Faithful reminded: ‘Mass meant to celebrate God’s love in your life’

Faithful reminded: ‘Mass meant to celebrate God’s love in your life’

By Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz

June 8, 2018

PASAY City

Shedding light on the true nature of the Holy Mass, a bishop explained that the Sacrament is not entertainment but is a highly communal and yet personal celebration of “God’s love.”

“You do not just come to Mass in order to pray… You come to Mass in order to celebrate God’s love in your life… And that is not something you experience on your own privately. You experience it with your family, with your friends, with your community, with your parish, with the world,” said Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon, who spoke to some 15,000 mostly youth gathered at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on June 2 for Liveloud X, an annual praise and worship concert organized by CFC – Youth for Christ.

The prelate also called attention to the attitude of many churchgoers who hope the Masses were more engaging.

Not entertainment

“Some of us come to Mass as if going to watch a movie… to be entertained. If the homily is too long, it gets criticized. There are Masses that are boring…because [people] come to be entertained. Is this how we come to Mass? Is this why we come to Mass?” noted Baylon.

According to the bishop, who used to head the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, ultimately, the Mass is to thank God.

“There are many things we than God for. And that is what the Mass is all about. [Some say:] ‘I won’t go to Mass anymore because Father is boring. Kids are so noisy. The choir is out of tune,’” Baylon added.

Personal experience of mercy, love

The prelate stressed the many things God did for man, particularly giving Himself in the Eucharist.

“…Our God did something great for us. But if there were no last supper, there would be no Eucharist. There would’ve have been no altars or tabernacles in our churches. There would be just six sacraments. No benediction. There would be no tabernacles. But that is not the heart of the matter. … To put it more precisely, there was this ritual because Jesus wants us, wanted his disciples, to enter into everything that He did for us,” he explained.

For the bishop, the Mass invites the faithful to draw near to the Mass with gratitude and a sense of celebration.

“Each and everyone of us have experienced His touch, His healing, His love, His life in more ways than one. If we have not experienced that then this Mass has no meaning to us. We came here …to thank God not just because of the beautiful things He did through His Son … we also draw near to thank God because we felt, we experience His love, His mercy… That is what we do at Mass,” stressed Baylon.

Keken Cabaraban, a full-time lay missionary for CFC – Youth for Christ, led this year’s Liveloud, the 10th praise and worship concert of its kind to be organized.

The event gathered thousands of young people from all over the country to sing praise songs and to listen to testimonials about the faith.