Monday September 16, 2019
8:42 am

Ask the question, is God worth our best effort?

      Did you ever stop to consider how hard people work to find reasons not to go to Mass on Sundays?

      Here are just a few of the comments I’ve heard over the years:

            1) “I don’t like to go because Mass is boring.”

            2) “Father keeps us in church for an hour; it would be much shorter if he didn’t talk so much.”

            3) “I don’t go in the winter because the church is too cold.”

            4) “We don’t go when the temperatures rise because the church is too hot.”

            5) “Weekends are very busy: we’ve got other things to do (golf, ball games, vacation, etc.)

            6) “Weekends are my only time to sleep in.”

            7) “I find the people in my parish to be hypocrites.”

            8) “All they want to do is ‘pass the basket.’”

            9) “The Church has hurt me.”

            10) “I can pray just as well in my backyard.”

            11) “I’m not being fed.”

      The list goes on… I’m sure there are many more reasons that you’ve even heard a few from family and friends that you might add to the list.   But after years of working in ministry, here are some of the answers I’ve been able or tempted to offer in response:

      1) Perhaps if you took time to learn more about our Mass, you could better appreciate its beauty and rich tradition that unites us universally as Catholics. Boredom comes from lack of knowledge and certainly a lack of participation. No matter how boring the sermon or annoying the music, etc., the Mass is never boring because, each and every time, we find Jesus there with us, truly present. God in our midst; how could that possibly is be boring?

      2) An hour devoted solely to God…once a week? Just as when we spend time with a loved one or dear friend, if we feel the love of God we say we have, that mere hour should feel like it’s not enough.  Spending time with God should never be viewed as something we need to be done and over with as quickly as possible.

      3 & 4) If your church is too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer, mention it to Father or the sacristan. Better yet, consider dropping more than just that dollar bill in the weekly collection.

      5) No matter how busy we are, we simply cannot be busier than God on any given day. Seriously. If we expect God to have time for us, shouldn’t we make time with God a priority?

      6) Different parishes in your area offer a wide variety of Mass times, including the Saturday evening Vigil Mass.

      7) Religion doesn’t hold the licensing rights on hypocrisy; you’ll find it in any walk of life, and that probably includes each of us at times. Here’s a great opportunity to begin leading by example.

      8) Ah, here we go with the money thing again. Parishes, just as households, carry expenses: utilities, repairs, maintenance, supplies, etc. Plus, those nice people on your parish staff who try to tend to your spiritual needs like to get paid. That couple of bucks we started giving 20 years ago has certainly not kept up with inflation. Everything we have comes by way of God’s grace. We are gifted. How much are we willing to give back?

      9) The Church is made up of flawed humans and yes, many have been hurt. But we need to remember, God would never hurt us and in God, we find our healing. As it is written in Romans 8:39, nothing (and no one) can keep us from the love of God.

      10) You can also easily view your daughter’s wedding sitting in a lawn chair in your backyard via Skype, but would you want to do that to someone you loved?

      11) If we feel we are not being fed, try becoming the one doing the feeding for a change. It works, really.

      No matter the excuse, it boils down to one question: Isn’t God worth our greatest effort always? If not, maybe the question we should be asking is why not?

    

      Debbie Bosak is the editor and general manager of Northwest Catholic Publications and a member of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Merrillville. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

           

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