Including today, I have only 6 more days with my incredible third graders. (this is where I wipe away a tear...) They have taught me so much this past year and have made me become stronger and more knowledgeable in my Catholic Christian Faith. From discovering Truths together and learning about things like the Works of Mercy (based on the Gospel of the lambs and the sheep), I have drawn closer to Jesus through these children. (Plus, I am way more sharp on my multiplication facts!)
However, even though they teach me so much, we still have a lot more to learn and to experience. Take the Mass, for example.
A while back I read an INCREDIBLE and easy read called "The Lambs Supper" by Scott Hahn. It is a book aligning the Holy Mass to Heaven! I suggest it for both Catholics and non-Catholics, alike for learning purposes and a strike to the heart! The first subsequent Mass I attended after reading this book was Holy Thursday Mass (in Las Vegas of all places!) and my eyes were opened to what it all means! In the Holy Mass NOTHING IS ARBITRARY. It all has meaning, both in a physical and in a spiritual sense. I could blog forever about the things this book revealed, however, I'll tell mainly about how it applies to my kiddos and me.
We attend Mass every week as a class and once a month as a school. My kids have become very reverent and respectful during Mass, understanding that Jesus is in the Tabernacle and he will be with us and inside of us when we receive the Eucharist. Yesterday was the 8th grade Baccalaureate Mass, attended by parents and the school. Everything seemed like an ordinary Mass, except people were not singing or responding! Michael and I go to a smaller parish were it is 10 times louder with 10 times less people! When we returned to class my kids were wondering if they earned their marble for reverence and respect, and I said they did. However, I also said that they lost it because only one of my boys sang and no one was responding to the Mass parts. Needless to say they were disappointed and I could tell they didn't understand quite yet why it was SO important they participate in Mass.
So, in my best attempts at a third grade level, I told them why.
We have discussed in class that Mass is Heaven on Earth. It is where Heaven and Earth become one. How? Through CHRIST. If Heaven is being in complete union with God, where can we experience this on earth? The Eucharist. Us and Jesus become ONE! How flipping cool is that! And during Mass the separation between Heaven and Earth no longer exists. The angels and saints are with us, praising God as they eternally do in Heaven. This is WHY we sing:
Holy, Holy, Holy, LORD. God of power and might.
Heaven and Earth and full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.
Hosanna in the highest!
These words, among most of the others from the Mass, come directly from the Bible, and they are what the angels and saints say to God always. We get a glimpse of it in the Mass.
This is why we need to participate. Mass is not a passive spectator sport. We are not watching the Priest and the ministers "do their job." We are becoming one with Jesus and his communion of angels and saints.
There is not a moment on earth where Mass is not being said. Isn't that weird? Is gives a whole new meaning to "Your Kingdom Come," and to the meaning of the Mass in our lives. So, let's hang up our so called "boredom" during Mass and align our hearts and our mouths with the incredible gift Jesus gives us.