Saint Mary, Boyton, Wilts
Every time we come to the Mass, the Lord in His divine providence nourishes us not just with the awesome gift of His Most Holy Body and Blood, but also with His sacred word. The texts of the Mass, the readings and prayers, speak not only to the mystery we celebrate in general terms, but to the particular celebration in its context. Today’s Mass is no exception. Let us begin with a question: Why have Catholics been so frustrated at not being able to attend Mass during the present health crisis? The answer is, I think, found in liturgy today. First, we recall that the Mass is not a thing. It is not just the best form of prayer (though it is); an activity or something we do. It is not the way Catholics ‘do church,’ in contradistinction to other Christians. Rather, the Mass is the Christian life. It is more than a ritual or ceremony or service; it is the action of God in which we, through baptism, are invited to participate. It does not begin with the Sign of the Cross and end with the Blessing; it is the life of the Most Holy Trinity which, through our incorporation into Christ in baptism, is our life also. So for Catholics the Mass is fundamental; essential. In the present crisis food stores and hospitals have rightly been considered essential by the civil authorities. In a very real sense the Most Holy Eucharist is our food and our health, our salvation.