A Call To Action…
This is what the Catholic Church needs; it needs a rally call, a call that will make all Catholics stand up, one that will challenge us all to become better Catholics, one that will lead us in to a new direction. Now I am not suggesting that the Church needs to change any of its teachings, nor am I suggesting that it needs a new image, she is fine the way she is. But what I am saying is that we as Catholics are not challenged, we are not being called to task, we have no Call To Action, nothing to help us get to the next level.
Please let me stop here and say that I am sure this is not true for all Catholics, but I would guess that it is true for most Catholics. At that the parish level we are not being taken to task, all to often at Mass I hear a homily that is well prepared, has a point or two, but all to often falls short of calling us to task, falls short of teaching the truth that the Catholic Church teaches, most often they are just variations on “Jesus love you”.
Yes Jesus does love you, and yes we need to hear that message, but Jesus also calls us to task, he demands more from us, and the gospels are full of stories that show Jesus calling people to task.
Take the story of the rich man who wanted to follow Jesus, he asked Jesus what he must do, Jesus tells him to follow the commandments, the man states that he has done that, so Jesus tells him to sell all he has, give it to the poor and follow him, the man was not able to do this, so Jesus walks away.
Jesus called him to task, Jesus expected him to step it up a bit, to truly follow Jesus. All too often our local parishes are afraid to do this, they do not want to offend anyone, so they stick to the Jesus loves you line. But is that all there is to being Catholic? Is the love a Jesus the only message he gave us? Or are we missing a major part of the message of Christ?
I challenge the Church to step up to her calling, the calling of teaching the true faith, to once again call us to task, to demand more from us.
I have hear the argument that parishioners will drop out of the church if we do so, and to that I say, Jesus walked away from the young rich man because he was not willing to step up, is not the Church held to the same responsibility? Is not the Church the representations of Christ hear on earth? Should she not use the same standard as Christ?
I am not suggesting that the Church make it a point to ride herself of parishioners, but I am suggesting that she needs to start to teach the complete message of Christ, not just the message of “Jesus Loves You”
We need to start to catechize the pews, and the community are large, to call the whole parish community to task, to show the way to Christ by using Christ as our example.