Those who are otherwise healthy are obliged to return to Sunday Mass [“in-person”] by the weekend of June 12-13, 2021. Except for the unique situations as described below, for those who are:
- seriously ill, exhibit flu-like symptoms and/or may have a contagious disease (including quarantine due to exposure) remain exempt from in-person attendance.
- unable to attend Mass through no fault of their own remain exempt.
- homebound and/or incapacitated due to age, infirmity and/or medical restrictions remain exempt.
- compromised health conditions and/or at high risk of contracting the virus remain exempt.
- caretakers of persons who meet one or more of the above criteria remain exempt.
If you have any questions about any specific needs, concerns or protocols, please contact me directly at [email protected] or 812-944-8283x1. As your pastor, I can dispense in individual cases.
One meaning of Obligation is a “Promise”. Do you keep your word, your commitments, your promises? Do you want to be known as one who keeps a promise? Of course you do. One’s integrity and reputation is, and rightly should be, important to us. So, to whom do you have a greater promise, commitment, and word than to the Lord God? Attending Mass is one very important way we fulfill our personal Promise to God who personally cares and loves for us. We do this by our participation in the Saving Work of the Lord in the Mass. Taking the reward without participating in the ‘work’ is somehow unjust – not that we earn salvation by our participation – but we do freely, lovingly, willingly cooperate in our salvation and receive from the Lord. As St. Augustine said: “God created us without us, but He will not save us without us”. Fulfilling our obligation is easier when rooted in love.
Five Good Reasons to Go to Mass Every Sunday by Father Michael Van Sloun: bit.ly/3gaU98a
Below is a summarized and condensed version of the full article.
- Sunday Mass fulfills God’s law. The Third Commandment is, “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day” (Ex 20:8; see also Dt 5:12). The Christian Sabbath is Sunday, and Catholics keep the Sabbath holy by fulfilling the obligation to attend Mass (Canons 1246-1248; CCC 2174-2178).
- Weekly Worship Follows Jesus’ Example. Jesus was in the habit of going to the synagogue on the Sabbath day (Lk 4:16b). If Jesus went to the synagogue to observe the Sabbath every week, we should go to Mass every week.
- Sunday is a Day of Thanksgiving. Eucharist means thanks. It is right and just to give thanks to the Lord our God, and the Mass is the best prayer to offer thanks. God graciously blesses us with everything that we have… These gifts are so awesome that we ought to be overflowing with gratitude and eager to give our thanks and praise.
- Community Prayer is Essential. From the beginning of the Church the community “devoted themselves … to the breaking of the bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Christians pray together by nature, and the Mass is the premier form of communal prayer.
- Weekly Eucharist is Solid Spiritual Food. Most people are health-food conscious. It is important to eat properly every day... It is the same with our spiritual life. We need to be spiritual-food conscious if we wish to avoid emptiness, spiritual weakness, vulnerability to temptation, and sickness due to sin… Spiritual malnutrition begins when we go without Word and Sacrament for longer than a week.
Holy Family, Nourished by the Word made Flesh, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries