Thessalonians 5:1-6 [chapter 5, verses 1-6]; Matthew 25:14-30 [chapter 25, verses 14 through 30].
Why offer adult faith class? In a very large parish in Maryland, parishioners wanted an adult faith class, but the pastor refused, saying, “Adult faith classes are not needed. You learn your faith as a child.” When the pastor said this to me, I responded, “The faith you learn as a child is a child’s faith; it must grow.” And I still think that to be the case: We study our faith so it will grow as we have grown, aged, matured. There is more to learn about the Catholic faith than we can possibly master in our life-time. Not to make an attempt to learn seems to be neglectful of something that truly matters: Our Catholic faith and the way we live it.
The first series of classes, to run throughout Advent, will examine the Scripture readings for the coming Sunday. We can ask questions of one another, and discuss the readings. At times I will launch out on a mini-lecture to explore / explain certain issues raised in the readings. We will not degenerate into a “rap session,” or merely discuss “what these readings mean to me.” Some of that is private. We will examine what the documents meant when written, why they were written, what effects the prophet or evangelist was seeking to achieve, and how to apply these teachings to our lives. At times I will draw on some of the best theological minds of the past to help us, and at times consult the writings of mystics or others who lived what the Church proclaims.
How this series goes--whether reasonably successful or not--will determine what will be taught in subsequent adult faith classes. My present intention is to produce a small booklet for us to study together, or to read a masterpiece of the spiritual life. My desire is to be challenging and informative, but primarily to help each of us on his / her spiritual journey into God.