Tuesday, March 26, 2024, Bonus Day 2

March 26, 2024

If you are reading this blog today, congratulations! You made a commitment over forty days ago and can look back knowing you have grown in your faith.  Now comes the next, and more challenging phase … living the STEPS. Our Core Leadership Team and I have been thinking how to unpack the reflections discovered these 42 days. 

As we brought some skepticism to reading Rebuilt Faith: A Handbook for Skeptical Catholics, most of us brought preconceived ideas about Service, Tithing and giving, Engaging, Practicing prayer, or Sharing Faith. For me, taking time each day has invited me to be open to new perspectives. As Michael White and Tom Corcoran said in the sharing Faith section, we need to “invest and invite.” These 42 days have been an investment and an invitation to grow deeper in my Faith. 

They offer these questions on this bonus day to begin some unpacking:

What about Jesus’s character needs to increase in you? What needs to decrease in your character? 

As you reflect on these forty days, where have you seen growth in your faith in Christ? How have you uncovered what matters during this time? 

Which of the five STEPS—serve, tithe and give, engage in Christian community, practice prayer and the sacraments, and share your faith—have you found the most challenging? Which was the easiest for you to embrace? What do you see as the next step in your walk with Christ?

As I reflect on these final questions, I’m touched by Michael White and Tom Corcoran’s last paragraph expanding on John the Baptist’s parting words, “He must increase; I must decrease (John 3:30).  They look at those words, “… that doesn’t mean we lose our unique personality, distinctive individuality, or character traits. You are God’s one-of-a-kind work of art, a treasure just as he made you.’He must increase’ means that the character of Christ increases in us and the selfish, self-centered tendencies of human nature diminishes. The kindness and compassion, the strength and courage, and the wit and wisdom of Jesus must increase in us. In the process, we serve, we tithe and give, we engage in Christian community, we practice prayer and celebrate the sacraments, and we share our faith. As a consequence, we become a more perfect version of ourselves as growing disciples of the Lord. Because it truly is all about Jesus.”

In the near future, like April, I want to invite those who completed this journey to gather for a couple hours on a Saturday morning in either Mullica Hill or Woodstown. Let’s call it a Spirit Café on Saturday! Coffee, pastries and a little E and S. All of us will come with a shared journey … we read and reflected on Rebuilt Faith: A Handbook for Skeptical Catholics. We want the parish to grow deeper and grow wider. We want the best experience of worship and praise. We want more leaders and maybe we want to lead. 

The Core Leadership and I will have an invitation right after Easter along with a connection to Signup Genius to respond. Reading and reflecting this Lent, we already have made a difference. We invested, and now invited. 

Blessings for a beautiful Sacred Triduum (the three days) and Happy Easter. Watch for the invite!