Picture a patient with a medicine on the counter. She runs a fever and asks for your help. You tell her to drink the medicine but she refuses. Later she complains that the fever had not left her. What would you do?
I'd probably hit my forehead, in lieu of hitting the back of her head.
This is probably how Jesus reacts each time I attend mass and do not pay attention to the medicine and cure before me.
One day, a friend asked for my prayer. And I texted her to offer her mass intentions for this petition as I include her in my own mass.
Later, the Inner Voice prompted me to add details on how to make this mass offering for her intentions.
Surprised overtook me because I had not done it in this complete manner. Usually, I would offer my intentions whenever I'd remember it in any of the parts of the Mass.
Realization hit me that instant.
Although I may have been taking the medicine, I have not been taking it in its prescribed dose.
So here I outline the Lord's inspiration on how to offer our petitions and prayer intentions at Mass:
• Offer your intention before the mass starts.
• During the Prayers of the Faithful, lift up your intention again.
• During the consecration, when the priest raises the cup, say "I immerse (mention the person's name) in your blood o Jesus. Cleanse him/her and heal him/her from all his/her diseases. Send her the person whom You will use as Your channel of healing." (Note: Most prayer intentions would fall under any of the categories of healing from physical, mental, emotional, social, financial, intellectual, or inspirational sickness)
The mass is the highest form of prayer for us Catholics because we believe in the mystery of the transubstantiation whereby Jesus is offered as the unblemished sacrificial Lamb of God in the form of bread turned into His flesh and wine turned into His blood. This is the atonement most acceptable to God the Father in the spirit of the Mosaic Law.
It is our medicine; the cure to our infirmities.
Yet we often approach it with unbelieving hearts and distracted spirits. We fail to use all the opportunities it provides to aid us in our pilgrim journey on earth.
Today, when I heard Mass, I offered my petition as the Lord laid out above.
While in line for Communion, He inspired me to pray for my intentions and add:
"Lord, as I approach You in Communion, once more I lift my heart's intentions to Your Most Sacred Heart that my will may be united with Yours so that my heart's desires may become Yours as Yours become mine."
It was then that I realized that during the Mass, through the Scriptural readings, responsorial psalm, and homily, God already makes His will known, His answer to the prayer intentions revealed if only I care to listen.
Sometimes, it's an affirmation, a yes; on other times, it a no and it comes with an admonition or rebuke; and still on other times, it's a not yet, or wait. And when He is silent, that's when I learn that the intention could be in accordance with His will, but needs to be purified in motive (in my part or the one who asked for my prayer).
I marvel at the completeness of the sacrifice of the Mass. It's I, who am incomplete and lacking in faith.
The medicine is there, and although I am taking it, I'm not fully compliant to the prescription of intake.
Lord, open my eyes to the great mystery behind the sacrifice of the Eucharist that it may cure me and the people You have entrusted to my intercessory care.