December 27, 2020
I grew up Catholic. Went to mass weekly, went to Catholic school all the way until college.
I don’t go to mass anymore. A big reason is it seemed transactional to me. Go to church so you can get into heaven. Quid pro quo. Not to mention, I saw people that went to church every week behave very un-Christ like after they stepped out of church.
We were taught growing up to follow the rules of the church, or you would go to hell. Rules that were made by men, interpreting what Jesus preached during his brief time among us.
Rules are fine, I guess, but to me the most important thing is just treating people like people. Respecting them, forgiving them, helping them. I felt like the church had lost sight of its values, and focused too much on the rules. And whether you were going to heaven or hell.
But what about our time here on Earth? Jesus lived by example during his time here. He hung out with the wrong crowd. He was drawn to the marginalized, those rejected by others, those that had “stumbled or fallen”. He tried to teach us that everyone has value and are worthy of love.
We can learn from that lesson. 20 centuries later are we really that much better than the people of His time? No doubt some things are better, for some people, but there is still work to do. The last 4 years have especially been hard to watch, with the most powerful man in the country constantly creating new enemies. There’s always a “them” to hate, in his eyes, even though really it’s all just “Us”.