REFLECTION: Will they come home?

 

A few nights ago, the “Catholics Come Home” campaign, which began airing in Vancouver early in December, was discussed over the local news.  Many complaint calls had been received by the station and perhaps that in itself triggered their investigation.  After airing the interview (http://www.globaltvbc.com/vancouver+archdiocese+hopes+ad+campaign+leads+to+attendance+increase/6442785509/story.html) with Kyle Neilson (the Vancouver Archdiocese’s Director of Evangelization) the male anchor mentioned that he was not religious but he also commented that the ads didn’t bother him.  He then suggested that if the ads bothered you, “just don’t watch it.”

To me, it is evident that the ads are working.  We may not readily see the influx of attendance, but the motion has begun.  Many have left the Catholic Church for one reason or another, perhaps replacing an hour with God at church with hours on end at the local ice hockey rink or the soccer fields. Others may have left because they didn’t feel welcomed while others may have experienced a misunderstanding with the Priest and/or other parishioners.  Each had decided not to return for his/her own reason.  We may never know their “why” but in truth, do we really need to know?  To me, the relevance is that those who have encountered the ads have begun to think about it.

Wanting to be politically correct, most of us shy away from discussing God and Jesus with others.  However, more often than not, it is those who do not believe in Him who call on His name out loud on a regular basis.  “Oh my God” and “Jesus” can often be heard in casual conversations, unfortunately not used in its rightful context, but used instead as a profanity.  So sad, but oh so true…  If they only realized the grace and the power that come along by calling on God reverently.

Yesterday, I watched the first lesson entitled “Amazed and Afraid” of Fr. Barron’s Catholicism.  Fr. Barron mentions that the two standard reactions to God are amazement and fear.  Jesus’ disciples were often struck with amazement and fear not because they were afraid of what He would do to them, but because of his divine actions which they had witnessed such us calming the raging storm on the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:40); casting out demons (Mark 5:1-15); raising the dead and healing the sick (Mark 5:21-43).  If those who call on His name would only come to know Him…

Last summer, as I was working on a sloped ledge that I had cleared the year before, I realized that watering the area was futile.  The soil had become bone dry.  One would naturally think that the soil would soak up every drop of water but instead, the water merely beaded on the soil surface and flowed down the slope.  Research has revealed that dry soil is hydrophobic (repels water) and misting it gradually would do the trick.

Perhaps the same logic holds true in this situation.  Those who don’t know Jesus, the Source of living water, repel Him. However, “misting” them by sharing what He has done in our own lives would gradually prepare them so that eventually, they, too, will welcome Him into their lives.  Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:38)

Although the latest talk in town about the “Catholics Come Home” campaign may not be what we expect, the very fact that there is dialogue about it reveals that a seed has been sewn.  AND… God has provided free advertising!

God bless,

Melissa – January 11, 2013 1:46 p.m.

10 Responses to “REFLECTION: Will they come home?”

  1. In His Time says:

    Michael Donelson Jan 11, 2013 2:49 PM to me

    Melissa,

    Good note.

    Mike

  2. In His Time says:

    Carol-Anne Jan 11, 2013 2:49 PM to me

    Thank you Melissa- well said.
    Carol-Anne Campbell

  3. In His Time says:

    Connie Y Gonzales – Jan 11/2013 3:22 PM to me

    Religion is taboo in social gatherings. It strikes at a sensitive spot.
    Each of us has his own way to the divine.

  4. In His Time says:

    jan keast Jan 111, 2013 3:51 PM to me

    Hi Melissa,

    I have found the ads are encouraging and well done. And everyone IS talking about them and conversations carrying on about why people left the church and for many different reasons. I definitely feel it will bring many back to the church and I think that is exciting!

    Jan

  5. In His Time says:

    lorna lim Jan 11, 2013 8:52 PM to me

    God bless you, Melissa for always willing to share….

  6. In His Time says:

    Julianne Huang Jan 11, 2013 9:42 PM to me

    Dear Melissa,

    I agree with your reflections here. A reaction to the ads indicate those
    ads are effective. May God continue to touch the hearts and minds of
    Catholics who are confused, hurting, bewildered, etc.

  7. In His Time says:

    Susan Schreiter Jan 11, 2013 9:52 PM to me

    so true Melissa. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy getting this kind of email from you. You are awesome.

    Love,
    Susan

  8. In His Time says:

    Andrea Ridgedale Jan 12 to me

    Excellent reflection, Melissa. I liked how you used the analogy of the “misting” of dry soil in your garden to Jesus being the source of living water.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Andrea

  9. In His Time says:

    Rose Harvey Jan 12 to me

    Hi Melissa,

    I am on holidays so have more time to read my email. This reflection was very good and insightful.

    Thanks,

    Rose

    Sent from my iPad

  10. In His Time says:

    Gina Hall Jan 16, 2013 10:30 PM to me

    Thank you for your reflections on this. I like the analogy with your slope.

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