God's Presence in the Mass
Recognizing the individual aspect to our relationship with the Lord, we also need to realize the importance of the community. The community plays an important role in our relationship with God. Jesus speaks of this relationship often. He makes the connection between how we treat each other, especially the less fortunate, and our being a disciple. In fact, as the gospel of Matthew describes, our judgment will be directly related to our relationship with our brothers and sisters. We believe also that the Lord speaks to us in and through the community. As Catholics, our main way of gathering as a community is at Mass. Vatican II describes this gathering as the “source and summit” of who we are. But how is the Lord present at Mass?
There are four ways in which the presence of the Lord can be found at Mass. Can you name the four ways? Here’s a little help.
The presence of the Lord is in the bread and wine – the Eucharist. The bread that is broken and the wine that is poured, given to us as food to nourish and strengthen.
The Lord is present in the Word proclaimed. As the scriptures are read, it is the Lord speaking to us. Have you not felt at one time or another that the particular reading at Mass was chosen especially for you? As if God is talking directly to your heart?
The presence of the Lord is found in the priest who leads us.
The Lord is present in the gathering of the Church – the people of God. As Jesus stated, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in their midst.” So when we gather together as a community of believers, especially at Mass, the Lord is present among us.