I’ve observed a trend among college students which has always troubled me. I would see people out at the bars or going to house parties on Friday and Saturday nights, and let’s be honest, Thursdays because, well, it’s college. I should mention that this was never the trend that bothered me. So long as people are responsible and moral, there’s nothing wrong with letting your hair down on the weekends. I would then see a lot of these same people in Mass on Sunday, which also is not what troubles me. Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine, Prohibition has long since been repealed, and I’m certainly not the one to admonish someone for enjoying a good drink or two.
However, I would often see young women going out to the bars in a dress and heels or young men in a collared shirt and slacks, and then show up for Mass in jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers. I was that college student who made every effort to wear cargo shorts even in February while the temperatures and thus, dressed as I was, my mood were both negative, so I’m far from the biggest advocate of formal attire, but even I know that you dress up for that which is most important and down for that which is more mundane. If the bars are a more formal occasion than Mass, which cup are you really concerned with drinking?
The Mass should be the center of our week or, even better, our day. C.S. Lewis taught us correctly that “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, is of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” So if you believe The Gospel of Christ and particularly that His body, blood, soul, and divinity are truly present in the Eucharist, what could be a more important event than receiving it? We are most successful as individuals in that moment in which we cease to be individuals and become rather members of the Body of Christ. So let’s all make an effort truly to dress for success.