We are a little less than a month away from Lent. This Lent the archdiocese will begin the program, Catholics, Come Home! We have a lot to do if we are to engage ourselves in this work.
We begin with prayer. Everything we do ought to begin with prayer as we ask God to bless our work and be with us in our work. As we begin this first step, I would ask you to write down on a piece of paper the names of all you know who do not attend Mass. These are the names of family and friends you will pray for, that they may be open to the grace of God and respond to the call to come home.
The second step is to examine the reasons you still attend Mass. What keeps you practicing your faith? You must have explicit reasons so that when people ask you about your faith you have ready answers.
The third step is to know the faith of the church. This is the faith into which you were baptized, and whose faith we celebrate each time we gather as the worshiping community. Saint Paul, in today’s second reading (1 Cor 2,6-10), speaks to the Corinthians and to us: “When I am among mature Christians I do speak with words of great wisdom, but not the kind that comes from here on earth, and not the kind that appeals to great men of this world, who are doomed to fall. Our words are wise because they are from God, telling of God’s wise plan to bring us into the glories of heaven. This plan was hidden in former times, though it was made for our benefit before the world began…But we know about these things because God has sent his Spirit to tell us, and his Spirit searches out and shows us all of God’s deepest secrets.”
To know the faith of the church means that we can no longer run an adult Christian life on what we know
from religion classes as a youth. We need the company of other Christians at worship and study. We must read spiritual magazines and books. We don’t have to have a degree in theology, but we do need to know what values and lessons the church teaches us through scripture and tradition.
So, this is your homework for this program…To pray for specific people, to examine your level of faith and to know the faith of the church are things we must do even before going out to bring…Catholics back home.
From the bulletin of 2/13/2011