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Daily Catholic Question

How late may I come to Mass?

Would you say that someone who walked into the upper room just as Jesus blessed the bread and wine and said the words of consecration and then walked out immediately after was present for the Last Supper? Or had shared in and assisted at the Last Supper? As I read the Gospels, the Last Supper was no five-minute affair. Jesus prayed long and offered the apostles much instruction before consecrating and distributing the bread and wine.

Moral theologians used to speak of the principal parts of the Mass (offertory, consecration and Communion), and insist that a person must be present for all three parts to satisfy the Sunday or holy day obligation.

Today liturgists and theologians do not use that terminology. Liturgists speak of the celebration of the Word and the celebration of the Eucharist as the parts of the Mass. Reasons might excuse a person’s coming late. And there may be reasons or difficulties that would excuse a person who missed a notable part of Mass from attending another Mass. But a person who has missed a significant part of Mass has not fulfilled the canonical obligation.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014
Daily Catholic Question for 4/12/2014 Daily Catholic Question for 4/14/2014


Hilary of Arles: It’s been said that youth is wasted on the young. In some ways, that was true for today’s saint. 
<p>Born in France in the early fifth century, Hilary came from an aristocratic family. In the course of his education he encountered his relative, Honoratus, who encouraged the young man to join him in the monastic life. Hilary did so. He continued to follow in the footsteps of Honoratus as bishop. Hilary was only 29 when he was chosen bishop of Arles. </p><p>The new, youthful bishop undertook the role with confidence. He did manual labor to earn money for the poor. He sold sacred vessels to ransom captives. He became a magnificent orator. He traveled everywhere on foot, always wearing simple clothing. </p><p>That was the bright side. Hilary encountered difficulty in his relationships with other bishops over whom he had some jurisdiction. He unilaterally deposed one bishop. He selected another bishop to replace one who was very ill–but, to complicate matters, did not die! Pope St. Leo the Great kept Hilary a bishop but stripped him of some of his powers. </p><p>Hilary died at 49. He was a man of talent and piety who, in due time, had learned how to be a bishop.</p> American Catholic Blog True freedom lies in the ability to align one’s actions freely with the truth, so as to achieve authentic human happiness both now and in the life to come. Jesus promised, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31–32).

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