Adult/Confirmation breakout sessions.
What is the Mass
To understand what it means to be Catholic we need to understand the Mass. And to understand the Mass we have to understand baptism because the Eucharist is a strengthening, a completion of our baptismal initiation. In baptism we die to our false selves and rise from the waters to be clothed in Christ. Then we are anointed as priest, prophet and king because to follow Jesus we need to live our lives as he did. By celebrating the Eucharist we are strengthened in those roles. A priest is one who helps us understand who God is and who we are in relation to God. A prophet is one who speaks God's truth, advocating for the weak and the poor, even when it is not what others want to hear. A king is one who cares for those who are in need, especially those who have no one else to help them. This is what Jesus commands us to do in remembrance of him. This is what we are sent forth from each Mass to be in the world.
Starting with the End - Ite Missa Est
What IS the Mass anyway? When the presider prays the words of consecration that Jesus used 2,000 years ago, he says, "Do this in remembrance of me." What is that THIS we are to do in remembrance of Jesus? At the end of mass, the priest or deacon sends us off with an answer to that question. We are to go forth in the peace of Christ, serving God and one another. And we say, "Thanks be to God". But what does that really mean to us?
Go in Peace: It means that we leave church with the intention of making peace happen in our personal lives and in what happens around us.
To love and serve the Lord and one another
We are not sent on our own, in any sense of that word. We are not alone, nor do we go on our own authority. It is God's business that we are about. God's very nature is relational, and so we find ourselves in relationship with God. That is why we are told to go in peace to love and serve the Lord. We all know that love is more than just words; it moves into actions. The Mass urges us to love God by acting against injustice, violence, war, prejudice-anything and everything that gets in the way of our loving one another. We must also do the small, everyday things that strengthen our relationships with those around us. And we are also responsible to act as part of the human family. On a global level our love calls us to fulfill responsibilities that we cannot ignore. We go forth to act as priests, making Jesus present to the world. We go forth to act as prophets, speaking on behalf of the oppressed and bringing hope to those in despair.
Part II (after break)
Examine various aspects of the Mass - perhaps divide into groups and have each group take one of the following topics and reflect on it, then share with the whole group.
Timeless (participation in Christ's ongoing Paschal Mystery)/in Time (takes place in a specific time, place, community.)
Overall do we approach Mass as an obligation under the law?
Or an obligation of Love?
“Nothing is more practical than finding God,
That is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings,
What you will do with your evenings,
How you spend your weekends,
What you read,
Who you know,
What breaks your heart,
And what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”
― Pedro Arrupe