As I travel around the country, I am encouraged to see many faithful Catholics returning to adult catechesis. Some have been involved in it for quite some time. This is a trend that I pray will continue to develop as the Church works to form authentic disciples.
We are in the Faith dissemination business!
If we were going to define one absolutely critical element that is essential to being an authentic disciple of Jesus Christ, it would have to be faith. Without faith in God, we will not develop a relationship or a love for Him. As 1 Corinthians 13 describes, there will be three things that remain, and they are all closely tied – Faith, Hope and Love.
What I am seeing on the road in local parishes are many of our dependable core members who have been participating in these programs and studies, but still live their lives like everyone else who has no faith. This is the critical reason why our culture does not buy into our Gospel.
“Why should I buy into your religion if you live just like me? You look like me, you watch what I do on TV, you spend money like me and you worry about money just like I do. The only difference is that you give up precious time on the weekend to go to church – No thanks.”
Not only does the average Catholic look like everyone else (blending in), they lack conviction for the message of the Gospel. If Jesus is really God, and His Gospel is really true, then why do we live our lives on earth as if it all depends on what we do?
I believe it is accurate to say that we really don’t live our lives as if God is in control and taking care of every aspect of our past, present and future. More accurately, we live like volunteers who take care of our own lives first, and then give God the leftovers of our time, talent, and treasure.
If our catechesis is going to be effective, then we must lead them not only into more knowledge of God and His kingdom, but also into positions where they have to trust Him to provide for them.
We will never know if God can and will provide from a book. That knowledge only comes from experience! We need disciples who really trust God with their lives, not only in heaven but also on earth! Those who catechize must become the models for young (in spiritual maturity) disciples to follow.