I Believe in the Catholic ChurchAugust 29, 2012 No Comments
August 29, 2012 / MariaNews.com
I Believe in the Catholic Church
By Deacon Antonio Sandoval
Our Church is catholic because it is universal. It is the Church for children and adults, for men and women, for the poor and the rich, for the educated and illiterate, for saints and sinners, for people of all races, of all times and places. It is the Church of souls in the afterlife, of those presently on earth, and souls yet to be born. In Christ, as St Paul said it, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3: 28).
Our Church is catholic because Jesus commanded us to be catholic. After his resurrection he appeared to his eleven disciples and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28: 18-20). Then on the day when Jesus ascended into heaven he said to his disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and, you will be my witnesses, throughout Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1: 8).
But our Church isn’t catholic simply because it wants to include everyone regardless of whatever ways humans are differentiated. The Church is catholic because it adheres to the universal, (i.e. catholic), values that Jesus gave us by his word and by the example of his life. The Church is catholic because, like Jesus, it considers the value of each and every person as being immeasurable. Potentially, all of us can be united eternally to the Infinite God when our membership in the Mystical Body of Christ is perfected. Therefore, we are equal in dignity, (equal in worth and importance to God). The saint is no more important than the sinner. That is why Jesus gave us the parable of the lost sheep. That is why Jesus said that there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over the ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance (Lk 15: 1-7). This is why the Church is pro-life and advocates for the sanctity of marriage and family life.
In this sense the world wasn’t very catholic when Jesus Christ came in the flesh. Women in Jewish society had a lower status than men. There were separate places for women and men in the temple. Women could not be as close to the Holy of Holies as men could be. But God chose Mary, a woman, to be the “living tabernacle” or the Holiest of Holies, of God himself.
Jews had nothing to do with Samaritans, but Jesus asked a Samaritan woman for a drink of water, a double taboo to the Jews. A Jew wouldn’t speak to a woman in public, much less to a Samaritan woman. A Jew wouldn’t touch vessels used by Samaritan women because they were considered ritually impure. (Jn 4: 4-27) Jesus also saved the woman caught in adultery from being stoned. When her accusers departed, Jesus did not condemn her, but told her to go and sin no more (Jn 8: 1-11).
Jews had nothing to do with lepers and tax collectors, but Jesus touched lepers and healed them and ate with tax collectors. In his defense he said that it was the sick, who needed the doctor and not those who were well (Mt 9:12).
Children were to stay out of the way, but when children were brought to Jesus and the apostles tried to stop them, Jesus rebuked them and said, “Let the children come unto me for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19: 13-14).
So, my fellow Catholics let us follow the example of Jesus in living our Catholic faith. Let us see every person through the Catholic eyes of Jesus, and let us work diligently to gather a rich harvest of souls for God’s heavenly kingdom.
Read more by Deacon Antonio here
Antonio is a retired deacon in the Archdiocese of Denver. Last September his wife, Maud, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer. They were told that she didn’t have long to live. Since she is 83 years old, they decided to refuse the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Last October they were sent to Hospice. They have now been there for 8 months. Antonio’s wife is not experiencing the symptoms of multiple myeloma other than the fact that she cannot move and has to stay in bed all the time. She is also in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease. You prayers will be appreciated. Antonio spends the entire day with his wife.
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