Please listen here to this Podcast by Father Broom on this important topic
Imagine that you are invited to visit
the palace of a King, something you had desired all of your life. You are introduced to come before “His
Majesty”, who is seated on a high and awesome throne, surrounded by countless
servants obedient to even the slightest order given by His Majesty. The Royal exterior is more than
impressive: a scepter in hand, golden
crown on head in which are embedded jewels, many glimmering diamonds.
What would your behavior reflect in
the presence of so sublime, exalted and majestic a scene and person?
Undoubtedly you would come well groomed on the exterior and the interior
disposition of your heart would be reverence, awe, submission and obedience.
Hypothetically imagine if you were to
arrive late, poorly dressed, chewing gum, talking trivialities while in the
presence of this King. What do you think would be the reaction of the King as
well as His subjects? Surprise to the point of shock, immediate separation from
the presence of the King, chastisement by incarceration in the dungeon, set
aside for miscreants, eventual death through the sword.
This being the case should not our
reverence for the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Jesus in the Holy Mass, be
much greater than our reverence for the earthly King?
What are some ways in which we might
be manifesting irreverence toward the King of Kings and Lord of Lords
especially in the context of the Palace of the King, the Church, and the
greatest of events, the Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass? Let us highlight some of the most common offenses leveled against
PUNCTUALITY. Lack of punctuality at Mass is all too
frequent. Would you show up late for the
movies, or the opera or Super-bowl Sunday, or the last game of the
World-series, or for your graduation ceremony the day you receive your diploma?
Hardly! However, how easy it is to be flippant, nonchalant and lackadaisical in
our assistance at Mass.
Leave them at home or in the car. First, if you have one in your pocket
psychologically you are waiting for some message which distracts you from the
Mass. Second, if it goes off you are totally distracted. Third, when it goes
off everybody in the Church is distracted and that includes the
priest-celebrant who acts in “Persona-Christi”—in the person of Christ. No person nor message prevails over the
Person and message of Jesus Christ.
USELESS CHATTER. In Church and especially in the context of
Holy Mass there should be absolute silence.
The Church is the House of God and the house of prayer. Jesus once
expressed great anger when His Father’s House was transformed into a
marketplace, in which he made a whip and expelled those who were desecrating
the Temple. Holy Mass is by far the greatest prayer in
the whole universe;at every Mass the angels stand in awe at the sublimity of
God descending on the altar and entering into human hearts- a privilege that
even the angels do not have! Useless
talking, chatter and joking around are totally out of place in the presence of
His Majesty, Jesus the Lord and King.
Why is this evil? First, those who talk to others are rude to God
because it is His House and it is to Him we should be speaking. Second, others
who hear the talking are being disturbed and distracted from their prayers and
attention in Mass and will receive fewer graces. Lastly, the sense of sacred
and mystery is lost when bombarded by a cacophony of noises!
Our Lady of Fatima warned us about the dangers of immodesty!
MODESTY. Never forget as Christian-Catholics our dignity. We are created in the image and
likeness of God. Through Baptism we are temples of the Holy Spirit. Upon receiving Holy Communion we become
Living Tabernacles or Sanctuaries of the Eucharistic Lord. If that were not
enough, St Paul defines the Christian as the “Ambassador of Christ”. An Ambassador represents the President of the
country, the country in its totality as well as each individual citizen of that
country. Christians represent the Lord
Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Worthy of note is the following: Christians/Catholics are not simply one
hour a week at Mass on Sunday, but rather 24-7--- meaning, 24 hours a day and 7
days a week, and 365 days a year. Never
can we change who we are, have an identity change. We are called to follow Jesus always in word,
deed and manner of dress. What are the
evils that flow from immodesty in dress?
First, the woman lowers her own dignity as daughter of God. Second, she
can easily be a source of temptation for the many men that are present in
church. Men are very visual and due to the effects of Original sin, eyes wander
and can easily stop and focus on the forbidden! Lastly, both Jesus and Mary are
highly offended. For women the Blessed
Virgin Mary must always be the model in all realms and aspects of life. Mary
should be model in the way of speech, action, and dress. A woman should express dignity and beauty but
never degrade herself to being provocative to the point of being a source of
temptation, scandal and sin! Lord Jesus
save us from winning the “Millstone award” for immodesty in dress!
IRREVERENCE AT COMMUNION. By far the most important moment in the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass is Holy Communion.
An all-important reminder: Holy Communion is truly the Body, Blood, Soul
and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The consecrated Host is really and truly the
Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. Therefore, He should be received
with the greatest reverence, respect and adoration--- never in a sloppy, flippant,
mechanical or distracted manner. Hands
should be folded reverently, before receiving Jesus a reverential bow towards
the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
When the priest/minister offers the Body of Christ a resounding AMEN
should be pronounced, meaning that we truly believe—this is an act of
faith—that it is Jesus the Lord.
Furthermore, remember the three indispensable conditions to receive
Jesus worthily: 1) faith that the Host is really Jesus, 2) an hour of fasting
before Holy Communion, 3) the soul being in the state of grace—meaning not
having mortal sin one one’s conscience.
RUSHING/HOUSE ON FIRE. There are persons who after receiving Holy
Communion rush out of the church as if their pants were on fire. Rude behavior!
If one were invited to dinner, after desert he would not rush out of the house
without thanking the hosts. On the contrary, thanksgiving and gratitude is the
condiment that spices up our daily life. Should we not be grateful to the Lord? The word “Eucharist” actually means
“Thanksgiving.” In conclusion, in God’s
house we must maintain the greatest reverence. Every Mass we should participate
fully, actively and consciously as if it were our first Mass, our last Mass and the only Mass on which we will be
judged for all eternity!