Today’s homily regarding Ascension Sunday was almost as awful as the one I heard on Divine Mercy Sunday. For Catholics, I think we’re the only ones who make a day out of it, Ascension Sunday commemorates Jesus’ ascension into Heaven to be with his Heavenly Father. Kind of a big deal, right? Explain to me why my priest spent over half of the Homily talking about how we should evangalize not to bring people the Gospel but to bring them into the Catholic Church.
I know I’m supposed to believe in the whole idea of a One True Church but I don’t. I think the Catholic Church was the first church, created by Jesus, carried out by the apostles but there’s just no way only one religion can be right. Think about it…it’s impossible for 2,000 years worth of people to read the same book and come to the same conclusions.
Mitt Romney gave a speech entitled “Faith in America” in December 2007, an attempt to convince Protestants “Hey, I’m Christian too. I love Jesus,” which is completely true but this speech reeked of urgency. I’m not really a Mitt fan, he’s such an easy target, especially when he’s trying to talk about Mormonism without really talking about it or defending Massachusetts health care. Romney said:
I believe that every faith I have encountered draws its adherents closer to God. And in every faith I have come to know, there are features I wish were in my own: I love the profound ceremony of the Catholic Mass, the approachability of God in the prayers of the Evangelicals, the tenderness of spirit among the Pentecostals, the confident independence of the Lutherans, the ancient traditions of the Jews, unchanged through the ages, and the commitment to frequent prayer of the Muslims. As I travel across the country and see our towns and cities, I am always moved by the many houses of worship with their steeples, all pointing to heaven, reminding us of the source of life’s blessings.
Why do we have to convert each other, why can’t evangelization be about sharing? Why can’t we say to our brothers and sisters “This is what works for me. What works for you? What fulfills you?”
Mormons believe in a pre-mortal existence where Heavenly Father (Heavenly Mother too) created all of us and as his Heavenly creations he gives us the opportunity to come down to earth and experience mortal life, the joys and sorrows, sin and redemption. In our mortal lives we work our way back towards eternity.
Why not use our lifetime to learn and share so that when we return to our Father (and Mother) in Heaven we can live in peace, communion, and understanding with one another? Is there nothing to gain from learning about the tenants of Islam or the spiritualism of Shintoism?
Maybe I’m being too idealistic but a quick note to Catholic priests: Ascension Sunday is about how one day we can go back to Heavenly Father too, not the trueness of our faith tradition.