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By Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Catholic Answers, 7/1/2014

It is offered both at weddings and funerals. In most places, it is available every day. But on Sunday, it is an obligation to attend.

We are speaking of what Catholics call the Mass, aka the Eucharist or the divine liturgy. For Catholics, there is no other religious service more important. But the majority of baptized Catholics around the world simply don’t see the need to attend. In France, there are more Muslims going to mosques on Friday that there are Catholics going to Mass on Sunday. In the U.S., only about 24 percent of Catholics attend Sunday Mass.

Of those who don’t, the majority still believe that God exists, that Jesus is his Son, and that there is an obligation to give thanks. Some, remembering the truth of the Catechism that God is everywhere, don’t see why they can’t pray to God in private at home or wherever they are, whenever they want. Others see the value of going to church on Sunday but find the preaching, music, and programs better at a nearby Protestant church. With regard to Mass, they say they just don’t get much out of it.

If we want to see these people come back to the table of the Lord, we can’t merely quote Scripture and Church documents at them to prove they ought to go. The best approach, really, is to make them want to go. And the best way to do this is to be able to show how Mass offers a unique opportunity to encounter God that is not available anywhere else.

The sacrifice that transcends time ….