"God wants us to be happy always. He knows us and he loves us. If we allow the love of Christ to change our heart, then we can change the world. This is the secret of authentic happiness."
Pope Benedict XVI
People are members of many different clubs and organisations. In Australia, we have a long history of being part of many types of clubs. The Church is not like any other membership you might hold. You don’t sign in every time you come and go.
As a Catholic we are called to lifelong transformation. We are called not to be stationary but to grow each day, to expand our hearts and be open to the joy and transformative love of Christ. When Jesus gave his first big speech he didn’t ask people to join a club, he asked them to go much further, “Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15). ‘Repent’ is based on the word metanoiete which has two greek components - meta (beyond) and nous (mind) – so we are called to go beyond our limits. (Adapted excerpt from Catholicism, Fr Robert Barron)
When we are baptised the Church doesn’t ask us to be an idle member, but to become an active part of the life and mission of Christ. As the famous British Cardinal and ‘saint in waiting’ John Newman said “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” Our belonging to Christ guides and informs our life, and all we do should point to him.
Following Christ requires a decision. It is a decision we make always and often to walk with him. Jesus doesn’t ask us to visit him occasionally. He makes us the free offer to be with him always. He never says it will be without difficulty, but he promises reward here and in the next life.