OUR STORY …
The Deacon was in a frenzy because Bishop Bob was experiencing “March Madness.” This year, it was occurring at the same time as Holy Week. Privately, Deacon Guy must’ve wondered if his Bishop had not lost his mind — though he had far too much respect to ever say such a thing.
IT IS WRITTEN …
The Bible tells us that many people brought loved ones who were suffering with mental and emotional disorders, in addition to physical ailments, to Jesus (Matt 4:24). Jesus healed them all. Nothing is beyond the power of the Lord, who is often called “the Great Physician” (Matt 9:12; John 5:1-9) — not even a little “March Madness.”
The One who spoke all of creation into existence (Col 1:16; John 1:1-3) is surely able to heal the infirmed and give new life where it is needed.
LIFE GOES ON …
Well, as it turns out, things were worse than Deacon Guy had even imagined. Basketball was not on the old Bishop’s mind. It was RCIA and the catechumens and candidates. They were the ones so close to entering the Church. They were the ones the Bishop had been praying about.
The process of converting to the Catholic Church is not easy. It’s not that the Church makes it hard. It’s just that the Church has a 2000 year history with Jesus. A lot has happened, and there’s much for the ones entering the Church to learn about the countless treasures Jesus has left to help us become holy (John 14:6). Our Lord has done more for us than we could put into ten thousand books (John 21:25)!
Over the years (especially the last 500 years), there have been countless schisms and heresies that have led people away from the Church. Nearly everyday, somebody is starting his or her own, new church somewhere. It’s reached the point that, people calling themselves Christians might believe almost anything — or so it seems.
Here’s some important truth for you to consider …
- Jesus did not start many churches. He started only one.
- The Catholic Church is the church that Jesus started.
- The Catholic Church is the “first century” church that so many people talk about.
- The Catholic Church is the church we read about in the Book of Acts.
- The Catholic Church gave the Bible to the world. The Bible (all 73 books) is a Catholic book.
- Jesus is still building His Church today (Matt 16:18).
- Jesus is still protecting His Church against attacks by demons and evil people, both inside the church and outside of it (Matt 16:18).
- And the Catholic Church is the church that will someday be His bride in heaven (2 Cor 11:2,4; Rev 19:7).
St. Paul called the Church the pillar and foundation of truth here on earth (2 Tim 3:15).
Sadly, many have given up the sound doctrine of the Holy Eucharist (daily bread of life) and the Church as a universal family in exchange for the tickling of their ears (2 Tim 4:3) just as St. Paul said they would. Great music and well-crafted speeches, however, will never substitute in His Kingdom for eating His flesh and drinking His blood. That’s what He commanded us to do (John 6:31-59). Jesus called it our “daily bread” (Matt 6:11).
So there’s much to know and understand as a Catholic. Because God’s thoughts and ways are so different from our own (Isa 55:8-9), His Church can be expected to hold many mysteries of the faith. No church started by a mere man could ever be or do what the Church Jesus gave the world is and can do.
The catechumens and candidates for entry into the Church learn how all these things work together to make the Church holy. Though our priests and bishops are important, they do not make the Church holy. It is the Holy Spirit who does that.
So this other kind of “March madness” is an annual challenge to the Church to prepare faithful catechumens and candidates to enter the Church — and it usually comes to a climax, fittingly enough, during Holy Week.
Pray for those who are taking this giant step this week, folks.
That’s our story and we’re sticking to it. It’s cool to be Catholic. COOL2B.