If you don’t want to wait until February, you can view the commercials now at www.Catholics ComeHome.org.
How might these commercials and the campaign impact your life? Over the next six weeks, this column will focus on ways the Holy Spirit might nudge you this Lent: to pray more intentionally; to become more active; to open yourself more fully to people who sit beside you at Sunday Mass; perhaps even giving you the opportunity to speak with others about the Catholic faith. (If you’re a little uneasy about this last idea, remember that Jesus never asks anything of us that we cannot handle. But doesn’t he often surprise us by what he asks?)
There are three different commercials aimed at different people and situations. “Epic” shares the breadth and depth of our faith, that we are a global community that is 2,000 years old with over 1 billion living members. Market testing found that “Epic” is particularly moving for active Catholics, fostering our identity and pride.
The second commercial, “Movie,” portrays individuals viewing the “movie” of their lives as they transition into eternity. While you might not find yourself identifying with each of the deadly sins being depicted, “Movie” reminds us that Jesus frees each of us from sin and helps us find lasting peace.
In the final commercial, “Testimonial,” we hear from a number of people who left the Catholic Church and found their way back again. They describe experiences many of us have had: thinking we have life under control, feeling that church is a burden, facing difficult faith questions during college, being distracted by sports or other Sunday activities, and going through a divorce. Though the circumstances vary, each person shares how grateful he/she is to have returned to the church and to have a deeper relationship with God.
As you watch the commercials, prayerfully consider some of the following questions, each inspired by the content of the Catholics Come Home commercials:
As you watch “Epic,” what image or information about our church made the greatest impression on you?
Did you know that the Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization on the planet? Or that Catholics developed the scientific method and the university system? What questions did “Epic” raise for you, aspects of our faith that you now wonder about?
For which parts of the “movie” of your life do you wish you could “re-write the script?”
Where might you ask for God’s help “editing” your story to create a more ideal ending?
How would you describe your own faith journey if someone asked you to give a “testimonial?” What would you share? About God and Jesus; about being Catholic; about the challenges and blessings you’ve faced?
What feelings do you experience as you view “Epic?” What about “movie” and “testimonial?” Spend time with your reactions — these are nuggets of God’s grace working in and through your life.
Next week’s column: Can you be spiritual but not religious? Don’t assume the answer is no!
DeNeve is director of spirituality and evangelization for the Diocese of Green Bay.