Some Catholic people comment “I don’t get anything out of mass.” First, it is important to remember that the eucharist is not entertainment so we need to temper our expectations about what we feel when we go to mass.
Secondly, because the mass is not entertainment and we don’t approach it passively expecting someone to make us feel good without our doing anything–like going to a funny movie which might cheer us up when we’re down, we might appreciate the experience of the eucharist better if we prepare for it.
I’d like to offer some resources to help us do that. These are websites or e-mail mailing lists that give some thoughts about the readings for the coming weekend. Since many Christian churches now use the same common lectionary (book of Sunday readings) as the Catholics, these resources could benefit Christians from a variety of denominations.
These resources present the readings so you can read them in advance and then they offer some insights about how the readings developed, why Jesus said what he did or the evangelist included it in his gospel, and then some comments to help us appreciate what we will hear on Sunday.
The first resource I’d like to suggest is First Impressions. It’s written by a group of Dominican priests based in Texas. They offer not only thoughts on the scripture readings but several other helpful items that might help you develop your spiritual life. Give it a try, bookmark it, and click on it each week!