HOW TO RECEIVE ANSWERS TO PRAYERS IN THE HOLY MASS|Feast of Corpus Christi|Year B

"The Holy mass is the highest prayer on earth," boasts a Catholic young man that argued with his Pentecostal friend who placed a challenge that until he witnessed a catholic mass he refuse to accept such superlative claims. On the agreed day to prove his claims, the catholic took his Pentecostal friend to his parish to experience the Holy mass. But after the mass his friend said: I observed a lot of actions, with the priest leading but never saw any moments of spontaneous prayer, and he asked: where is the prayer you Catholics claim you do during the mass? He further questioned: aside receiving Holy communion at mass, what other benefits do you obtain from the Holy mass?
It is true many Catholics go to mass empty and return empty without any substantial change in their lives. They go about with problems, doubts, etc, because they don't know how to pray or when to pray and obtain answers to their prayers in the mass. If you fall within this category then this message is for you...

Mark 14:12-16,22-26
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to Jesus, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, and say to the owner of the house which he enters, “The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat the passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there.’ The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover. And as they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many... After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives
POINTS FOR REFLECTION
1. Can you visualise how the first Holy Mass was celebrated from the Word of God you just read? Can you see how Jesus-the priest and the sacrifice- instituted this sacrifice by making his Apostles the first-set of Priests that will perpetuate this sacrifice on earth? Did you also realise the first mass did not start with the "meal" (communion) but with a "miraculous preparation" and concluded with singing of the Psalms (the word of God)?
2. Before the actual celebration, Christ sent two apostles (whose names were not mentioned) ahead to prepare the place for the celebration, with an instruction to say: “The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat the passover with my disciples?”. From this we see a two-fold preparation: first on the side of the Apostles and secondly by the owner of the house whose name was also not mentioned. The Apostles represents priests who must "go ahead" in preparation to see that the owner of the house (the people of God) have prepared their hearts (the dining room) for the sacrifice. 
3. From this we come to know that the Holy mass does not just "begin" when the priest leads with the sign of the Cross, but with prior preparations on the part of the celebrant and congregants. And so if you must benefit positively from the sacrifice of the mass, both you and the priest must prepare otherwise, the sacrifice will take place without you being transformed. What preparations are we talking about other than physically and spiritual preparation? We prepare physically not by the clothes we wear, etc but also by the consciousness and disposition that we are going to pray, and spiritually, by participating actively in the table of the word and eucharist. 
4. A Catholic I have known for many years said to me: "Father, all my life as a Catholic I don't know how and when to pray at mass but following your mass have not only taught me, but have given me the privilege to understand and appreciate the Holy mass." In the mass, both the priest and congregation are ministers with the priest leading the prayers by use of signs and symbols perceptible to the senses. Hence we pray with all our human faculties and senses of touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste (SC 34, C. 834 §1).
HOW TO PRAY AT MASS
a. And so, whenever you hear the priest say "let us pray" and pauses, he calls you to pray. 
b. Whenever the priest (or another minister) reads out the intentions for mass, it is time to pray invoking twenty-four elders of Rev 5:8 to present your petitions before the altar of the Lamb.
c. When the gifts of bread and wine are presented and prepared on the altar, it is time to pray offering your gifts (money) as prayers (Mic 6:6-8) and entire self as a living sacrifice to God (Rom 12:1).
d. When the priest incense the altar, it is time to pray offering your worship to God like incense and your prayers like an evening sacrifice (Ps 141:2).
e. When the body and blood of Christ are elevated, it is time for a prayerful gaze as the bible says: I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord (Ps 116:13)
f. Before and after Holy communion are moments of prayer asking God to transform, heal and fortify you with his body and blood (1Cor 10:14-17).
g. Finally, after the mass is another ample time to pray, thanking God for the gifts received and prayers answered. 
And so when the rubrics (liturgical instructions) say silence or meditate or pray silently...it does not mean an empty silence but a silence full of prayer, the type of silence by which Elijah encountered God (1 Kgs 19:11-13), when the heart and mind is lifted up to God in prayer.
TASK: Pray Psalm 116 now before Jesus in the blessed sacrament and make it a point of duty to always to prepare for mass by reading and meditating on the Word of God before the mass and participating actively in the songs and in the prayers for only by these will the sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus cause miraculous experiences in your life and in the life of others. 
I pray for you: as you call on the name of the Lord, may he deliver your soul from every trouble and sorrow and loose you from every bondage in Jesus name. Amen.

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2 Comments

  1. 🤩! I feel so happy and proud being a Catholic, reading this. Thank you Priest of the Most High God.

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