Monday 2 March 2015

Corpus Christi

Why do we attend Mass? Some do so because they supposingly want to be closer to God and be part of a community of believers; but sometimes their actions and attitude seem to show that they are only concerned about themselves or their families and friends. There are people who come to church for Mass, and find that the church parking space is getting congested, then what do they do? Some just park indiscriminately and enter the church. Then when others affected by such indiscriminate parking find that they are unable to move their vehicle, tempers begin to flare and people who call themselves so called brothers and sisters in Christ, end up screaming and shouting at each other. There also are some who, upon entering the church, find that many of the seats have already been booked or "chope" by others who only want their family members or friends to seat together (a common tactic theses people use is to place a bag, handbag or some personal item on the seat). When we do these kind of things, are we really coming to church for the right reasons? What has happened to our being brothers and sisters in Christ?

When we celebrate the Mass, Jesus extends hospitality to all of us. He does not extend hospitality only to those who are thought to be good and holy, but also to strangers, lukewarm Christians, and sinners. The Mass is not confined only to a few select people, but all are welcomed to be nourished and cared for. Also, we sometimes come across Christian communities who have broken into factions. There are factions between the rich and the poor. There are those who think themselves holier than others. There are those who support a certain leader and others who support another leader. But in the Mass, there can be no room for factions. All are united in the Body of Christ, and we should die to ourselves, die to our selfishness, our pride and prejudice, our suspicion of others.

Perhaps we should take a good look at ourselves and be honest: why do we come for Mass? Do we really come as a community of brothers and sisters in Christ? Or have we become individualistic and indifferent towards others? Every Mass is meant to be an occasion and a great opportunity for each and every one of us to extend hospitality to others, especially strangers, migrants, the weak, the elderly, little children and those who seem to be alone. We should not think that such a task is meant only for the hospitality ministers or the parish priest, but each and every one of us are expected to do our part, if we call ourselves Christians, the body of Christ, a member of God's family, brothers and sisters in Christ. After all, Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. As Christians, followers of Christ, are we not to do the same?

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