CYCLE C 7TH
Brothers and Sisters, Greetings from Blessed Sacrament Parish.
1. The work of the church can be described in 1 word. Evangelization. That work, under the leadership of Bishop Nickless, Fr. Guenther and the rest of the Catholic Parishes of Sioux City, is what ties the local church together in this work. I have come to encourage each of you to Heartily join in on ALL aspects of that work…but one especially this Lent…Let’s go in search for the IN-ACTIVE CATHOLIC.
There is a sobering statistic facing us in this daunting task of bringing people back to Christ. Easily 50%-60% of Catholics do not give the Savior of the world his due worship on Sundays.
2. Our readings, while not directly relatable to Evangelization of the In-Active, they do give us some valuable insight to the problem.
The Gospel contains some of the hardest teachings of Christ and His Church. Because the morality Jesus demands of his disciples is not something we can KICK UP a few notches beyond what we normally give, and say we are there. The gospel tells us the distance from ‘Love your Neighbor’ to ‘Love your enemies’ is a long and arduous road. It’s only in carrying a ‘CROSS’ of Faith that does the difficulty of the road make sense.
For those who have been Lost, Alienated or Hurt from the Sunday Liturgy, Sacraments and the life of the church; our Understanding of their experience tells us, the distance they must travel, from where they are SPIRITUALLY now to where they ‘COME BACK’ is also a long-LONG road. But we are called by the church, to be a ‘SIMON of Cyrene’ to help them carry their Crosses.
For they are dealing with the other ‘Hard Teachings’ of Christ and His church. And these dealings are compounded additionally with an ATTITUDE of self-described LAZINESS.
3. A 2nd point comes from Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians. In the last few weeks we have heard Paul trying to be ‘APOLOGETIC’ to the Corinthians who were having trouble putting faith in the teachings that Jesus was Crucified and then was Raised to life.
So he laid it our for them in words that those beliefs could be estified to in 2 ways. We can point to the truth of the paschal mystery both SCRIPTURALLY, and we can point to it as today’s readings remind us through the human Witnesses that were there to those events. And this is handed down in the TRADITION of the Church. St Paul reminded them that if these were not true and Jesus has not been raised…our faith in him is in vain.
And while the In-Active in our church are dealing their own set of DOUBTS, The point I want to make is…the church needs to be able to clearly teach, over and over, to help people through every difficult problem. Not just about the Resurrected Christ, but the many other hard Truths that the In-Active deal with. Teachings on marriage, Eucharist, Reconciliation and Sunday Obligation.
If I told you HOW I was going to give you a million dollars, and you really believed me, WILD HORSES would not keep you from coming to get it. Well, we are promised far, far greater things, but they don’t understand and they don’t believe, so they don’t come.
4. Re-membering Church, the process by which we here in Sioux City are trying bring Catholics Back to an active faith life, has looked at some important stats. Here’s what we know after 15 years:
a) It’s a Big Problem. We have talked to 2500 Sioux City people.
b) It’s a Big Step. We have brought back at least for a while 120 people.
c) We need Helping hands. You see, we had at least another 250 on the Line ready to pull them in and THEY let go of the hook.
5. So this year we are asking YOU more IMPERATIVELY for help.
A. Don’t be Afraid. Evangelization is a part of our Baptismal call. Ministry to the In-Active is hard work, and unnerving at times, But it is extremely rewarding and it is our duty.
B. The yellow Remembering slips in your pews, give you a Lenten opportunity of a superior nature. To help ‘BRING ONE (Lost Sheep) BACK to church’
C. SIGN UP to help this program grow. Many hands make light work. SIGN UP and ‘Bring one with you.’ With your help they won’t get away. Or AT LEAST SIGN UP to give us a name of ONE so REMEMBERING can call & invite them.
D. Pertinent program information is on the back. Take one and Give it to someone you love. Your Spouse, Child, Friend. What is the distance of you having the slip in your hands and bearing the cross bravely.
Let’s DO IT…. with the Reckless Abandon of the shepherd described in the parable of the ‘Lost Sheep’, Let’s TURN our House Upside down as the woman did in the parable of the ‘Lost Coin’. And with the same JOY and LAVISH LOVE the Prodigal Father had for his son, let us desire to WELCOME back our ‘Prodigal Brother or Sister’.
‘BRING ONE (lost sheep) WITH YOU’
Help to…’Rekindle the Flame’ 2 Tim 1-6
/ / Also, I am interested also in being apart of the
RE-MEMBERING community evangelization team.
Returnee (I will invite to come)
(RE-MEMBERING TEAM WILL ALSO CALL)
PRAY – PRAY – PRAY – INVITE
Return this slip to your parish office or call