The Beyond the Pew team is sad that we have not been able to consistently produce videos important for Catholic families everywhere. Videos are on a continued hiatus while we find a solution that meets our videography & production needs going forward, particularly with exciting new opportunities such as Spanish-language videos that will specifically meet the needs of Hispanic families. We hope to begin producing these great resources as soon as possible with the same high quality you expect from Beyond the Pew. Thank you, and God bless you & your family!

Video The Liturgy of the Word

Welcome back to Beyond the Pew. As we continue in this series on the Mass, today we’re going to be talking about the Liturgy of the Word. This is the first half of Mass where we really dive into the scriptures and help receive the Word of God into our hearts and let it bear fruit in our lives.

So we hear a bunch of different readings during this first part of the mass. The first reading we hear is from the Old Testament, and for me these are really opportunities for us to see how has God made promises to his people and how has he kept those promises. A lot of the promises that he makes during the Old Testament aren’t fulfilled until Jesus, and Jesus is the fulfillment of all of God’s goodness and his promise to his people. So as we look at these readings, it’s an invitation for us, for ourselves, and for our families to think about, “When has God made promises to me?” or “When has he asked me to wait on something? When have I had to trust in his timing? How has he proven his faithfulness to me and to these people that we’re hearing about in the Old Testament?”

The next reading that we hear or we go through is the psalm. They call this the responsorial psalm because there’s a call and a response. Typically on Sundays we sing this psalm. Now the Psalms are a book in the Bible that are composed of, some people call them poems or songs or prayers or praises, all these are correct. Most of them were written by King David, and what I love about the Psalms is that they really show how we can turn to God in prayer no matter what is going on in our lives.

So sometimes the Psalms are really coming from a place of deep despair, and you’ll hear the person who wrote the psalm cry out, “God you’ve abandoned me! I’ve been forsaken! I’m in the depths of the grave! Where are you?” Then other times in the Psalms we’ll hear the psalmist say things like, “God your name be blessed, and you have changed my life and you have filled me with joy and hope and you’re like the dawn” and it’s complete opposite.

We can reflect more deeply on the readings, and again let them affect our hearts and hopefully our lives.

And so I think our invitation for the Psalms is when we hear one on Sunday to ask ourselves and our families, our children, spouses when is a time in your life where you really felt like this psalm was expressing what you were going through? So if the psalm is something that’s really coming from a place of despair, when was a time in your life when you experienced this and how did you turn to God in that? Maybe there’s a time in your life right now that you’re going through where this psalm fits. How can you pray with these words and turn to God and use this to express what’s going on in your life.

After this, we hear a reading from the New Testament, and these are from the letters written to the early Church, and what I like about these is that these readings really dive into how can we live out our faith in the challenges of our lives. So we hear about times when the early Church struggled and how their leaders coached them and counseled them and directed them to make changes and to draw deeper into community and to hear more and more what God was inviting them into. So we can ask the same question. Where am i struggling in my faith? How can I take the advice and the counsel offered in that New Testament reading and apply it to my life this week?

After that we hear the Gospel, and this is the reading that we stand for because it’s about Jesus’s life, and we’re standing to recognize that he’s present there in a powerful way when we hear about his life and we hear about what he taught and the things that he did, his healing works and his miracles. So it’s an invitation for us to think about how do I see Jesus at work in my life today. We’re able to ask the question all right based off of this account from Jesus’s life that I just heard, what do I now know about Jesus or what did I discover about him that’s new or how can I turn to him in new ways or how can I grow in trust of him? How can I see him more at work in my life based off of the way that he encountered the people when he was here in the world?

I think it’s a beautiful thing for us as families to read the readings before we go to Mass because then we’re not hearing them for the first time in the pew. It’s something that we’ve taken time to reflect over during our week leading up to Mass. I know that lives are busy, and so it’s hard to do that sometimes. I would say find a time where you’re already together, maybe in the car, on the way to school, or if you’re able to have dinner together as a family use that time to just, one day during the week, read the gospel for the coming Sunday, and ask about what do you think this means? What do you think the priest is going to talk about? How do you think this applies to your life?

And those are just a couple of ways that we can reflect more deeply on the readings, and again let them affect our hearts and hopefully our lives. We’ll be praying for you at Ablaze Ministries, that you’ll enter more deeply into the Liturgy of the Word the next time you go to Mass. From all of us here, God bless.

Video Why Do I Go to Mass?

In this video, Matt Rice talks about our Sunday obligation. How does Sunday Mass make you & your family feel? Why is the Mass such a central & important part of our faith? Matt answers these questions & more!

Welcome back to Beyond the Pew. My name is Matt Rice with Ablaze Ministries and this series we’re talking about the Mass. Why the Mass? Specifically today, I want to talk about why do we go to Mass? What is Mass? And, all of this begins with God like who is God?

So, we believe as Catholics we believe that God is infinite. He’s omnipotent. We also believe that he is good. He is all goodness, and with the infiniteness and the goodness of who God is that says a lot about what we need to do in response to who he is. So if God is good, then he is deserving of worship. We owe it to him to worship Him. Looking at what he’s created here, the fact that he created me, that he loves me, that he wants me to be with him forever, that is worthy of worship.

He’s also infinite. So how do we worship Him? We absolutely can worship him through song, songs that we write. I’m not gonna write any songs cause I’m not creative like that, but I love singing praise and worship songs. Every one of those songs though was written by a finite human person, and as such it’s just it’s gonna be a finite form of worship.

So no matter what we come up with on earth is gonna be a finite form of worship of this infinite God. What God did though was he sent his son and his son established an infinite way of worshiping him. At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist for us to be able to worship Him infinitely in his body and his blood and his sacrifice of the Cross. What we believe as Catholics, it happens at the Mass, we are made present again at the sacrifice of the cross, and that worship is infinite. That is the infinite worship of an infinite God, an infinite good God.

So no matter what we come up with on earth is gonna be a finite form of worship of this infinite God.

So if you have any doubts about what it is that we’re doing there, Jesus in John 6:50 tells us about this, specifically in John 6:53-55. “Jesus said to them, ‘Amen amen I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the son of the man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.'” I don’t know about you, but I want that life within me. He says, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him on the last day, for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.” That is what we get to participate in Mass, that is what we get to do every single Sunday.

Now as humans we typically say, “Okay, what’s the least that I have to do?” And the Catholic Church said, “Okay okay. Everyone’s gonna ask this what’s the least I have to do, and they said you know what you have to go to Mass at least once a week,” and so that’s what they call the obligation. We’re obliged to go once a week and receive the Eucharist, if we’re in a state of grace to do so. So a lot of us see that as an obligation, oh it’s a requirement, but think about it this way, Jesus like we’re supposed to be closer to Jesus than we are our spouse. Do you think loving your spouse is a requirement? Is that an obligation that you just don’t feel like you should do.

So that’s a way that I think we need to look at this obligation is what’s the least that I can do to love Jesus, to spend time with him. What’s the least amount of worship that he deserves, that this relationship deserves. That’s why the Church said that this is the obligation.

Do you think loving your spouse is a requirement? Is that an obligation that you just don’t feel like you should do.

So my hope is that you’re able to enter into the Mass a little more fully with what it is, this sacrifice of the Mass, and that you’re able to just love Jesus through that. God bless. We’ll see you next time.