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THE MASS IS A DYNAMIC REALITY

Father Francis's picture
Fifth Week of Ordinary Time

Kings 8:1-7, 9-13. & Mk. 6:53-56.

There is a jubilant scene in today's first reading. King Solomon offered sacrifices before the Ark of the Covenant which the priests had placed in the new temple. It represented the presence of God in His new house. The joy and enthusiasm of the people was intense.

No less intense was the eagerness of the people in the Gospel to come into contact with Jesus from Whom went forth healing power. As He left the boat, the people recognised Him and began to bring their sick to Him. They were almost frantic in their attempts to come close to Him.

In contrast to these two scenes is the atmosphere of our daily Mass which is usually somewhat quiet and reserved - yet much more is happening. We have no need for an ark which represents the presence of God because we have the reality of the presence of Jesus Christ in the holy Eucharist. Although He is not present visibly in the flesh, so that we can touch Him as did the people in the Gospel, He is active among us in His mercy and compassion. Jesus is present in the Mass, not passively as we are sometimes present to each other, nor as a person asleep in his bed. Rather the Mass is an event, a happening, a dynamic reality. For it is Jesus in the act of His sacrifice, His death and resurrection, the greatest sign of love for us.

The Mass is a privilege greater than that afforded Solomon or even the people mentioned in today’s Gospel. God was present in the Temple, hidden in a cloud. The sacrifices in the time of Solomon were foreshadowing the sacrifice of Calvary. The people in the Gospel enjoyed the healing presence of Christ. But we at Mass have far more. We have His presence, we enjoy Him as the food of our souls, and we witness His saving death and resurrection. What we have in the Mass should mean our joy and enthusiasm is greater than that of Solomon or the people in the Gospel.

Lord Jesus, make us ever more aware of Your presence at Mass. May we show our enthusiasm and gratitude to You, both in our adoration of You and in the way we express our sorrow for sin.

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