“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” —Isaiah 56:7

Is your church filled with members who are young and old, black and white, male and female, poor and rich, local citizens and internationals? Many Catholic churches are filled with old, white, upper-middle class women. We thank God for these women. They are the precious remnant who are helping the church survive.

Nevertheless, where are the men and the young? We need these members of the body of Christ (see 1 Cor 12:21ff). The former American Catholics were the church of the poor, but now the poor might not feel welcome in most of their gatherings. We white folks desperately need our black brothers and sisters to teach us how to worship and pray. Moreover, if our traditionally immigrant American Catholic Church doesn’t embrace and evangelize the new immigrants coming from Vietnam, Korea, China, Mexico, Central America, Africa, and predominantly Muslim countries – here also read the different situations of other countries now facing migration from other parts of the world to Europe – , can we truly say we are truly catholic, that is, universal?

What can we do to be truly catholic? Break new ground. Invite Black, Asian, or Hispanic people over for supper. Sponsor a foreign student. Make your house a place where young people find Jesus. Live a more austere life in solidarity with the poor. Challenge a man to follow Jesus.

Be Catholic in the true sense of the word.

PRAYER: Father, may I help make my church representative of the Body of Christ.

PROMISE: “Woman, you have great faith! Your wish will come to pass.” —Mt 15:28

PRAISE: Praise the risen Jesus, the only Way to the Father! (Jn 14:6) Praise the risen Jesus, Who baptizes us in the Spirit! (Mk 1:8)

(From a reflection by a member of the editorial team of the late Fr Al Lauer’s Presentation Ministries)

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John Portelli

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