returning to
the church

bite-sized Bible

Daily Bible Reflections from St Benedict’s Parish

Returning to the Church

returning to the church

bite-sized Bible

Daily Bible Reflections from St Benedict’s Parish

Returning to the Church

If you have been away from the Catholic Church for a while, no matter how long, you are always welcome back. Your companion in this journey is Jesus Christ. He will walk alongside and guide you. Place your trust in him; he will lead you home.

No matter what your reason for drifting away from practising your faith, God’s mercy is so much greater. Your reason for leaving may have been caused from great hurt. If so, the healing love of God is waiting for you. Perhaps you have questions about what returning will mean for your life?  You can get in touch with us at any point.

Jesus told a story to illustrate how God the Father responds when one of his children – and you are one of his children – turns their back on him.

In Luke 15 we find the story of the Prodigal Son. It is a story of a son who disowns his father by demanding his inheritance, turning his back on his father and wasting the inheritance. Then a famine strikes the country where he is partying and he runs out of money.  Realising how far he has fallen he decides to return home to tell his father how sorry he is for what he has done.  He practises what could be called an Act of Contrition as he prepares to approach his father and ask him to allow him to return home, not as a son, but as one his father’s servants. As he approaches his home the story continues…

But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son." But the father said to his servants, "Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found." Luke 15:20-24

"But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son." But the father said to his servants, "Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found."
Luke 15: 20-24

God the Father’s reaction when we decide to turn away from him is not to wave his finger and say “I knew you would do that” or “Too bad they will never be able to come home now.” Instead, God welcomes us with open arms and restores us as his children.

If you’re a Catholic and you’ve been away for a while, then usually all you need to do is go to Confession to return to the practice of your faith.  We encourage you to talk to one of the monks, deacons, or parish team to help you in your journey back and to connect with other members of our parish.

Many people have turned their back on God and have returned. What makes a Saint is not someone who is perfect or has never left God. What makes a Saint is the fact that they keep turning back to God, over and over again. God’s mercy and love is huge. If you don’t think God could forgive or love you then your God is too small.

Come home to the Father’s arms.  We’d love to have you among us as we follow Jesus!