Religion is often a topic of contention and as such, one that I try to avoid discussing with others. But in this case, I feel like an exception can be made.

           This past Sunday was Palm Sunday, one of the most important and most holy days for members of the Catholic Church. The story of Jesus Christ’s passion and death are told, and the congregation is encouraged to participate by reading aloud from the hymn books at the appointed times. As a Eucharistic Minister, I happened to serve Mass on Sunday at 11 a.m., and couldn’t help but notice that there seemed to be a lot more people at this particular Mass than at other Masses throughout the year. The same was apparently true of the 7 p.m. Mass according to some people I asked, which begs the question: why?

           I know what almost everyone will say the obvious answer is: Palm Sunday is one of the church days that everyone goes to, just like Christmas and Easter. This, in my opinion, is where the problem lies. To me, only going to Mass a few times a year is almost as bad as not going at all. In my mind, it would be similar to not watching a single game all season long for a sport, and then tuning into the championship just because it is the most important game. A similar example could be said of a student that skips every class except the days on which tests are scheduled, and then wonders why they receive a bad final grade.

           Every time that I go to one of the “big three” Mass days, I cannot help but notice people who are not sure what to do during the ceremony, and just stand there in silence while those around them perform the proper steps. These people seem to be like outsiders, who are brought in against their will and don’t know how to participate. I can understand if going to Mass on one of these days is a tradition that some people do with their families, as I have many friends who do just that. However, on a college campus where families are not around very often, it still surprises me that people feel the desire to go on these certain days, but not any others.

           Maybe I sound like an inhospitable person, but I feel that people should go to church because they want to, and not just because it happens to be a certain holy day. If they don’t want to go, that’s absolutely fine, but they shouldn’t drag themselves to these special Masses out of a sense of obligation. I may be coming off as an uncaring person in this regard, but nothing could be further from the truth. I feel that people should go to church because they care about it, and not just because they feel they have to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.