Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
(Hebrews 10:19-25; Mark 4:21-25)
For quite a while, Catholics in the United States have maintained a consistent Sunday mass attendance. More or less twenty-three percent honor the Sunday obligation. “What’s so good about that?” some might ask. Actually, it is not an impressive record. But non-attendance is nothing new in the history of the Church as the first reading today attests.
The Letter to the Hebrews underlines a fault in the customs of the people. It tells its readers, “We should not stay away from our assembly…” Evidently, some in the community have given up the practice of common worship. It is possible that they lived in fear of being noticed at Christian worship as the letter at different points suggests religious persecution. More likely, however, the people were growing apathetic waiting for Christ to return.
We can do something to increase mass attendance. Showing interest in the people who come to worship, perhaps taking the time to talk with them over coffee when the service is over, will make everyone a more caring individual. After all, it is Christ whom we engage in the Eucharist. He doesn’t leave us when we are dismissed but brightens our whole lives.