We aren’t just obligated to go to church, it is something we desperately need
Devotional Thought of the Day:
20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:20-25 (NLT)
997 Absence, isolation: trials for your perseverance. Holy Mass, prayer, sacraments, sacrifices, communion of the saints: weapons to conquer in the trial.
Growing up, there was a sense that church was an obligation. In fact, there were days called “holy days of obligation.” To miss going to church on these days was considered a sin.
But I never asked why it was a sin, I was just told it was, and I responded as everyone does when forced to do a task, I rebelled. Didn’t go, and even if I did, I wasn’t really there, I wasn’t really particpating. So even if I was there, I really wasn’t.
The one thing I never asked was why we were obligated, and if I had, I am hoping the answer would have been what we see above in Hebrews 10. There God makes clear that we are welcome there, and there we find encouragement to endure until Christ returns.
We need to be with each other, we need to be celebrating God’s presence together, we need to share as those who receive His mercy. (this is why I am so in favor of having the Lord’s Supper weekly, if not offered more frequently!)
For there together, we find God keeping His promises – reconciling that which was torn apart, healing that which is broken.Bringing together that which was isolated and fitting into the place it fits in His body. We were created to experience life in community, as part of something that endures, that is sustained, that grows healthy and strong.
As we realize that this is not an obligation of force, but one of need, our hearts change.We begin to treasure what church brings, we see it as a time that is holy, set apart as a time for us to find rest, and refuge, forgiveness, and the awareness of God’s presence in our lives. A presence confirmed as others tell us His peace is with us, that He is with us.
As we realize this church goes from being more than an inspiring message, or uplifting music. The gathering of people we realize is something sacred, the place they occupy becomes holy, it becomes a moment where heaven is revealed.
It is what we desperately need, it is what those around us need……and so the more we go, the more we realized we needed to….
For this is why we were made…. to live in peace with God and each other. AMEN!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 2315-2316). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on March 6, 2017, in Devotions, Poiema, st josemaria escriva, The Way and tagged Communion, Holy Days of Obligation, hope, revival, Spiritual hunger, Spiritual need. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.