My contemplation of the Mass is late today, because I chose to attend the Life Teen mass, which is held at 6 pm in our Parish of St. George, London on Sunday evening. It is a mass geared towards young people. The music is not the standard Glory and Praise or Catholic Book of Worship fare, but has more of a youthful tone to it. The choir is not a choir, but a band, and is led by my good friend Wayne Zimmer.
Nothing is watered down to appeal to the youth, but it recognizes their different interest and draws them into the mass, and to Life Night, which is a time of fun and some seriousness, led by our Youth ministry folks. At the end of mass, there is often a skit, commercial to invite the kids to the event of the evening, usually done with great good humour by brave souls from the ministry team.
Music permeates the setting even more so than in normal masses, if one contemplates that this is not a normal mass. The music lately has been strong with God's anointing upon it. On several occasions this evening, I had a tear in my eye, and had to stop singing for the clutch in my throat.
The priest, Father Francis, in introducing the mass made mention of it being the Feast of St. Nicholas, who is real and is the man who originated the concept of gift giving, as Bishop of what is now known as Turkey, which was considered part of Asia Minor at the time.
The opening prayer was meaningful:
God of power and mercy, open our hearts in welcome. Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy, so that we may share His wisdom and become one with Him when He comes in glory.And the readings for the mass can be found here.
Deacon Bob Hartman preached the homily, the theme of which was Done It for Love. The homily commenced with the following story:
A mother was preparing for a special celebration, and on the eve of that event, called her young son to her and asked him to do her a favour, as she still had more to do. She asked him to shine her shoes for her, so that they would look good for the event. He took great care with the task assigned and returned with them, looking shiny as new, quite some time later. His mother was very impressed by his diligence and hugged him and thanked him for such a great effort. As well, she pulled a shiny new quarter out of her pocket, which she gave to him in her gratitude.This was the focus of the Deacon's homily, and God coming to earth, where He Done It For Love, Where John the Baptist had preached preparation for the Way of the Lord. Of course, John Done It For Love. He told us that we are called to be the Good News for our brothers and sisters and to bring them the Good News, and to say when we have that We Done It For Love. You, of course can choose to use better grammar if you wish, when you are done.
The next day, as she was getting dressed for the event, she found that she could not get her foot in one of the shoes, and reached into it, where she found a crumpled piece of paper in the toe section. She carefully removed the paper and unwrapped it to find the shiny quarter inside, and a hand written note from her son, that read. "Thanks Mom, but I done it for Love."
One of the most important parts of the Mass, the Consecration touched me this evening. The priest used Eucharistic Prayer II which goes as follows:
Lord, you are holy indeed, the fountain of all holiness. Let your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy, so that they may become for us the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.I know that when I receive the Eucharist, I am eating the Body of Christ, my Saviour. He said it, and I believe that He meant it. When He said, "This is my body," he was referring to the piece of bread in His hand. When He said, "This is my blood," he was referring to the wine cup in His hand. I do not know how it continues to look like bread and wine, but in fact is His body and blood, I just believe it with all my heart. It is a mystery that my mortal mind cannot figure out. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a mystery, would it?
Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted, he took bread and gave you thanks, He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:
Take this, all of you, and eat it; this is my body which will be given up for you.
When the supper was ended, he took the cup. Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said:
Take this, all of you, and drink from it; this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.
The songs at Communion were also touching. The Communion song was Who Am I which is originally a Casting Crowns song. Here it is as done by the original artists.
The Communion Meditation was Nearer than Before. Here is a version of it done as a meditation. Who knew!
I pray that God will bless your week, this week, and that He will reveal to you whatever you need to know about His love for you, and how you can live in that love from day to day.
God Bless You.