What Must You Do To Be A “Good” Catholic?

2022년 5월 15일

What Must You Do To Be A “Good” Catholic?

< Fifth Sunday of Easter >

    I hear all kinds of reasons why people stop coming to church. For some, the church, at least in the United States, has become too political or they disagree on the church’s position on certain issues. Others may have encountered a judgmental priest or perhaps the parish community wasn’t welcoming or was cliquish. On the other side are those people who think it’s just too hard to be a good Catholic. Too many rules and too many rituals. Believe it or not, all of these people might have difficulties with the church but might still actually be a good Catholic. Think of it this way: a person might go to Mass every day, pray the rosary every night, study the Bible and even take a bath in holy water yet still not be a good Catholic. Why? Because being a good Catholic isn’t about rules and rituals, it’s about having a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus and a loving relationship with others.

In Jesus’ time there were 613 commandments. The Pharisees believed if they kept all these commandments, they could be good Jews. But Jesus showed them they had it backwards. First you start with a personal encounter with God’s mercy and forgiveness. Then out of joyful thankfulness you show your gratitude by following the commandments. First the relationship, then the rules. To drive home this point, before he left this earth, Jesus boiled down all the commandments to just one: love one another. We don’t have to travel to some far away country to be a good Catholic. We just need to treat each other with the respect and dignity they deserve by being created in the image and likeness of God and by being redeemed by Jesus on the cross. Take the love you feel for Jesus and distribute it throughout each day to everyone you meet. Do this and you will be a good Catholic and, more, a holy disciple of Jesus.