Mark Hart

Get in the Game: Football and the Mass

Well, another new football season is under way and it got me to thinking about how the Catholic Mass can be a lot like a football game, if we look at it the right way ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ_

Draft Choice … Where to sit in relation to the air conditioning or fan.’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Rushing … Picking the 'shortest' Mass, usually on a Saturday afternoon’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Endzone … Where we park our rears’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Cornerback … Where too many Catholics sit’Ìâ‰âÂÌâ_in the corner, in the back’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Safety … The stance some priests take when preaching’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Extra Point … The homily that just won't end’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Draw Play … What kids do during Mass’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Facemask … The look on our face that many of us 'wear' on Sundays’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Timeout … When parents take children out of Church for making noise’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Passing … Handing the collection basket to the person next to you’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Illegal Use of Hands … Taking money out of the collection basket’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Quarterback … People that try to make change for a $1 in the basket’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Holding … What happens during the 'Our Father'’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Touchback … What we do during the sign of peace’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Forward Motion … How we go to communion’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Two Minute Warning … 'Bow your heads and pray for God's blessing'’Ìâ‰âÂÌâå¬

Blocking … The people who stand at the exit, talking to the pastor at the door

At least ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ_ that's the way that I see it.

Notice that at every Mass, you are not a 'fan' but a 'player' in the game. That's what God is calling us to be in Mass and in life.

Consider this verse from Thessalonians:

'We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all.'1 Thessalonians 5:14

Here St. Paul reminds us that we are not meant to sit back and watch, but to be active ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ_ cheering on our teammates, not from the stands but from the playing field. Our team is only as strong as our weakest player. Any good coach will remind us of that.

Encourage your teammates who are in the stands of life to get in the game with you. God has jerseys and playbooks waiting for them. And let's not ever forget what play does every team call when they are desperate? That's right ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ_ the 'Hail Mary.'

Mark Hart

About the Author

My childhood plan was to be a jedi. My teenage plan was to be on Saturday Night Live. God's plan was to have me in ministry. God won - and I'm glad He did.