In light of recent religious persecutions, Chris Stefanick’s latest video is bound to bring tears to your eyes.
In a brief, two-and-a-half minute YouTube video entitled “Mass”, the well-known Catholic public speaker paints a powerful picture of what a privilege it is to attend Mass in freedom and how this can be so easily taken for granted.
On one hand, Stefanick recalls a recent text from a friend of his in Irag: “Please pray for our church, where all the people are held captive by terrorists.”
A few hours later, another text followed: “Lord have mercy.” Shortly thereafter, everyone in that Catholic Church – men, women and children – were gunned down and killed.
On the other hand, at Mass that same weekend back in the States, grateful for his safety and freedom to worship, Stefanick couldn’t help but notice a kid in the back pew playing video games the whole time.
“It really struck me that 7,000 miles away from us, a whole Church load of people had given their lives to be where he was.”
Amid beautiful footage of a Eucharistic procession and intense music, Stefanick poses the question: “What did they see that he was missing?”
It’s something Meriam Ibrahim, a Catholic Sudanese woman who faces a death sentence for allegedly abandoning Islam and not denouncing her Catholic faith, has seen.
It’s something the persecuted Catholics in Syria, Jordan, Kenya and a host of other Middle Eastern and African countries have seen and witnessed with their lives.
It’s something that Catholics around the globe have seen throughout the centuries; something they have been willing to risk their lives for “since the birth of the Church,” Stefanick says.
“What are all these people seeing at Mass?” Stefanick asks.
“If you’re not seeing it, you’re missing something pretty amazing.”
Although Stefanick never says it explicitly, he is prodding the viewer to consider the Eucharist. The video concludes with a bible verse from Luke 22:19 – “He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, ‘This is my body given for you do this is remembrance of me.’”
Catholic doctrine teaches that the bread and wine, once consecrated at Mass, actually become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. This radical belief has been worth the cost of everything for countless Catholics throughout history.
Stefanick’s short video calls us out as Catholics: What do we see at Mass? And are we willing to die for it?
Resources for Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist: