Since my coming into this parish as the new pastor, I have become increasingly aware that many – if not the majority – of our parishioners are not familiar with the Catholic tradition and practice of “having a Mass said” for a particular intention. I mean to say that you may be familiar, but the familiarity doesn’t transfer into practice.
I say this because for the last 10 months I only “said = celebrated” few Masses for special intentions. Those special intentions mostly were offered for your loved ones who passed away. Even some of our parishioners requested Masses to “be said” in intention of other parishioners who suddenly passed away from our midst. That was not only a beautiful gesture of friendly appreciation coming from a community member but also a good Christian understanding of the necessity of offering a Mass. Why am I bringing this up?
I’m bringing this up because as a priest I celebrate so many Masses and during that celebration, personally I don’t know what your needs are and I’m not sure what to pray for.
Of course, I can always think of something; I can pray for someone’s health or recovery because I have heard somewhere or from someone that you or your loved one’s might be experiencing particular problem health wise. But my task of being a priest among you is not to GUESS.
If you look at the definition of a “priest” in Wikipedia, it states following:
“A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities.”
Being “a mediatory agent” I would not know in what matters I should mediate for you. Unless you tell me. The celebration of the Mass (known as the Eucharist) is a perfect moment for you to make a request for your priest to offer a Mass of sacrifice in your particular intention - like the most popular ones when you ask to pray for your loved ones who passed away.
But there are still so many other sacrifices of the Mass that we can offer: there is the Mass of Thanksgiving for … e.g. for a new baby being born healthy; for you becoming grandparents; for you celebrating successful operation; for you celebrating the anniversary of your marriage; for you praying for the happy marriage of your child/ren; for you asking for a successful operation; for a happy recovery; for finding a better job that will bring you more peace and provide for your family; there is Mass that can be offered on occasion of your or your children’s/grandchildren’s birthday or a Mass for a special protection and guidance of your children that are not practicing the faith that you have tried to instill in them for so many years, etc. etc.
Last Sunday I tried to warm you up to praying the Chaplet to Divine Mercy and brought this example of the blind Bartimaeus who cried out loud: Jesus, have mercy on me! Or the ten lepers shouting the same and then Jesus asking: What do you want me to do for you?
That is exactly what happens at Mass! Maybe we are not used to do it because we have almost everything we could want, and we don’t feel as “miserable” to a point of asking for “such mercy”. Maybe we find it sufficient to form that prayer in our own hearts and use the moment during the Intercessions when we offer that prayer in silence. Of course, we are invited to pray to God at all times for the things we (and others) need, and this can be done outside of the immediate context of a Mass.
This being said, given that the EUCHARIST is the moment par excellence whereby the divine power is brought into our lives, it is perfectly normal that we would want those inner prayer intentions to be associated with the celebration of the Eucharist in a special way.
Indeed, it would be strange if a person wanted God to hear his or her petitions, but who at the same time refused to present those petitions within the Eucharist: it would be a real contradiction. So, how can you have your intentions specially associated with the power of Jesus’ sacrifice as found in the Eucharist?
The simplest method is the most obvious: go to Mass! Offer your intention so that it can be placed upon the altar in a spiritual way. And when you receive Communion, thus opening your participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice, your intention becomes open to the fullness of the power the Eucharist represents. That is exactly the moment when you start feeling the resurrected Christ working in your life, restoring and strengthening you.
And as your priest I will know what to pray for when I privately go to that little chapel to be with the Lord and when looking in silence at the flickering of that candle’s flame I can once again offer or pray for your particular intentions. And the next time I see you, I can connect with you on a much deeper level than just asking, How are you?- and knowing very well that your answer will be that of a standard one, not really showing how you are and how you feel.
Allow your priest spiritually care for you and give him the opportunity to know what to ask the Lord on your behalf.
To make your Mass Intention request click here or
call the parish office at 408-997-4800.