As a house guest of non-believers am I still obliged to attend Sunday Mass?

I’m going to be staying at my friend’s house in another state soon and will be there for a little more than a week (two sundays). He and his family are not at all religious and since I am their guest I feel it would be rude to ask them to taking me to Mass. Am I still be required to fulfill the Sunday obligation under pain of mortal sin?

Dear Anima,

If you knew you were going to die on Monday, would you still intend to skip Sunday Mass for fear of being rude to your friends?

What about being rude to God? Nothing—absolutely nothing on the face of the earth can equal the infinite value of the passion and death of our Savior which we celebrate on the altar at Mass–and you are worried about being rude to those who haven’t a clue about it? This is such a great opportunity for bearing witness to the greatest act of love the world has ever known. If you have any feelings for your friends, how could you not want them to know all about it?

You have been baptized. This matters. By it you are incorporated into the very life of Christ. It is the last thing anyone should want to hide. If your friends see how much He matters to you, they might at least become curious as to why. Don’t miss the opportunity.

To keep quiet and not attend Mass is to turn your back on Calvary. Such an act is more than rude. It is more than the lack of gratitude. It is to know of His self-gift and not love Him. This is what mortal sin is.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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