Everyone who comes into our life brings a gift, for each of us is a gift. Your presence adds something special. You are a ‘blessing’ for God’s Spirit is in you.
When families with young children come to Mass, we all know that took a special effort to get them ready. It is a joy to see them. Then there are times we may wonder “Why don’t others come? Why don’t a particular group, like young adults come to Mass?” This is not a judgment, but a question ~ “Can you help me understand, ‘Why do some people come to Mass and some do not come’?”
Becoming a Catholic is a personal journey that usually begins with a sense of belonging. When we think of ourselves, we have a sense of belonging to the Catholic Church and we are definitely NOT another religion and not a member of another church. Belonging to the Catholic Church could have been part of our growing up and almost be something we took for granted. Many people put in the Census that they are Catholic for they know that is where they belong. When we come to Mass, we just know, “We belong!”
If we are coming to Mass regularly this sense of belonging has grown stronger in us because we took another step. What was this important step? We began to pray.
What happens when we pray? We ask God for help. We trust God to help us and we talk to God. We know God as Jesus and with Jesus we call God “Our Father”. Our relationship grows, and we say “Thank you” to God. We realise the mystery of our life is beyond us. We are cared for by a loving God and there is life in Jesus after we die. Our gratitude grows into praise. “We believe!”
There is another step, another stage that calls for greater commitment. Because we believe, we are called to behave in a way that is pleasing to God who loves us. As people we please those we love and those who love us by not doing anything to hurt them and by doing all we can to show our care and grow in our love for them.
Something similar happens in our friendship with God. We see Jesus as the ideal loving and forgiving and committed human person. We see God in Jesus. We want to be our best self and grow to be more loving and forgiving. We ask for help. Jesus help us to stop doing what stresses those we love and strengthen us to be committed. Jesus gives us His Holy Spirit, so we have the power to be loving, to be forgiving, to live with integrity, to be true to our commitments. “We behave” differently.
From belonging, we receive grace to believe and with the Holy Spirit we receive power to behave like Jesus. In our Catholic parish we want to support those at Mass to grow in their belonging as a community of believers. May each of us be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to behave like Jesus. He came that we might have life and have it to the full.
- If you want to experience belonging in our Catholic community ~ Try Alpha. You will be welcomed. You will meet people and they will become your friends.
- If you want to grow as a believer in our Catholic faith ~ Try Alpha. You will understand your relationship with Jesus and be inspired by the faith of others.
- If you want to behave more as a follower of Jesus, living a life of loving and forgiving, you will need the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower you. Join us at Alpha, starting next year.