The pastor at GorT’s church delivered an awesome homily today. It’s always odd to sermonize about attending Mass as the target audience is likely not there, unless you preach it at Christmas or Easter. He opened by thanking us at Mass for attending today and then outlined three general reasons why people (Catholics) don’t attend Mass:
1. The Church, its leadership and its priests are corrupt, wrong, or otherwise not perfect and therefore why attend Mass as one shouldn’t be listening to those types.
2. The individual doesn’t get anything out of Mass so why attend?
3. The individual is good with themselves and doesn’t feel that anyone should be telling them how to act and what to do.
Our pastor took each one in order and, in essence, debunked each one. As I listened, I wondered how many in Mass actually got his subtle point. You see, the Catholic Church is trying to work on its evangelization. So why not arm those who attend Mass with the information to counter the prevalent arguments against attending Mass? Brilliant, in my opinion.
In summary, his responses were:
1. Yes, that accusation is spot on and no one in the Church has ever advocated that it was perfect nor were/are priests perfect. In fact, the Catholic Church openly acknowledges that it is, as a whole, a community of sinners aiming at being holy. Holy is different than perfect. To be perfect is to be without flaw (or sin, in this case) whereas being holy (as Father defined it during his homily) is to be on the path to God.
2. You don’t attend Mass to “get something” out of it. You are at Mass to give. And in giving, one receives. Sure, the homily (unlike this one) might not grab you or hold your attention, but again, that’s not why one attends Mass. The individual has an orientation problem if his or her goal is to get something out of Mass rather than giving themselves to Mass.
3. In his rebuttal to this point, I think Father teed up a shot at a popular liberal argument which I’ll get to in a minute. The Church is not telling people what to do or how to act. Instead, the Church is providing guidance on how to be holy. Remember – holy, not perfect. The Church believes firmly and at its core that everyone has free will and must act accordingly. We are doubly blessed here that we live in a free society in this country where we can choose to act in a Christian manner.
So the logical extension to Father’s third point is that the Church is not telling us to participate in wealth redistribution practices (or support such movements) because its the Christian thing to do. Instead, the Church says that it is Christian to help feed, clothe and otherwise care for the poor. There is a big difference and trying to subvert Christian and Catholic teachings by twisting them into a supportive argument for tax increases to support Medicare, Medicaid and other government-run welfare programs should be frowned upon.
Aside from the child throwing a tantrum for 10 minutes in the pew behind us with his parents not making a move for the back of the church, it was a wonderful Mass.
PS – to that family who consistently arrives 15 minutes late and leaves after receiving Communion, please close the doors rather than leave them propped open when you arrive.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.