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Grateful Living: The Joy of Stewardship – Live the Mystery

How does a steward – one who actively lives out discipleship – prepare and attend Mass?
They do two things before coming to Mass: 1) Pray over the Sunday Mass readings. They are easily found on several websites. If you are not a fan of the internet, there are several good monthly publications to get, including picking up a “Word among us” which we offer at each chapel. 2) Prepare to talk to God about what you are bringing to Mass today: your joys, hopes, desires, pains, struggles, difficulties, and normal events of life for this past week and the upcoming week.
When you get to church, spend quiet time speaking to the Lord about #2 above. Know you are entering a holy place so use the holy water to make a deliberate “sign of the cross” not looking like you are shooing flies away from yourself. Genuflect so one knee touches the floor to the tabernacle before coming into the pew.
Mass begins when the priest walks down the aisle. When asked by the priest, call to mind sins; then, during the Gloria, be grateful and sing the song of gratefulness that a Savior has been sent for our sins and for eternal life. When the Priests says “Let us Pray”, all those prayers from #2 above are collected into one prayer and offered to the Lord for the whole Body of Christ. Then, sit and listen as the Lord speaks to you in the proclamation of the readings. Actively listen to the readings you already prayed over before coming to Mass. Stand to listen to the highpoint of the Liturgy of the Word, the Gospel, the words and actions of our Savior Jesus Christ. Then, sit to listen to how the Word breaks into our lives as we are living right now, in the homily.
The readings and homily deserves a response from us so we let the world know what it is we believe as Catholics, the Creed. Once again ask the Lord to hear your prayers and so your particular prayers fit into the universal prayers, the Petitions.
The next part of Mass seems functionary (and it is) and it is really important. When we bring up the bread, wine, and money, what is also brought up at that moment are our very lives: everything about us is brought up with the gifts to be transformed more into what Christ wants us to be. We are transformed with the gifts of bread and wine. While the bread and wine becomes the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus, quite literally and not figuratively, we too are transformed into more of who we consume when we consume the Eucharist, Jesus, himself. So, while we pray the Eucharistic Prayer, we are focusing on Jesus coming to us – or more precisely, we are going to him at Calvary and in the Heavenly Banquet, while staying right here in our church. Are you ever bored at Church? Think about how we are in three locations at once. Think about how the infinite comes to us here and now and resides within us.
Because we receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus, it is a tremendous gift to us personally, but not to be kept just for us personally. We are not supposed to leave Mass early (and I am happy to say very few people leave here early). We stay for the blessing because, when the priest or deacon says “Go in peace”, that is the “Mass”, the “Sending forth.” We are supposed to go and live the greatest gift we have been given; we are to live the Eucharist; to be the Body of Christ to others. Here it is … to live in gratitude for the gift of the Eucharist by using the other gifts God has given to us for the betterment of others.

Of all the gifts given to us, the Eucharist is the greatest of all. See you at Mass to receive this greatest gift!