Thursday, March 21, 2024 – Day 37

March 21, 2024

“We have a confession to make: As we reflect on the five STEPS to grow in a relationship with Christ, sharing our faith is the one we struggle with the most. This might sound strange coming from two church guys. In one sense, everything we dopreaching and teaching, pastoral care and parish ministryis an expression of our faith intended to awaken and inspire faith in others. But still we struggle, especially when it comes to sharing our faith with people who do not know Christ.”

I agree!  It must be church people that have this challenge. I think their reflection casts some good light on sharing our faith not only to grow deeper, but grow wider as a Catholic Christian community. Formally I’m supposed the share faith when I preach. It’s built into my calling, but do I share faith when I’m “off duty?”

As our parish developed its mission statement, the team reflected on the WHY of our mission.  Why do we serve Jesus?  Everything comes back to our WHY.   Michael White and Tom Corcoran use the answer to help me better grasp the call to share faith. Why fish?  Well, that’s what Christians do!  

What good deeds do you do that you can connect to your faith in Jesus? 

How has a relationship with Jesus healed you? Do you know someone who needs that same healing? 

Is it a struggle for you to believe that we are only saved through Jesus? What thoughts come to your mind when you hear Peter say there is no other way we can be saved?

Over the years, and now more than ever, good deeds can transform the world. Many studies seem to show there is a trend to spiritually or religiously identify as “none.”  More good deeds in the name of Jesus can make a difference. When I stop and look into the eyes of a homeless person and say hello and offer them a little money, food, or a pair of socks … it’s bringing Jesus’ healing and dignity to that person. 

I’ve felt Jesus’ healing love every day of my life … in the Sacraments, in conversations and time with others, prayers for my health in my cancer journey. I could go on and on but am blessed with a deepening relationship with Jesus. In my role as a priest, I also encounter others in need of healing: someone grieving the loss of a loved one, someone feeling pushed away from the church, someone dealing with life threatening illness, and more. 

“There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” – St. Peter

The way Michael White and Tom Corcoran explained Peter’s statement is reflective of Pope Francis’ similar writings that anyone can be saved. Whether someone knows Jesus or not, it is through Him that all are saved. For some, it challenges a broader understanding of Jesus and the way to salvation. It’s reassuring and makes sense. It also should help us be more comfortable sharing our faith.