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 | Veronica Szczygiel

Rediscover spiritual joy

After weeks spent quarantining and parishes planning appropriate safety measures, it’s now time to return to Mass, if you haven’t already! The long absence from the Eucharist we experienced made us feel a deep yearning for Jesus’ presence in his most precious body and blood. Let us view this opportunity to attend Mass again as a personalized invitation to God’s love, to rediscovering our faith’s centricity in our lives and to experiencing the great spiritual joy that comes from knowing Jesus.

God is inviting us to re-join him in the breaking of bread at his table. Think of it like seeing an old friend – one who loves you unconditionally and knows you better than anyone – after a prolonged period apart. Or imagine the time in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future when it will be safe to visit loved ones after this long period of physical separation. We have experienced hardship, and perhaps loneliness, during the separation, and we may still feel a bit uneasy being close to others when we do see them. In the same way, when we return to Mass, we will have to wear masks and practice social distancing. We most likely will not be able to share in the Precious Blood.

These measures may sometimes feel inconvenient, but our faith was never a faith of convenience. It is a living faith of challenge. Jesus challenges us to actively practice love, compassion, patience, mercy and forgiveness. These are difficult virtues to live each day, but in order to be fully Christian, we must make our best effort. Receiving God’s grace and blessing through his own body in the Eucharist helps us to do so.

This is God’s clarion call to us. Will we accept Jesus’ challenge to be our best selves in his name and to strive to walk with him each day, or will we fall back into our old habits? Going back to Mass is a golden opportunity to approach our faith with renewed fervor and to commit to sustaining it through daily prayer, regular Mass attendance and Christian service.

Jesus wants to fill us with his boundless love. He is always knocking at our heart’s door. We need only open it for him. There’s no better time than now.