In this article at The Catholic Thing, Father Paul Scalia thoughtfully addresses the question of “what would Jesus do?” This was the question Creighton University President, Father Timothy Lannon, SJ, asked himself, prior to providing same-sex “spouses” health care benefits.
In The Gospel “Welcome”, Fr. Scalia notes that Christ’s love and welcome always are accompanied by a demand of repentance, and in fact, His welcome is an invitation to repentance, to conversion.
And those words get to the heart of what a welcome means. As much as we want to be welcome and invited, we also know that every invitation has expectations. Every welcome mat has also the understanding that we cannot do whatever we please when we walk through the door. “Many are invited, but few are chosen,” because not all shape their lives according to the invitation’s demands.
To the world, the Gospel Welcome must appear odd indeed. It is a welcome. . .to repentance. It is an invitation. . .to change of heart. He welcomes all who will repent, all who avail themselves of His forgiveness and healing – all who, acknowledging their sin and ignorance, embrace His grace and truth. It is indeed the most important welcome for sinful humanity: a welcome to His Sacred Heart. . .provided we recognize our need for it.
It is only in accepting that invitation to repentance that each of us can begin the process of dying to ourselves, taking up our cross, and following Him.