Theme: Going Through The Motions
Mass At Gethsemane
By: Deacon Bill Frere
Homily for Monday February 21 2022
Gospel – Mark 9:14-29
I don’t go to Mass much any more. It’s just too boring; nothing ever seems to change! The homilies are repetitive and uninspiring! The music is old-fashioned and no one sings anyway! The servers don’t have a clue. The seats are uncomfortable and the Mass is too long! And there is always one child who spends the whole time crawling around on and under the pew. I mean, what’s the point? I just don’t get anything out of the Mass!
I guess we have all heard those words before, probably many times! We treat Mass like it’s a play or a concert, a performance that we attend but only observe and critique! OK, I’m here! So entertain me! Get me excited! I dare you! But what do we contribute? What do we bring to the table? Maybe it isn’t just about what we get out of Mass. Maybe it’s about what we put into it!!
Isn’t that what we hear in today’s Gospel? A distraught father brings his son, possessed by a demon, to be cured. The disciples have already tried, tried and failed! The father recognizes that he needs to believe and he asks Jesus to help his lack of faith. And after Jesus cures the son, He tells the disciples that this exorcism demanded more than just the words, more than just the motions. It demanded prayer. In both cases, the father and the disciples ask Jesus – what else do I need? The answer – faith and prayer!
And that is the lesson for us today. What should we bring to the Mass? What should we put into it? An attitude of faith and a life of prayer! We cannot just go through the motions. We cannot just mouth the words at Mass or go through the motions! We are called to approach the altar with faith and with prayer. We are called to participate and not just be a grumbling bystander.
Increase our faith, O Lord, help us always to come to You with an open heart and a prayerful spirit, willing to hear Your Word and live it out in our daily life
Deacon Bill Frere