Every morning in your town a woman named Anne gets ready for her day. She has had the same routine throughout the 40 years that she has lived in Denver. She makes a pot of coffee, she showers, and has a piece of rye toast, and she makes a pilgrimage, in all kinds of weather down to 7th Avenue and Clayton. Her children are grown, and she has been a widow for a decade- but throughout her 4 decades living in Denver she has made the pilgrimage and she invites her friends, her relatives, and an occasional stranger to join her at the table. “This is evangelism,” Anne tells me. You get the Bible everyday, you share in Communion and people pray for you and for each other. Anne isn’t talking about a Vineyard church or a “Holy Roller” existence. She is a member of Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church where she attends Daily Mass at sunrise. “The people I see her are people from all walks of life and all ages.” “It’s not just for old ladies, and I have been doing this since I was a little girl.”
In a new book written by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina called “The Mass, The Glory, The Mystery and The Tradition,” the Mass is chronicled from it’s humble beginnings to it’s glorious Renaissance, it’s influence on culture and art, and the reformation. Yet it is more about the constants, it’s more about the evangelism, Biblical literacy, and lovingly portrayed through Vatican II where the Mass was translated into native tongues in 1965, to the present nuances of change in the liturgy and in pastoral prayers.
John 3:16 commercial and Huffington Post
A by and large Biblical illiterate media is showing up in all areas of the mainstream right now. The commercial message aired during the NFL Playoffs last weekend from Focus on the Family had a simple message from children. The thirty second ad had a group of kids explaining John 3:16. In a day when John 3:16 could be confused by journalists and mislabeled as “various scripture,” by such sources as The Huffington Post and The New York Times and even butchered further by The NY Daily News, there seems to be a need for Biblical literacy in our culture. This is the assertion of the authors of “The Mass” and dare I say that what has been carried through the generations and the cultures, have also reached the lives of so many people, more than any Billy Graham Revival or any other evangelical effort.
The authors are descriptive of not only the elements of the Mass, but are careful to explain historic and Biblical significance through Roman Catholic History and theology. It is beyond our scope to think that even if we are part of another tradition, that our roots as followers of Christ are found here. And though there may be many aspects of church politics, organizational, and scandals that we hate, the Mass is the continuous and loving aspect that brings unity and sets apart people for God ordained work in and out of our communities. When we need to get back to basics and to study theology the systematic theological stand that Jesus wants us to share in common union his bread and wine (or juice) on a regular basis. These elements and the scriptures that surround them are life changing. We have the Mass to thank for it-no matter where you worship.
From the Gloria to the Benediction to the confessional and the proclamation of Psalms the Mass has given people like Anne more than comfort, “It has given me great perspective. While the words and the music never change, our lives do and I can say that the Mass has enriched my life and has brought meaning to my relationship with God, family and neighbors.” That is a good definition of evangelism by thoughts, words, and living out the gospel in everyday life.
We don’t need another movement-we’re stuck and won’t be moved-
Always need for improvement- diamonds must be smoothed (out).
I’ve seen enough revival so put your tents away
I’ve run miles through turnstyles
but at the end of the day (no doubt)
It’s beyond survival
beyond the thrive
It’s beyond the man and woman in love that are barely alive-
What we need right now is a sustained drive… What we’re singing about is a sustained drive.
We’ve seen enough religion
Holy days of obligation
we’ve hung around your dominions
it’s the cry for all the nations (it’s public relations)
January 15, 2012 BT Springs