Why is Mass Important to Catholics?
The Mass, or celebration of the Eucharist, is the fundamental liturgical ritual in the Roman Catholic Church. It is the central action and aspect of our lives of faith and the primary way in which Catholics worship God as a community.
The word “Mass” comes from the Latin word ‘missa’ meaning ‘mission’ or ‘sending’ because its purpose is to send forth the faithful to bring forth the Good News of Jesus, and to be His presence in the world. It is also a time to give God thanks and praise, as the word ‘Eucharist’ means thanksgiving. Participation in the gift of the Eucharist is said to feed, transform, and heal us in our spiritual journey. We are empowered to go forth, and minister as Jesus did in our daily lives.
On Tuesday evening, we took the opportunity to praise God for all his goodness and to give thanks for another school year. The College’s Opening Mass is a time to pray for each other and our wider College community. We were honoured to have Father Phillip Fleay celebrate his first College mass with us, and it was our great pleasure to welcome him to our mercy community.
The Liturgy of the Word
The Liturgy of the Word is part of Mass, where we hear the Word of God proclaimed. The readings chosen for Opening Mass aimed to articulate an understanding of our mercy value focus for the year, Excellence, challenging us to persevere with courage to achieve our personal best.
The high point of the Liturgy of the Word is the reading of the Gospel. Because the Gospels tell of the life, ministry, and preaching of Jesus, it receives several special signs of honour and reverence. And in the timeliest of ways, the Gospel reading for the 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time, from Matthew, is also the Gospel verse that will guide our community throughout this academic year. The Gospel exclaimed that each of us is called to be both salt of the earth and light for the world to see (Matthew 5:13-16).
Father Phillip’s homily challenged us to live better lives, more faithful to Jesus’ call to grow in holiness. The inspiring message suggested that as “salt of the earth” people, our lives are seasoned with the presence of Jesus, and to seek ways to share our love of Jesus with others and light up the world with his love.
Prayer of the Faithful
A unique way the gathered assembly intercedes with God on behalf of the Church is through the Prayer of the Faithful. This year we prayed these intentions in a variety of languages: French, Japanese, Croatian, Italian and Afrikaans. Thank you to the staff members who read these prayers beautifully and for illuminating our lives with the gift of hearing them spoken in another language.
And finally, I wish to congratulate the twelve Year 12 students and four staff members who were commissioned as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. In this ministry, they will serve as exemplary Christians in faith and in conduct, striving to grow in holiness through the Sacrament of unity and love.
We look forward to celebrating and sharing more liturgical events with our College community throughout the year. Both Rosary and Mass will return to the Faith Calendar in Week 3. Rosary is prayed in the College Chapel each Thursday at 8.15 am, and Mass is celebrated in the College Chapel each Friday at 8.00 am. All staff, students and parents are invited to join us.
Melissa Trolio, Director of Mission