The Mission’s Mass Schedule in Response to Archdiocesan Decree
March 19, 2020
Due to the latest archdiocesan guidelines which restrict gatherings to no more than ten people, we have had to close our daily Masses and Holy Hours to the public. To be clear, there will be no public Masses at the Mission on any day for the moment. For the time being we will also not be receiving visitors until we work out new procedures which protect all involved: Community members, staff, friends and visitors. For those who would like to get Sacramentals from the Mission, we are trying to work out a way to make this possible. See our website in the coming days for further information on this and other matters. We are sorry for this difficult decision, which is painful for many of us. We may be able to find better solutions as time goes by. But we would rather make this temporary sacrifice, and help insure that this Mission is able to serve you all for the long term.
A SPECIAL TIME OF TRUST IN JESUS
First of all, we think it is important to say to all who are stunned by these unprecedented developments: Do not let fear or anger or despair take hold of you. Trust in Jesus. He is in charge. We are His children and He takes care of His children.
The danger caused by the coronavirus has forced authorities to take certain measures to protect the population. And our bishops have had to respond in kind.
In obedience, as citizens and as Catholics, we have to accept and cooperate with these measures. But we can do more than that. We can take this time of sacrifice and spiritual deprivation—and through faith and trust—turn it into something beautiful for God and for the salvation of ourselves and others.
DEFEAT THE ENEMY
Are you living in fear of the virus?
Imagine satan rejoicing at our lack of faith and trust in God. How he might laugh and point to our fear and panic and say to God, “Do you see? Look how they tremble, they do not trust in You. See how they busy themselves in their fear. I have made them forget you!”
But we believe that God can take anything that the enemy tries to do in order to attack or destroy and turn it against him, turn it to the good.
In his decree, Archbishop Gustavo called on us to seek especially the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe during these difficult times. In so doing, let us remember Her words to Juan Diego, “…do not fear this nor any other illness nor any other afflicting, piercing thing. Am I not here, I who am your Mother?”
And is Jesus not here for us? Jesus who is our Savior and our brother?
God just needs our faith, our trust, and our cooperation.
Are you angry or in despair at not being able to attend Mass on Sunday?
Yes, not being able to attend Mass on Sunday is a great deprivation, but we can turn it into a great sacrifice that we offer back to God.
The familiar phrase “Offer it up”, can be used here with great power. By offering up the sadness and deprivation we feel at not being able to attend Mass, we can participate, for instance, in the salvation of those souls who have grown lukewarm and have completely fallen away from attending Mass.
DON’T CANCEL MASS IN YOUR HEARTS
While our attendance at Mass may be prevented, we can refuse to let it be cancelled in our Hearts. For instance, you can participate in the televised Mass that the Archbishop will celebrate, as well as other televised Masses.
Every family or individual can set aside time on Sunday, perhaps at the time you would normally attend Mass, and unite yourselves spiritually with the Mass that is being said elsewhere.
Following are some more suggestions for a way of uniting ourselves to Mass.
You might begin by making the Sign of the Cross. Sing a hymn if you wish. Then quieting yourselves and thinking of all the intentions that you wish to pray for. You can read the readings for that day’s Mass which are available online at USCCB.org, or in the Magnificat booklets and other sources. Then spend some quiet time thinking about the readings and letting the Holy Spirit speak to you. If you are with others, you might want to share some reflections.
Recite the Creed.
Then you can prepare to make a Spiritual Communion. (Making a Spiritual Communion is a venerable practice that has been used for centuries when people are unable to receive the Eucharist in its physical presence.”
You might make a sincere Act of Contrition and recite the Our Father. Then, uniting yourself spiritually with the Sacrifice of the Mass taking place throughout the world you can pray:
“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You are already here and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.”
And again, take some quiet time with Jesus.
You could conclude with the sign of the Cross. You may want to add the singing of hymns to your prayer time.
OUR TIME IN THE DESERT
It seems very significant that this time of deprivation is occurring during the season of Lent. Perhaps these are our days in the desert. Perhaps God is allowing this in order to do great things in us His people and His Church. By cooperating with God, turning to Him with trust and love, and rejecting the enemy we can make this time fruitful. Perhaps He will make our desert bloom and our Easter more glorious than ever before.
Jesus, we trust in You!