March 21: Tuesday Nights
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Well we’re halfway through Lent. Congratulations for making it halfway!
I’m always amazed that in this age of technology, we can tell how many people stop the program and when they stop. We can tell if people watched twenty seconds of a video or all of a video. We can tell what percentage of people watch a whole video versus what percentage of people tune out of a video. We can tell how many people last seven days through the program, how many people make it halfway, and how many people make it all the way.
Resistance will slay a lot of people along the way, but resistance hasn’t slain you yet. So, I want to congratulate you for making it halfway. We’re praying for you. Make it all the way through Lent on this great, great spiritual journey we’re having together, to create the best Lent ever.
One of the central experiences of our faith is the experience of Mass.
I fell in love with the Mass on Tuesday nights. There was a Mass every Tuesday night in our parish, and my spiritual mentor really challenged me to go to Mass one weekday each week.
I am not a morning person at all, and in our parish, Mass was at 6:30 every morning. I used to have to get up to go to that as an altar boy when I was a little kid, but certainly when I was 17, I wasn’t getting up for the 6:30 Mass. So I used to go Tuesday nights. They used to have Mass at 7:30, and there were probably only, I don’t know, a dozen people. They had it in the big church—it probably held 800 people. It was a very intimate experience, and in that intimacy I experienced the Mass differently.
But I think the big thing is, I started to listen differently. I listened differently to the prayers. I listened differently to the homily, which was always just this one-minute homily. Our priest would give this one-minute homily—it was just one thing to think about. It was beautiful. It was powerful.
I used to listen differently to the Mass on that Tuesday night. I don’t know what that was . . . I don’t know if it was intimacy, I don’t know if it was the absence of all the distractions. I don’t know what it was, but it was different for me, and it really had an enormous impact on me.
I got a challenge I like to give to people. I like to challenge people with this because I think it changes their lives. I think it transforms their faith experience. I want to present that challenge for you today, but it’s a challenge that is not necessarily for today. If you want to lift it up for today that’s fantastic, but it doesn’t have to be for today.
The challenge is this: One week in the next year, I challenge you to go to Mass every day for a week. One week, sometime in the next year. It can be any time you want. The one thing you probably could do today is put it on your schedule.
Go to Mass every day for a week, and reflect on how you are different. Just reflect on how that affects you. Just reflect on how you see the Mass differently, experience God differently through the Mass during that week, because there will be differences. And you will find that the Mass nurtures you in new and different ways.
It’s a great challenge. Will it be easy? No, it absolutely won’t be. Convenient? Absolutely not. If you want convenience, you should stop trying to be a Christian right now. There’s absolutely nothing convenient about Christianity. Christianity is inconvenient because Christianity is love. And love is not about self, it’s not about us, it’s not about what we want. It’s not about those things. Love is about getting outside of ourselves, laying down our lives for other people . . . and that’s difficult and inconvenient. That’s love, and that’s Christianity.
But I promise you, if you make the effort to go to Mass every day for a week, your life will be different in wonderful ways.
Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness
Once you understand that God has an incredible dream for you, once you grasp that God wants you to become the-best-version-of-yourself and help others to do the same, and once you start to listen to the prayers of the Mass with all this in mind, you very quickly discover that there is genius in Catholicism.
Go to Mass twice this week, Sunday and any other day you like. Pay attention to how it focuses you and fills you with peace.
Jesus, thank you for inviting me to spend more time with you. Fill that time with your grace, love, patience, and peace.
Today’s personal reflection features Dynamic Catholic team member Sheryl Wood. Sheryl is one of our accounting associates and comes to us from Denver, Colorado. Sheryl has played the piano since kindergarten, learned to scuba dive in Hawaii, and has been on two pilgrimages in the last three years.
How has daily Mass impacted you?
Let us know in the comments!