From June 30 to July 10, my wife, Donna, and daughter, Becca, were enjoying a vacation in Spain. In fact, they had gone there to meet our son, Alex, who had been studying abroad in Spain since June 3. Due to commitments that I had here, I was unable to go with them, but having had the opportunity to travel in Spain several times in the past, I knew they would have an outstanding trip. On their first weekend in Madrid, Donna sent me a photo of the beautiful cathedral where they attended Mass on July 2. My first question to her was, “How was the homily?” Knowing that neither Donna nor Becca are bilingual, I’m sure the homily was gibberish to them. On the other hand, Alex likely understood bits and pieces of it since he’s fairly fluent in Spanish. Regardless of whether or not they understood the homily, I knew that they were able to follow along with the rest of the Mass. It really doesn’t matter what language the Mass is celebrated in, it is still the same Mass in every Catholic church around the world. To me, that is the beauty of our faith. It is universal throughout the world. On that particular Sunday, we were celebrating the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time here at St. Francis Xavier. The rest of my family were also celebrating the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. They just happened to be celebrating it in Madrid, Spain. Aside from the language, everything else was the same. As my family celebrated Mass, they were able to identify key portions of the Mass including such things as the opening prayer, the penitential rite and the Liturgy of the Word which includes the readings and the responsorial psalm. They could also identify key portions of the Liturgy of the Eucharist such as the Eucharistic Prayer, the Memorial Acclamation, the Lord’s Prayer, the Sign of Peace and the Fraction Rite. Of course, they were able to receive the precious Body and Blood of Christ. Although they didn’t understand the words, they certainly understood the Mass. Spiritually, they got as much out of the Mass in Spain as they would have if they had been here in our parish.
That’s one thing that I really appreciate about our faith: we celebrate the same Mass in every church every day. So no matter how far away I am from home, I’m at home in any Catholic Church that I enter. I’m glad that my family had a wonderful visit to Spain. But I’m also glad that they are home where we can celebrate Mass together.
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC