Some thoughts by Pope Benedict XVI on evangelization:
“How many people also in our time are in search of God, in search of Jesus and of his Church, in search of divine mercy, and are waiting for a “sign” that will touch their minds and their hearts! Today, as then, the Evangelist reminds us that the only “sign” is Jesus raised on the cross: Jesus who died and rose is the absolutely sufficient sign. Through him we can understand the truth about life and obtain salvation.”
“[Evangelization] is not something optional, but the very vocation of the People of God, a duty that corresponds to it by the command of the Lord Jesus Christ himself”
“One of the promising indications of a renewal in the Church’s missionary consciousness in recent decades, has been the growing desire of many lay men and women [...] to cooperate generously in the ‘missio ad gentes.’ As Vatican Council II stressed, the work of evangelization is a fundamental duty incumbent upon the whole People of God.”
Sadly, many Catholics haven’t had the opportunity to really learn what’s happening at Mass… By journeying through the parts of the Mass, we hope you will find new excitement in this joyful and meaningful celebration of our Faith every Sunday (or every day)!
Today’s Bored at Mass feature: The Opening Rites
Okay. You just finished singing the opening hymn and Mass has begun! Together, as a community of believers, everyone makes the sign of the cross. Here is what one of the Early Church Fathers had to say about the power of the sign of the cross:
“By the sign of the cross all magic ceases; all incantations are powerless; every idol is abandoned and deserted; all irrational voluptuousness is quelled; and each one looks up from earth to heaven.” –St. Athanasius (De Incarn. Verbi, t.1)
Did you know that the priest’s greeting to you that follows comes straight out of Scripture? “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). In another greeting, the priest says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:3). “And also with you!” we reply.
Catholics Come Home Lost & Found Tip: When the priest invokes peace upon you, take a moment to prepare yourself to receive that peace. Ask yourself if you really are in a peaceful state of mind as you begin the Mass. Offer to God anything that may be keeping you from your peacefulness. Chances are, you’ve spent all week waiting for a moment of “peace”—well, now you’ve got it!
To dive deeper into the parts of the Mass, grab “The How-To Book of the Mass” by Michael Dubruiel in our CatholicsComeHome.org bookstore!