It’s time to get back to church

The Compass - - Editorial - David Jones writes from Mount Pearl

The plight of so few peo­ple go­ing to church on Sun­day seems to be get­ting worse in­stead of bet­ter.

What is it go­ing to take to get the mes­sage out there that we need to find our­selves in church on the Lord’s Day?

Are we so stuck in our com­fort zone that we ig­nore all warn­ings of ac­knowl­edg­ing our Cre­ator by re­fus­ing to go to church on the Lord’s Day?

Sloth is one of the seven deadly sins we need to keep close to our mind, and be very aware of “spir­i­tual in­er­tia.”

Je­sus tells us: “Un­less you eat my Body and drink my Blood you will have no life in you.”

So what sort of mes­sage should the 82 per cent of peo­ple not go­ing to church con­nect with here?

I re­cently heard an ex­cel­lent homily given at mass about this very prob­lem. The homilist told of a flood that de­stroyed a town. The wa­ter rose to the sec­ond level of a gentle­man’s home, but when a res­cue boat came for him he re­fused to leave, say­ing he was trust­ing in the Lord.

As the wa­ter con­tin­ued to rise, he found him­self on the roof and spot­ted a he­li­copter lowering a rope to him. Again he re­fused to leave, say­ing he was trust­ing in the Lord.

He drowned, and when ap­proached by the Lord at the Gate said, “I trusted in You.” The Lord’s re­ply was, “I sent peo­ple to res­cue you.”

So, we need to heed a les­son from this homily and act ac­cord­ingly in our own sit­u­a­tion. My beau­ti­ful de­ceased mother used to tell me, “David, noth­ing lasts for­ever in this life, be it good or bad.”

The Lord tells us to be pre­pared, for we know not the day, nor the hour when life on Earth will end for us.

We need to have a pos­i­tive fear of the Lord - it’s one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. How do we do that? “Keep the Com­mand­ments,” the Lord tells us.

Now, for those peo­ple not go­ing to church on Sun­day, the Third Com­mand­ment says: “Keep Holy the Lord’s Day.” In other words, don’t work, and go to church.

Dur­ing the years I was do­ing side­walk evan­ge­liza­tions, I had some peo­ple tell me you don’t need to go to church to be a good per­son. The prob­lem with that state­ment is that it con­tra­dicts the Third Com­mand­ment of God.

I’ve also had some peo­ple say there is no God, even though the Bible and nat­u­ral law tells us that God is very much with us in this world. All we have to do is look at the sun, moon and stars, all work­ing in per­fect har­mony with the sea­sons of the year.

I’ve also had some peo­ple say there is no God, even though the Bible and nat­u­ral law tells us that God is very much with us in this world.

So, how long will it take to start filling our churches again? Are we go­ing to con­tinue feast­ing and ig­nore the mil­lions of starv­ing peo­ple in South Su­dan, North­ern Nige­ria and So­ma­lia? If we do that, we do so at our peril.

Other peo­ple have said to me, why does God al­low so much pain and suf­fer­ing in the world? Well, why did Adam and Eve com­mit the sin of dis­obe­di­ence and in­tro­duce pain and suf­fer­ing into the world? We are not guar­an­teed heaven by any means; we have to work at it in this life to bring that state to fruition for us.

I know many of you out there don’t want the days of fire and brim­stone brought up, but in life we need a good dose of re­al­ity to wake us from our slum­ber, so that we can put our two feet on the floor af­ter a good night’s sleep and say, “Lord, what a beau­ti­ful day. I’m go­ing to ex­am­ine my con­science, write down all my sins and head straight for confession, and af­ter that I’m go­ing to live a life filled with the Holy Spirit be­cause this is the first day of my new life.”

Here’s a quote taken from the lat­est edi­tion of “Our Daily Bread,” mailed to me by a mar­ried cou­ple now liv­ing in On­tario who are friends of mine from child­hood: “Death is the last shadow be­fore Heaven’s dawn.”

Let’s make sure we take the ad­vice the Lord has pre­scribed be­fore we en­counter that dawn.

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