All Are Welcome

By Jonathan Camiolo –

Just yesterday I was at Mass and we sang the song, All Are Welcome by Marty Haugen.  The refrain of the song goes as follows.  “All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.”  It is not my favorite song at Mass, but it is very fitting when I looked at the readings this weekend.

Sometimes I think people want to make the Church a club that only certain people can belong to.  They want to make it an exclusive group.  Before Jesus came, the Jews were God’s chosen people who were waiting for a Savior that would come for them.  The Jews are still God’s chosen people and have a special place in God’s heart.  When Jesus did come, He did not simply come to save the Jews, but came to save everyone.  He was the answer to God’s promise but was different than what they expected.

They expected someone to come and be their king, someone to free them from the powers that ruled their country and set them as a power in the world.  Jesus did not come to become an earthly king, but to free us from sin and conquer death.  He came to open the gates of Heaven and send the Holy Spirit to all of us. The Jews may not have expected that Jesus was coming for all people, but He did.  In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he clearly states, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him.”  He was clarifying the fact that Jesus wanted all to be welcome into God’s family.  God desires for all of us to come to know Him.

Lent has begun.  This is a time for us to grow closer to Christ and become “holier”.  He sent His son Jesus to save all of us.  We have such a gift in our Catholic faith.  We need to have grateful hearts for the sacraments and the relationship God want to have with each of us.  We need to share the good news that Jesus comes for all of us.

Have you ever invited someone to Mass?  Have you ever brought a friend to youth group?  Have you talked to your friends about God’s love?  I know it is not easy, but it is something we all should be doing.  We don’t want to offend someone or get stuck getting asked questions that we don’t know exactly how to answer.  We can always look for the answers we don’t know and sharing God’s love and truth with others is a life changing gift.  Whether we are in high school or college, Lent is a great time to share the message of God’s love with others.  Remember, all are welcome and Jesus came for every person.  Take time this Lent to share your faith and invite others to come to know Jesus.  You could change their lives forever.

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