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"Come As You Are" or "Come As He Desires"

I've been thinking about this topic for a while, knowing my own journey which I wrote about at length the past few months as well as where people are. While visiting with my family in Texas last week the subject came up again and I was silent because I'm not exactly sure how to articulate what I really think. I was saying how I prefer to attend Mass in the morning rather than Saturday evening vigil. There's nothing wrong with the Vigil, but for me, I like morning Mass - which is a new development in the last year - I used to sleep in and go at 5pm on Sunday evening. Don't get me wrong, I still love sleeping, but morning Mass is different than Sunday evening Mass. Anyway, someone said they prefer the Saturday vigil because it's more casual. They can come in their jeans, sneakers, t-shirts - no judgement if it's been a few weeks or months since they've been there. Overall more casual - and that frankly the Lord doesn't care what we where, just that we're there.

Now to some extent I agree. He tells us to "Come as we are." You don't have to be perfect to be part of the Church. If that were the case, then we would all do good to get out because no one fits the bill. We all make mistakes, do the wrong things - sometimes repeatedly, if we're being honest, most of the time repeatedly. I don't know about you, but my confession list is pretty similar each time I go - if something changes it's usually because I didn't know that was actually a sin the last time. Don't get me wrong, I'm striving, but I'm still a sinner in need of mercy and forgiveness.

So He tells us to "come as we are" - come now, don't wait for this to happen or that to be perfect. Come today, come now. I don't think we are all at the same place in our faith and I'll admit I wore jeans and sweats to Mass for quite sometime in my teens and college years. Even when I was doing youth ministry. Always giving the excuse that I had to be ready to play after Mass so I should just come to Mass ready to play.

I think there's a slight danger in remaining in this way of thinking forever though. We should be challenged in our faith to grow, to go deeper. This involves changing ourselves to be like God, not changing our God to be like us. He was not created in our image. We were created in His.

Does this mean that if Jesus lived here he wouldn't wear jeans? Probably not - I mean, let's be real. However, when we go to Mass we are to bring him our best, our first fruits. I've been reading the Bible lately - a year long reading plan to go through the entire Scriptures. The last few days I was finishing up Exodus where the Lord is providing all of the rules outlining the sacrifice. I won't relate them all to you because they are many and varied. However, the main theme was "bring your first fruits" - bring from the top not the leftovers.

I think this is the same when we talk about dress for Mass. Yes, you can wear whatever you want - most parishes don't make their greeters enforce a dress code, that's absolutely true. And if you're running super late from somewhere else and you can either get to Mass on time in jeans/sweats/baseball clothes or change and not make it at all, I say get to Mass. Before that though, plan out your day to make Mass your first priority, wearing the best items in your closet for the Lord and then let the rest of the day fall into place.

I don't know if there will be a test when we get to Heaven that discusses our dress - jeans or skirts, shorts or pants, polo or suit, t-shirt or blouse, but I do know that when I'm dressed up for Mass, I'm more reverent at Mass. I'm more attentive to the differences that happen in the Church rather than outside the Church. I'm more grateful for the music that isn't my typical taste, but rather my Church taste. I don't sing along like I do when All About that Bass comes on the radio. I sing differently. I sing to the Lord, not to pass the time.

So "Come as you are" and Be "Come as He desires." Give the Lord your choicest first fruits rather than the leftovers you pulled together. He will reward you abundantly!

Comments

  1. Interesting thoughts on this, Katie! I like how you touched on how dressing differently signifies the importance we put on Mass. There's psychological research supporting that how we dress changes the way we behave - which totally goes with that! When we make Mass important, it changes a lot :-) I do wish more people, including myself, really appreciated Mass more, and I love hearing your thoughts on it!

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    1. Thanks Laura - I definitely have my moments too where I just want to be super casual. But I do notice that my thoughts at Mass are different when I'm dressed nicely. I also think it's a process ... even beginning to think about what we wear is an excellent first step. Then we will continue to change and it will become our standard way of attendance. I appreciate you reading my random musings!

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