Early on Gandalf tells young Bilbo Baggins, “I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure.” Obviously he has something wild in mind. Actually, anything would be wild compared to the perfect peace and calm of Bilbo sitting and smoking his pipe. But he’s definitely up to something, and Bilbo doesn’t like it.
Thank goodness he eventually answers that longing inside and joins the dwarves, because 3 hours of the daily life of a hobbit would bore me out of my skull. You can see a glimpse of the scene in the second trailer when he’s running out of Hobbiton to chase after the dwarves and he shouts, “I’m going on an adventure!”
Now let me introduce you to the greatest adventure of all time. The Mass! Why? Because it’s salvation history being played out right in front of our eyes. We are all like Bilbo Baggins, we have a deep longing for something more than the comforts and predictability of our lives. That’s so boring. We want an adventure. In the Mass, not only do we get to witness God’s act of salvation happen, but we participate in it, too. Those stories become our own, and we become part of the stories. The Liturgy of the Word tells those stories, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist brings it to life, makes it real!
Every time I go to Mass now, I feel like Gandalf comes up to me and says, “I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure.” For Fr. Grogan’s sake I don’t actually do this, but in my mind I burst through the doors of the church running toward the altar and shout, “I’m going on an adventure!”