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Father Muench Says...

Make Lent a time of renewal - go to Mass!

February 13, 2013

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

“You are indeed Holy and to be glorified, O God,
who love the human race
and who always walk with us on the journey of life.
Blessed indeed is your Son,
present in our midst
when we are gathered by his love,
and when as once for the disciples, so now for us,
He opens the Scriptures and breaks the bread.”

This is the opening prayer of the special Eucharistic Prayer for use in Masses for various needs - #1 The Church on the Path of Unity. This Eucharistic Prayer summarizes so completely why we join in the celebration of the Mass.  God loves us – God wants to be with us – God is with us always.  Our Savior, Jesus Christ is present in this Mass in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. 

In each and every Mass, Jesus opens the Scriptures for us. Jesus comes to us in the Eucharist of every Mass just as Jesus did for the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The Mass is our best prayer.  In each Mass, we meet Jesus and celebrate Jesus.  In every Mass we are united with Our Savior, Jesus Christ, in a perfect way, a unique way. 

Today, I am thinking of the Mass because Lent is beginning. I like Lent – it has always been good for me. Although it can be painful at times, it does make me a better person.  Sometimes I think – for me – Lent should last all year.  Lent is a spiritual journey – from Ash Wednesday to Easter.  Lent is a retreat, a time to do something about our spiritual lives, a time to make ourselves holier by doing something.  Usually when we think of Lent the first thing that comes to mind is “giving something up.” It’s a good idea to give something up to deal with an addiction, to show that we can control our lives. What is your problem? Your addiction? Should you give up some kind of food, drink, television, internet, computer? For me – and I will be bold enough to tell you of my Lenten plan – one of my addictions is computer games so I resolve to give them up for Lent.

Now, I want to add something more to your Lenten plans, a spiritual practice that is guaranteed to change your life.  I encourage you for the time of Lent to attend Mass – not just on Sunday – but every day of the week. The Mass is our spectacular time of prayer.  At Mass, we unite ourselves to Our Lord, Jesus, who comes to make us holier and better people. By joining with others at prayer at Mass each day the Mass becomes part of our daily routine and unites us with the Lord, Jesus, in such a beautiful and meaningful way. 

In the Mass, we first listen to the Sacred Scriptures and then we carefully place our intentions, our needs, our hopes and dreams on the altar before the Lord, to be united with the bread and wine.  In this Offertory, we place ourselves – our very being – on the altar of sacrifice to be touched by the Lord Jesus as the bread and wine is consecrated into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and God.  We are then transformed and made new as we receive the Lord in Holy Communion. The celebration of the Mass is our perfect way to make Lent a time of spiritual renewal.

Each day will be blessed by the opportunity of uniting ourselves with Jesus as the Savior comes to each of us to fill our lives with his love and peace.  The Mass brings the love of God, the presence of Jesus, into everything we do during the day. Lent will become a time of renewal, a time to find the happiness promised us by God, a time that gives us the Holy Spirit to make our world a better place.

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