Skip to main content
ArticlesBlogHistoric Conversions

The Way of God More Fully:
In the Footsteps of Sts. Priscilla and Aquila

Kenny Burchard
July 8, 2024 No Comments

When he discovered I had become Catholic, one of the men whom I had pastored for several years called me.

In a distraught voice, he asked, “Pastor Kenny, didn’t you think you were a Christian before? Didn’t you think I was? Do you think I am one now?”

Initially, I didn’t understand the question, but as the conversation unfolded, I discovered that since he didn’t believe Catholics were true Christians, he assumed Catholics believed the same in reverse. Nothing could be further from the truth! (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 817-819).

When I assured my friend that I thought both he and I really were Christians while I was his pastor, he asked, “Then why would you become Catholic?” The answer came flying out of my mouth: “Because being a Catholic is the difference between ‘something’ and ‘everything,’ and that’s a big difference.” I would later learn the phrase “the fullness of the faith” to explain what I meant.

The “difference between something and everything” is illustrated in Acts 18:24-28 when, while ministering in the church in Ephesus, Priscilla and Aquila come upon an eloquent itinerant Alexandrian preacher named Apollos. From what they could tell, he “had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John” (v. 25).

Notice that it was not the impulse of Priscilla and Aquila to call Apollos’ salvation into question. No! His was a real, vibrant, genuine—though not fully formed—faith in Jesus. Priscilla and Aquila realized that Apollos needed “the difference between something and everything,” so “…when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately.” (Some translations read “more fully.”) To use the phrase I learned later, they brought Apol- los into “the fullness of the Catholic faith.”

Commenting on this text, a 4th century Alexandrian preacher, St. Didymus the Blind, said: “[Apollos] was speaking in the Spirit, and he was teaching in the synagogues what he knew about Jesus. Being students of the apostle Paul, Priscilla and Aquila take him, being full of eagerness, aside in order to pass on to him the entire way of the gospel.”

When we say that our mission at the Coming Home Network is to “help non-Catholic clergy and laity discover the truth and beauty of the Catholic Church, and make the journey home,” we are assuming the same thing about them that Priscilla and Aquila assumed about Apollos. Many of them have a genuine faith in Christ, and unlike Apollos, a valid baptism! (CCC 818, 1256, 1306). They have real spiritual gifts, effective ministries, evidence of God’s grace in their lives, and passion to follow Jesus wherever he leads them. Like Apollos, they are serving Christ with all their hearts and faithfully walking in all the light they have.

In His providence, the Lord is leading many of these dear men and women into the company of Catholics and Catholic apostolates to help them see that while they truly do have “something,” there is a unity and fullness of faith—an “everything”—still available to them, which subsists only in the Catholic Church. (CCC 816, 830, 870).

Let us, then, take up this call to follow in the footsteps of Saints Priscilla and Aquila, and to prayerfully, lovingly, patiently, and gently, introduce them to the everything—the way of God more fully—to be found only in the true and beautiful Catholic Church.

Kenny Burchard

Kenny Burchard is Director of Development for The Coming Home Network.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap