By the Third Commandment, all baptized people (yes, this even means the new born child who was recently baptized) have the obligation to gather in Church every Sunday to give praise and worship to our God. This makes every Sunday a Holy Day of obligation! I bring up this subject to clarify there is little excuse for not coming to Mass. Now that the merging and linking process has been completed, rumor has come to me that some believe it is OK to miss Mass because: “It’s every other week here.” “I go to Mass on Sundays.” “I go to Mass on Saturdays.” “Mass starts too early.” “Mass starts too late.” (Just to name a few…add on whatever other excuse you may have used to miss Mass.) But, be honest, these are mere excuses.
For most of us, we’ve become so accustomed to attending Mass every Sunday that we don’t think of it as such…but truly each Sunday is indeed a Holy Day of obligation. So right off the bat, there are 52 Holy Days of obligation a year! And then the Church in Her wisdom adds another five days to this number so that the people are sure to remember and reverence key Feast Days that identify certain truths that are foundational to our Catholic faith! The Five Feast Days considered Holy Days of Obligation are: January 1st (Mary, Mother of God), August 15th (The Assumption), November 1st (All Saints), December 8th (The Immaculate Conception), December 25th (Christmas). Sometimes these Feast Days fall on a Sunday where they are automatically celebrated in the context of Sunday Mass. But, for those years when these Feast Days fall on a weekday, the Church obliges us to attend Mass, by declaring them to be a Holy Day of obligation.
Attending Mass on a Holy Day of obligation carries the same weight of duty, as does Sunday Mass. We have to arrange schedules to enable us to come and praise God for the mighty work that He accomplished through His Creation, the Church. At Baptism, we commit ourselves to worshipping God the way God wants us to worship Him. (Many Americans think we have a right to worship God the way we want to worship Him; but, worship is to be all about God…not us.) It is true, in our way of thinking, God is an inconvenient Truth. Since God is Truth, He is well worth the inconvenience. See you in Church!