Church #61, Mater Christi

Date: 7/20/14

Church name/type: Mater Christi, Roman Catholic Church- formed from the merger of St Teresa of Avila and St Catherine of Siena in 2009

Pastor: Father Kenneth Doyle

Style of worship: Short formally structured mass

Useful takeaways:
So this church is pretty full, and has a decent mix of ages and ethnicities. I think I see some Philipinos and (I think) some folks from Pakistan or India.

The sermon was on the parable of the wheat and the weeds (or tares). The priest took the usual interpretation of this story and related that it spoke of final judgement. The story describes the farmer collecting the wheat and tares then separating them after the harvest into a pile to save and a pile to be burnt. So those not accepted into heaven are relegated to fire in this metaphor. Father Doyle made a point of cautioning us not to see this story as a source of fear. He reasoned that God created us as a sort of project, hoping we would turn out successfully. If the project was a massive failure God could scrap it at any time. We therefore think most people do make it to heaven. We are always working to be good and when we do sin, we repent of that sin and keep trying.

Interestingly, this brings up something I mentioned in a past post. Repentance in certain Protestant churches is seen as a big one-time occurrence. It is supposed to be the massive life changing event of accepting Jesus. The Catholic idea of repentance seems to be simply the admission of wrongdoing- the equivalent of a confession. I find the Catholic version of repentance more realistic. I myself feel like I am continually working to not commit wrongs. Goodness doesn’t just flow from me via knowing Christ. I still yell, I still misjudge others, I still react in anger. I know I have to face that and continue trying to do better. That, to me, is repentance.

I was literally four minutes late and the mass was basically in full swing when I arrived. Seems like they could hold off five minutes because it’s summer and people run late.

Again no coffee hour to hang around and get to know anybody. Am I weird for wanting one?

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