We are visiting my husband’s parents later this summer. My MIL is so excited because she will have her whole family to take to her small fundamentalist church. There is a Catholic church in town; however it only has Mass on that same Sunday at the same time. Can I make up the missed Mass by going to Mass in a different town the next day? Do I get a dispensation from my priest? What do I do? I don’t want to hurt her feelings by refusing to go to her church so she can “show us off”.
I can understand your not wanting to hurt her. But actually, you have the opportunity of witnessing to her about the most important thing that happens on the face of the earth. The death of Jesus on the cross transcends time. It covers all those who lived before the crucifixion and all those who came after. At Mass the reality of the passion is before us as we see Christ’s blood separate from His body. The reality of His death and the unlimitted love He has for us is what we celebrate at Mass. Even if she doesn’t beleive this at this time, she will be impressed with your devotion to Him and what He accomplished on Good Friday.
This, by the way, is why it would be absurd to put her feelings above the reality of celebrating His passion at Mass. God revealed more about Himself in the passion than anywhere else in the history of the human race. To deny this by turning one’s back on the Mass for whatever reason is just not an option for one who has the gift of faith. I know you will do the right thing.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.