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Fall 2022 Preaching Series 1: Disciples know Jesus

How did the summer go? Where did the summer go?

It's hard to believe that we are already at September 11 ... a bit of a somber day for many of us ... be sure to take a moment today to say a prayer for those who lost their lives in the attacks 21 years ago ... as well as for their families. Despite the years passing, we remember and pray for those we lost and still love.

As announced, today we begin our Fall preaching series that will focus on DISCIPLESHIP ... Making disciples is why Christian Churches exist ... not to raise money, nor to build buildings, nor to bestow titles, and not even to do nice or charitable things ... THE main purpose of Christian Catholic Churches is to make disciples of Jesus Christ ... all the rest is simply a footnote.

Then, the job description for every pastor of every Catholic Church is simply to help the people of God to get to heaven ... a really formidable task, I might add ...

The first part of our series is entitled DISCIPLES know Jesus Christ.

· Do you know Jesus Christ?

· If so, how do you know him? And what do you know about him?

· If not, are you here to get to know him? And more so are you committed as you get to know him to becoming more and more like him?

I'm ashamed to say that for many of us Catholics, we really stopped our religious formation, religious education many years ago. Surely there are the exceptions ... those who read books or articles, or who have taken a course or two, or who belong to a study or prayer group, but for the most part, Catholics are not so good about continuing their religious education. And the tragic consequence of not getting to know Jesus better is that it prevents us from wanting to be more and more like him … to think like him … to act like him … to love like him.

In fact, in my 5.5 years as a pastor here, and in the other places I have served, it's become very discouraging to meet people who rather than wanting to get to know Jesus more deeply, merely want to check the box ... Baptism, First Communion, First Reconciliation, Confirmation, maybe Marriage, and then maybe a Funeral, with no contact or engagement with the Church, religious formation or our faith at any point in between ... How can we ever grow our faith with that model? Being Catholic, being a disciple is not just about checking the box, it’s about transforming our life … to become more like him, despite our sins and our weaknesses, every day!

Here at St Teresa's we have decided to work to aggressively facilitate that because we all want to go to heaven and we hope you want to go there too!

The passage today from the book of Exodus 32: 7-14 shows us what people can look like who do not want to go to heaven, or know God, or his son Jesus ... it tells us that they have become depraved. They have turned aside from the way pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it.

Are we like those ancient people? Have we started to worship people, accumulate things, and follow movements that bring us to places other than closer to God? Have we filled our calendars with so many appointments and engagements that keep us from getting to know Jesus better? Have we embark