My wife and I were discussing the feeling of absence from Sunday Mass. I wouldn’t share my wife’s specific feelings of loss. Because of her medical condition, she hasn’t always been able to get out for Mass. (Though I will say the move to Minnesota has improved her health a good bit.)
I had a stint late last Fall where I missed two Sundays in a row due to interstate quarantine. It was my new parish, so I had no specific feeling of missing Mass. It was coming on the heels of a long limitation in which most of my parishioners were absent from in-person worship. Missing other people was worse than my absence. What do I make of that?
I feel an awareness of God’s presence often enough. I was fortunate to have church keys, so I can access a sacramental and devotional presence whenever I want to. I ponder the Scriptures and gaze at the skies. And there is music.
I would hope more people celebrate Mass. My sincere wish is that Holy Family Sunday and the 2nd Easter Sunday would be as packed as the previous day of church attendance. That wish has never been fulfilled.
So I see that “confusion” is sown because some politicians decline to criminalize abortion. I think the only confusion lies along the lines of this question: Why isn’t every Catholic a Republican? Frankly, I think the mainstream media is confused too. They think the bishops will embarrass President Biden. All they will accomplish is greater frustration and divides between lay people and their bishops.
Also, that the obligation to celebrate Sunday Mass returns.
I predict a slow, possibly “confused” response from lay people.
What I wish would be perhaps more of a pipe dream than packed churches the next time after Christmas and Easter. I wish the bishops would ignore the imposition of Sunday obligation. Let’s take a decade or so to improve preaching, train artists and hire music directors, and steal every idea from the evangelical churches on welcome and that relationship with Jesus. Otherwise, it’s just an obligation to mediocrity–in most places.
Or maybe this: a Catholic is only obligated to celebrate Mass where the priest has a lay-authorized certificate of good preaching, where a professional music director is on duty, and the social media rating on welcome is above 80%.