Good News: We All Could Use Some…and Enjoy the SotU Speech!

In the wake of Pope Benedict’s resignation, I had a dear Baptist friend email me:

“…I have to admit, I am not a big fan of the Pope (sorry Tex).  We as Christians can look directly to God/Jesus himself for forgiveness.  He is the one who will save us.  We all need someone on in our lives to guide us in faith and knowledge, but even those who will are like you and me – sinners saved by Grace.”

Diss Pope Benedict, them’s fightin’ words, as they say in the Harvard Debate Club.  I replied back with Matthew 16:16-19, the “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church” verses, which is to me is the Biblical proof-texting equivalent of Lebron James dunking over Steve Nash.   But I felt a little disturbed by my response; maybe I should have just let it pass.  Did I hurt my friend’s feelings?

This morning a young, very fervent member of our church’s Men’s Spirituality group used the word “frustrated” a lot in describing his evangelization efforts with his Protestant brothers and sisters.  In preparation for the upcoming Sunday Mass, our group reads and then reflects on the upcoming readings.  This Sunday’s second reading – Romans 10:8-13 – hit me like a slug of cold V-8 spiked with a few shots of Texas Pete:

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes,resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

This is great joy.  I am a Catholic because I believe it is the Church established by Jesus Christ and contains the fullness of Truth.  I once had a family member confront me (Methodist) that I thought I was a better person because of my Catholicism.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  By that logic all Buddhists think they are better than all non-Buddhists, and so on.  The bell-ringing truth is all Christians in right relationship with Jesus Christ will be at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, and our differences will be forgotten.  So we Christians of differing cult need have no frustration or anxiety or contention in our interactions: we are all members of the Body of Christ.  All we need is to be lights on our particular hill, and love as the Master instructed us to love.  And welcome those in full Century 21 mode that want to join us on our hill.

God bless!

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