Every once in a while, I am approached by parents lamenting that their son or daughter is not Catholic anymore. No more Mama Mary or rosary, no more images, and intercession of saints, no more Masses and the litany continues.
I often ask the parent if the son or daughter has become a better person. Often they will say yes. Then I remind them that at the end of our life, we will be judged by how we have blessed other people. “When I was hungry, did you give me something to eat…”
In the Gospel today, we are reminded that though there is only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Church that Christ alone founded and that even the gates of the netherworld will prevail against it, there are those who are not part of the Church.
Although we are happy that they indeed have become better people, we are sad that they do not enjoy the fullness of faith. When one does not have the fullness of faith, the fullness of life is compromised.
Three things Non-Catholics are missing out on:
- The Word of God. Non-Catholics would have the bible, which incidentally came from the Catholic Church. But we have not only Scriptures but also Tradition. Where in the bible is the Mass? We not only have a scriptural basis, but we also have a historical basis.
- Mother Mary. How much of a role has our own mother played in our faith formation? Even Jesus was given a mother. Certainly, many of the values of Christ came also from Mary. When Jesus was on the cross, he had Mary in mind. Why would other sects take away Mama Mary when even the Angel Gabriel said that she is most blessed among women.
- The Body of Christ. The real presence of Christ. In the Last Supper, Jesus said, “Take this all of you and eat it. This is my Body which will be given to you.”
Hence, in this Mass we have three prayers.
- May we continue to discover our Catholic faith. It is 21 centuries old and it is global, hence it is so deep and profound.
- May we go to all the ends of the earth and proclaim the good news.
- May those who are “lapse Catholics” eventually find their way home to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.