The Call to Worship and Personal Conduct

In the sphere of faith, a recurring observation is the behavior of individuals who regularly attend Mass compared to those who do not. It’s noted, often with a hint of disappointment, that many who go to Mass exhibit a moral character no better than non-church-goers.

The Paradox of Worship and Sin

This observation leads to a crucial question: Should one persist in sin and yet continue attending Mass, or is it better to abstain from worship altogether, as many non-church-goers do? This dilemma is not new and finds echoes in the Scriptures. As St. Paul wrote to the Romans, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid” (Romans 6:1-2, Douay–Rheims Bible). This passage underlines the paradox of seeking God’s grace while willingly persisting in sin.

The Judgment of Others

Another aspect of this issue is the propensity of some to judge their fellow worshippers. This behavior is contrary to the teachings of Christ, who said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1, Douay–Rheims Bible). It is one thing to err and seek forgiveness; it is quite another to err and then cast aspersions on others’ attempts to worship God.

The True Essence of Worship

The essence of attending Mass is not merely a ritualistic exercise but a profound expression of faith and repentance. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:10-14). The Pharisee boasts of his own righteousness while the publican humbly acknowledges his sinfulness. Jesus concludes, “I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other” (Luke 18:14, Douay–Rheims Bible). This parable teaches the importance of humility and genuine repentance in worship.


In conclusion, attending Mass while continuing in sin presents a spiritual paradox. It’s not enough to simply attend Mass; what matters is the state of one’s heart and their genuine desire for repentance. As believers, it’s also crucial to refrain from judging others, recognizing that everyone is on their own spiritual journey. Worship, in its truest form, is about approaching God with a humble and contrite heart, seeking His grace to transform and renew us.

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