DO YOU ALSO WANT TO LEAVE?”
AND PETER ANSWERED…YOU HAVE THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE….YOU ARE THE HOLY ONE OF GOD” (Jn 6: 67-69)
From the earliest days of the Church, RCIA has been the process by which seekers endeavor to learn about we hear in the Gospel, the “Words of Eternal Life.” Also from the earliest days of the Church, there have been those who have left the Church; persecution, teachings that were “too hard,” betrayals, hurt feelings, and of course, scandals are among the things that foster discontent and exodus.
Those who have considered leaving may not have asked themselves questions like – are others in authority outside the Church any less capable of scandalous behavior, would my own personal faith life be any richer outside the church, was Peter a sinner and betrayer when Jesus called him “the Rock” and built His Church on him, did saints lead sinless lives, are the members of the Church, the Body of Christ, without imperfection? Knowing the weaknesses of human nature, Jesus promised Peter that the gates of hell would not prevail again His church. We are still here, still struggling to follow “His Way,” and still reaching out to seekers.
Now, more than ever, if we hope to carry out the mission given to us by Jesus to spread the good news, the Words of Eternal Life, we need to ask ourselves – how deeply formed is our own faith, how determined are we to stand committed to the teachings and tradition that has been ours for over 2,000 years? How would we feel abandoning the Body and Blood of Christ?
Can you imagine Jesus turning toward you and asking “will you leave me too?” Will you answer – “where would I go Lord, YOU have the words of eternal life!”
Submitted by Marguerite Mullins