The Orange Park, FL, team attended a big community event and talked with so many non-Catholics that they ran out of both SPSE’s Salvation and Becoming Catholic pamphlets. They also gave away 150 Rosaries and invited many inactive Catholics to return to the Faith.
Within our human heart is the desire to be HAPPY (“beatitude”). We all have it. God gave it to us in order to draw us to Himself, “the One who alone can fulfill it. … God put us in the world to know, to love, and to serve him, and so to come to PARADISE. … With beatitude, man enters into the GLORY OF CHRIST and into the JOY of the Trinitarian life” (CCC 1718, 1721, emphasis added).
But there’s a problem: sin, the misuse of our God-given freedom. Jesus warned us about sin: “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin” (Jn 8:34). St. Paul tells us, “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). Yet, we’ve all fallen: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn 1:8). And slaves can’t free themselves. So what can be done?
God Himself saves us: “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23). Now think. If you give a gift, doesn’t it make sense that you get to say what the requirements are for receiving it?
The crowd that St. Peter addressed on Pentecost asked the right question. “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins’” (Acts 2:37–38).
And Baptism is only the beginning of your life in Christ. “What faith confesses, the sacraments communicate. … Coming to see in the faith their new dignity, Christians are called to lead henceforth a life ‘worthy of the gospel of Christ.’ They are made capable of doing so by the grace of Christ and the gifts of his Spirit, which they receive through the sacraments and through prayer” (CCC 1692).
Thank you, Orange Park team, for your witness. We need more teams. The harvest is ripe but the laborers are few. Join us!