Three Phoenix-area teams evangelized together at Mesa’s annual MLK festival, attended mostly by non-Catholic Christians. But, by the end of the day, so many ended up carrying Rosaries (and Catholic tracts) that it looked like a giant Catholic prayer meeting!
Before talking with the evangelists, many people knew almost nothing about the Catholic Church. They were surprised, therefore, by two basic facts: 1) Jesus Christ founded only one Church (the Catholic Church), and 2) it was this same Church (guided by the Holy Spirit) that produced the Bible.
Jesus refers to the Church in the singular, NOT plural (“churches”) — cf. Mt 16:18, 18:17. He emphasizes her unity, “there shall be one flock, one shepherd” (Jn 10:16), and prays fervently for that, “Father, keep them in thy name, … that they may be one, even as we are one” (Jn 17:11). Her unity is a sign “so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me” (Jn 17:21).
But, what if it’s just a nice wish and not a statement of reality? First, consider Who Jesus is: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1). People couldn’t miss the fact that Jesus’ word made things happen, “they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority” (Lk 4:32; cf. Mk 1:27). And He said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mt 24:35; Mk 13:31; Lk 21:33).
Jesus also equated His word with what the Father was accomplishing, “The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works” (Jn 14:10). In other words, Jesus founded His Church and then prayed for her unity precisely so she would be a sign for unbelievers. To find her, look for the 2000-year-old Church who has never had to reverse a teaching on either doctrine or morals.
The SPSE teams were well received and they invited many people to consider the Catholic Church, suggesting they visit the nearby parish in Mesa, AZ. Thank you, Phoenix teams. Awesome work!
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