Jesus lived a simple, poor life. Sometimes he did not even have anywhere to lay his head, no home to welcome him. But at the Last Supper, when he was to celebrate the Passover with his disciples, Jesus ordered special arrangements. He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water.* Follow him. Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover. (Mark 14:13-16) That is how Jesus conveyed the importance of what he was about to do—that is, institute “the Mass.” How do we prepare for Mass? The gathering for Mass should begin long before the entrance procession and hymn. The Eucharist is “source and summit” of all we do, and it deserves attentive preparation (cf. Lumen Gentium, 11). Some ideas for preparing for Mass:
Read the readings ahead of time. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has a calendar on its web page with the Mass Readings for the Day.
Open your heart to God’s voice. The Eucharistic fast (no food an hour before Mass begins, in order to receive Holy Communion) can be accompanied with a peaceful, quiet attitude. Avoid frenzy and distractions for a period of time before the Mass begins.
Repair your relationship with God. Receiving the sacrament of reconciliation allows us to receive Jesus in the Eucharist fully. There is no better preparation to receive Christ through the Blessed Eucharist than confessing our sins. As adopted children of God, we are called to be holy as He is holy.
—The story of the Mass: From the Last Supper to the Present Day. Pierre Loret, C.SS. R.
Submitted by: A. Schwelm, Assistant Library Director.