The Mass has Ended, Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord by Judy Dudich

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Each time we are privileged to hear the holy Mass, we hear the words above as we prepare to leave the Church. As Catholics, we celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, because this is the day that Our Savior rose from the dead.

Mass is an integral part of our Catholic life and at its center, is the most holy Eucharist.

How many of us though, really “go in peace to love and serve the Lord” when we exit the Church each Sunday?

All too often, chit-chat and chatter begin before the priest has even reached the back of the Church. Rather than taking a few extra moments of silence to thank Our Lord for the gift we have just received, people are daunting here and there, rushing off to “beat the traffic” or meet a friend for lunch at a local diner.

How many car rides home are filled with grumbling or bickering, rather than pleasant reminiscing of the miracle we have all just witnessed?

And sadly, once we’ve reached our home destination, this day becomes all-too-often like “any other day” with shopping,  working, and rushing to meetings or events; spending little time in reflection or meditation, relaxation, or recreation…the things that are supposed to be the focus of our Sundays.

“Going in peace” is not possible if we never slow down or take time for quiet prayers or conversation. “Loving and serving the Lord” doesn’t happen much if we are busy typing up those contracts to meet a deadline, or dashing off to the nearest, busiest, shopping mall.

It’s a blessing to have a day that’s been “set aside”; a day that the Lord has commanded us to “keep holy”.

Let us discern what is “holy” from that which is “busy” or “superficial” and let us make a conscious effort to carry the parting words of our priest out the door with us so that we may put them into action rather than leave them idle upon the altar until the next time.

Helpful suggestions for keeping Sundays holy:

  • Enjoy your own family prayer group at home with each member of the family taking part in some way: opening prayer, inspirational reading, prayers of petition, a song, and a closing prayer, with a nice meal or snack for enjoyment and fellowship afterward.
  • Spend an hour or so in complete silence: reading, praying, meditating, even watching a religious video of some sort; point being that God’s voice is more easily heard when we take away the “noise” of the day.
  • Reach out in family service to others: taking some freshly baked bread to a lonely neighbor, pay a visit to a new family on the block (or invite them to dine with you!), make cards and send them to the Children’s Oncology Ward in a nearby hospital, or do a craft as family in celebration of the Liturgical Year (choose the closest upcoming feast day, or a general craft for the season)
  • Make rosaries to donate to send overseas to our service men and women
  • Spend time in your yard or on your porch: sipping a nice cold drink, watching the birds, and allowing the children to explore and play.
  • Take a nap!

Copyright 2010 Judy Dudich

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