We don’t get anything out of it.
Before you claim this excuse, check if it’s really true. Even the worst family meal is rarely all bad. On the same night that Teenasia makes a face at the broccoli, Liam has seconds on the mashed potatoes.
So, yes, maybe the homily did lack focus, but the Communion song was beautiful. Maybe you didn’t really understand the first reading, but your daughter recognized the second one from something she learned in religious ed. While spectacular Masses exist (four-star dinner at a fine restaurant), most Masses are more like a normal family dinner—not everyone likes everything, and that’s OK.
I should go because I want to—not because I’m obligated.
True enough. Jacob loves tomatoes and eats them because he wants to. Five years ago, though, when Jacob was 9, he ate the tomatoes in his salad only because he was “obligated” to before he could have dessert.
Eating tomatoes regularly—even though he didn’t always want to—helped him to acquire a taste for them. The church’s obligatory Sunday Mass can work similarly. At times in our lives, we go simply out of obligation. From our obligation, God graces us with a true desire to attend. (Read part one of this piece here.)
By Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the Best in Class award in 2013 from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for the past four years running. Here’s a sample issue.
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And don’t miss our popular single-page parish handouts on handing on the faith, helping kids understand the Mass, Lent, and Advent.