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Daily Catholic Question

What good is the Church to us?

Her question was blunt: "What good is the Church to us?" I flinched but another teen answered without skipping a beat, "It's community. Like when you're in trouble, it's where you can be and be safe." This seemed to me a very Catholic response.

Life is better when it is shared. As the Bible puts it, "It is not good for the man [or the woman] to be alone" (Genesis 2:18). What goes for life in general also goes for our life of faith.

You need someone to stand by you in the difficult moments when you doubt. You need people to support you but also to challenge you to be better and brighter and more faithful. Somebody has to be there to teach and guide when you have questions and are seeking. Somebody has to pass on the faith.

Most people have not seen God. Just about the closest you can get is seeing God in other people. When a friend puts her hand on your shoulder, when a teacher challenges you to be more than you thought you could be, this is God at work through them. When a priest in confession tells you that awful thing you did is forgiven, when someone in your youth group tells you that you are loved, that is God's word being spoken by members of the Church.


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Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Daily Catholic Question for 8/5/2014 Daily Catholic Question for 8/7/2014


Nativity of St. John the Baptist: Jesus called John the greatest of all those who had preceded him: “I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John....” But John would have agreed completely with what Jesus added: “[Y]et the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” (Luke 7:28). 
<p>John spent his time in the desert, an ascetic. He began to announce the coming of the Kingdom, and to call everyone to a fundamental reformation of life. </p><p>His purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus. His Baptism, he said, was for repentance. But One would come who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. John is not worthy even to carry his sandals. His attitude toward Jesus was: “He must increase; I must decrease” (John 3:30). </p><p>John was humbled to find among the crowd of sinners who came to be baptized the one whom he already knew to be the Messiah. “I need to be baptized by you” (Matthew 3:14b). But Jesus insisted, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15b). Jesus, true and humble human as well as eternal God, was eager to do what was required of any good Jew. John thus publicly entered the community of those awaiting the Messiah. But making himself part of that community, he made it truly messianic. </p><p>The greatness of John, his pivotal place in the history of salvation, is seen in the great emphasis Luke gives to the announcement of his birth and the event itself—both made prominently parallel to the same occurrences in the life of Jesus. John attracted countless people (“all Judea”) to the banks of the Jordan, and it occurred to some people that he might be the Messiah. But he constantly deferred to Jesus, even to sending away some of his followers to become the first disciples of Jesus. </p><p>Perhaps John’s idea of the coming of the Kingdom of God was not being perfectly fulfilled in the public ministry of Jesus. For whatever reason, he sent his disciples (when he was in prison) to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah. Jesus’ answer showed that the Messiah was to be a figure like that of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah (chapters 49 through 53). John himself would share in the pattern of messianic suffering, losing his life to the revenge of Herodias.</p> American Catholic Blog Let us pray to Our Lady, that she may protect us. In times of spiritual upset, the safest place is within the folds of her garments.

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