skill to persuade kids to be part of the household of Catholic people at Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday.
In this Year of Faith we are all invited to support and encourage the practice of weekend worship with people of every age, our relatives and friends, co-workers, fellow students.
The first thing God “made holy” was the Sabbath Day — not a mountain or an altar, but a day. Now, we have to admit that just being at church doesn’t totally fulfill what it means to be a practicing Catholic or a happy and holy Christian. It’s the source of wisdom, energy and inspiration for living as a friend of Jesus each day and everywhere.
Somebody said sitting in church doesn’t make me any more a Christian than sitting in the garage makes me an auto mechanic.
But it’s gotta help. It can’t hurt hearing the Gospel Word and gathering at the table of our sacrament and being with others who share the very faith we say we are part of.
A famous Jewish Rabbi said, “The Sabbath Day is for recovering one’s strength and becoming ever more fit for the journey of walking with our God.”
How much more important it is for us to hear the words of our Lord over and over again, “Do this in memory of me.” It is the same Jesus who, the Gospel tells us, was himself in the custom of going to worship on the Sabbath.
He didn’t skip, how can we?
Each year God gives us 365 days, 8,760 hours; 168 hours every week. God asks only for about one hour in return to say, “Hello, thank you.”
It will be a surprise, perhaps, to some people who always say about being an active presence at weekend Mass, “I just can’t fit it in,” when knocking at the gate of heaven a voice says, “I’m sorry, I just can’t fit YOU in.”
Let’s make an effort to get the invite out there in a year of faith.