Mass is prayer at its best, says Fr Renald Anthony

19 Dec 2019

By Theresia Titus

Fr Renald Anthony speaking in front of ACYF 2019 pilgrims on Tuesday 10 December on the importance of Mass prior to ACYF 2019 closing Mass. Photo: Iceberg Media.

By Theresia Titus

Speaking at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) 2019, Kalgoorlie/Boulder Parish Assistant Priest Fr Renald Anthony inspired pilgrims to understand and appreciate the Mass.

Fr Anthony started his talk by telling the pilgrims how the Mass has become a part of his life, attending it every morning in the early hours when he was growing up.

“It became a habit in my family life that Mass was the number one priority. Going to Mass in the morning and family prayer before bed became a part of life that put everything else in between,” Fr Anthony said.

He said “prayer is a humbling experience” as prayers are “something that is actually not about ourselves but about the other person” and we ought to humble ourselves before God when we say our prayers.

By understanding what prayer is, he came to a specific understanding of Mass that changed his spiritual life.

 “I have been going to Mass all my life, and most of the time I did not understand this [as] no one was there to help me and I have only come to understand this in the last ten years of my life.”

ACYF 2019 pilgrims listening to Fr Renald Anthony, learning about the significance, giving them the opportunity to have a better encounter with Jesus at the closing Mass. Photo: Iceberg Media.

When I started to understand this, everything started to come alive [and] I was looking forward to going to Mass, to celebrate Mass,” he said.

“I am there [at Mass] participating and through my ongoing encounter with Christ, I understood this and that brought everything alive.”

He also affirmed that “at Mass, we participated in Jesus’ sufferings, death and resurrection”.

“That’s the call: I am humbling myself at Mass for Jesus humbling Himself,” he said.

“I can definitely say that; personal prayers are okay, but nothing compares to the moment when God and us become one through communion, and there He provides Jesus for us.”

“He does this to express his fullness of love

He holds nothing back, He gives fully; He just gives, regardless whether we understand or not [the sacrificial experience],” he said.

“But when we understand, it changes us, it affects us fully and it transforms us.

“Thus I believe this talk will help us to have this great experience every time we participate at Mass; when we are there, we are going to have this moment with Jesus.

“You are so blessed because this is the first time I have ever talked about this to a congregation,” he continued.

Ordained as a priest in 2014 by Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe, Fr Renald Anthony is now an Assistant Priest at Kalgoorlie/Boulder Parish. Photo: Iceberg Media.

Fr Anthony said that “there is no greater prayer than participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”.

“This is prayer at its best; we are adoring Him then and there [and] we are opening our hearts to fill us,” he said.

“We are always empty and ask God to fill us: the more He fills us with His love, the more loving we become, we are filled with more mercy. How blessed we are.

“Jesus humbles Himself to fill us as we humble ourselves to receive Jesus within us,” he continued.

At the end of his talk, Fr Anthony reminded the pilgrims that Jesus giving us an invitation at every Mass.

“My friend are you willing to walk with me? Don’t walk alone you will be lost. Always remember that you take me with you so you won’t be lost, you are always found, you are always with Me”.

“Prayer becomes a full circle. In Mass, we are praying and experiencing a humbling moment, outside of Mass we are living that experience,” he concluded.