The weekly presence of the SPSE Lincoln, NE, team at the city’s Haymarket gives people an opportunity to continue Faith discussions from previous visits. “Ron” was one such return visitor. He had spoken with evangelist Bob Sullivan the previous week.
This time, Ron brought a photo of Pope Francis shaking hands with Castro. He told evangelist Wayne Ringer the picture “proved” that Catholics were in league with the communists in Cuba. Evangelist Wayne told him that, rather, Pope Francis as a disciple of Christ has a commission to preach the Gospel to all nations, including communist ones. Ron then asked the evangelist if he were saved. Wayne responded that he “was saved, was being saved, and will be saved in the future” (Eph 2; Phil 2; Rom 13, 1 Cor 5). He explained to Ron that St. Paul speaks of salvation as past, present, and future, and that the Sacrament of Baptism is the starting point of Christ’s saving work. Ron then began to attribute many false beliefs to the Church, but Wayne asked if he had ever read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which clearly outlines what we actually believe. Ron said that he had not and refused to do so.
Other non-Catholic Christians also spoke with the evangelists, most of them not so hostile. Some complimented them for evangelizing. Nearly a dozen Catholics said they were encouraged to see the Faith presented in public. Quite a few people asked for prayer, including young “Kenny”, who had been “taken away” from the Church due to his parents’ divorce.
The evangelists met everyone with patience — anti-Catholics, non-Catholics, active and returning Catholics. They even welcomed rebels (cf. Ps 68:18). For example, one woman complained that their bishop was wrong about a certain teaching. She said she “would do it all the more because of his letter warning Catholics not to get involved in it.” Then she abruptly walked away.
The Lincoln, NE, team asks us to pray for her, for Ron and Kenny, and for the others. Thank you, Team Lincoln! Have you joined SPSE yet? If so, thank you, too. If not, please prayerfully consider doing so.