Jesus and the Church are like two sides of the one coin: you can’t have one side without having the other as well, Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB told youth on Sunday 4 March, during the first of a number of planned catechesis for the Year of Youth.
The Archbishop commenced the catechesis, entitled ‘Love the Church, You Must be Joking’ – by telling the young people present about a number of factors that convinced him to talk about who Jesus really is.
The one hour catechesis, which was held at Lockridge Parish, Good Shepherd Church with the aim of kick starting one of many opportunities for youth of Perth to engage in dialogue with the Bishops of Perth, was attended by more than 80 young people.
This interactive catechesis was followed by a Q&A session, music and worship lead by the Lockridge Parish Youth Group, ALIVE.
Archbishop Costelloe started by answering the question of who Jesus is.
“We have to firstly work hard to make sure that we get Jesus right.”
“What is the point of following Him, after all, if what we are really following is a figment of our own imagination, or a creation of our own making, rather than the real person who was sent to us by God to reveal God’s face to us,” he said.
The Archbishop proclaimed that while he is aware that many young people walk away from the Church for various reasons, such as when they feel the Mass is boring, uninspiring, or even disappointing, Jesus Himself faced similar situations with His disciples who at times doubted Him.
“People want to turn the Church into something that will leave them comfortable – they don’t want the Church to be a challenge to them.”
Referring to the question on what the Church is, the Archbishop said Jesus had chosen a community of disciples to follow Him, and this community is what the Church is made up of.
“It becomes obvious in the New Testament that Jesus formed this special community and wanted it to be the bearer of His message.”
“In other words Jesus formed the Church, created the Church, gave the gift of the Holy Spirit, and made the Church His preferred way of continuing to be present in our lives,” he said.
On how the Scriptures came about, Archbishop Costelloe explained that after Jesus’ Ascension, the Disciples felt the need to write down their memories and beliefs they witnessed of Jesus.
“These Scriptures are made up of the Gospels of the Bible, so that we, the future generations will have something to base our Faith on and carry on the memory of Jesus.”
“Therefore, I truly believe, that Jesus and the Church, made up of the community of His followers, belong so closely together, that if someone were to pull them apart or separate them, you would be undermining both.”
He then invited those present to say yes to both Jesus and the Church.
“If you love Jesus, you will love the Church, because that is what He wants us to do. After all, He created it.”
“Our yes to Christ and to the Church, offers us everything,” he concluded.