A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
Grateful, Thankful, Blessed
February 21, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part III - cATHOLIC
July 22, 2016
That small “c” is no mistake. As we pray the Creed which names the four marks of the Catholic Church; ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, APOSTOLIC, the intended meaning of the word catholic is not as in the “Catholic Church.” Rather the intended definition of the word is “all embracing, wide reaching, inclusive” or said another way, “all are welcome.” To be catholic is to be open and accepting of all people; how very appropriate for a Church whose mission is to take the Good News of Jesus Christ to all people!
Did you know that many Protestant churches share in the Nicene Creed that we pray at Mass? Recently in our RICA class a Lutheran candidate who is becoming Catholic said they have always wondered why they prayed that they believe in one, holy, catholic church. It only makes sense when you note that the word is not capitalized and so the meaning is as I stated above.
The characteristic or mark of the Roman Catholic Church to embrace and welcome all people comes directly from Jesus: “you will be my witnesses . . . to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1.8 As Jesus sends forth his disciples to “all nations” the Church is born and is not exclusive, rather inclusive. All are indeed welcome!
What does that mean for each of us as members? Have you ever had a conversation in which you shared information about the Catholic Church with others; family, exactly what we as disciples of Christ are called to do. How confident are you in sharing your faith with another? Do you find it difficult to share what the Church stands for or believes? Many people have shared with me that they don’t know what to say when others ask about the Church or they fear they will say something incorrectly. What I encourage people to do is tell their own faith story. To that, many tell me they don’t have one. And I reply, “Oh, but you do! Your faith story began on the day of your baptism and you add to it each and every day.” Faith stories are personal stories of how you came to know and understand God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit and how it experience that gift. When we share with others our love for and belief in Jesus Christ by what we say and how we live, it may, by God’s design open the door for another.
Let us be deliberate in building a Catholic Church that is indeed catholic – open to all!