Of all things Catholic, there is nothing that is so familiar as the Mass. Yet most Catholics sitting in the pews on Sundays fail to see the powerful supernatural drama that enfolds them. Pope John Paul II described the Mass as “Heaven on Earth,” explaining what “we celebrate on Earth is a mysterious participation in the heavenly liturgy” (Angelus Address, Nov. 3, 1996).
In the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Divine Liturgy we read:
“In the earthly liturgy we share in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the Holy City of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, Minister of the sanctuary and of he true tabernacle. With all the warriors of the heavenly army we sing a hymn of glory to the Lord; venerating the memory of the saints, we hope for some part and fellowship with them; we eagerly await the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, until He, our life, shall appear and we too will appear with Him in glory”(Sacrosanctum Concilium 8.)
In order to transform souls and societies through the leaven of the gospel, the gravitational center of the parish must be the Eucharist, “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, no.11).
The more we prepare for Mass, the more grace we will take away from the Mass. The grace available in the Mass is infinite – it’s all the grace of heaven. The only limit is our capacity to receive it.