Mass is an Oasis on the Way, the road we are invited to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. One of the many aspects I love about the Mass is that its very name is taken from the dismissal. The Latin word missa means dismissal and comes from the final phrase of the Mass, ‘Ita Missa Est‘, ‘Go! It is sent’, where the it is the Church, you and me!
At its heart is the thought that, whilst we gather to celebrate God’s word and the Eucharist, we are constantly in mind of the fact that first and foremost we are called to go back out into the world with the message of hope in Christ for neighbours, friends, family and work colleagues. Just as Jesus welcomed all, so we, his present day disciples, are to leave the safety of the sanctuary and communicate love, forgiveness and acceptance to those beyond its walls.
So it is that we approach confession, Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Sacrament with an awareness of Jesus’ last words to his disciples before his ascension ringing in our ears, ‘Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations’. During the journey of the Mass, I am cleansed once more from my sin, encouraged and inspired by God’s word and empowered with the blessed sacrament so that refreshed and centred once more upon God I might return into my everyday world with gladness and a message of salvation in Jesus Christ so that others might find their way to this Oasis and begin to walk in the footsteps of Jesus for themselves.
This excites me as I prepare to go to Mass today and everyday I participate in the Mass.