Faith That Matters

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2016:

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2016

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas October 2, 2016

I’m sure we are all saddened to hear that by this time Father Tom is back home. From the get-go he amazed me that he could stand up here and preach a homily without hesitation or pause to reflect. This amazed me so much that one day I said to him, “I can’t do that, I have to write everything down for fear that I have a senior moment and would have to run for cover”. He said, Oh, I have to write everything down too, then I study it and throw it. Wow! I listen to him three times on a weekend and he never misses a step and finally he gives a little bow and returns to his seat. He will be missed!

There is one word that is repeated in all of the readings for this day. That word is Faith. I’ll refresh your memory. From the book of the Prophet Habakkuk, “but the just one, because of his Faith, shall live.” From the letter of St. Paul to Timothy it says, “take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the Faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” From the Gospel according to Luke, we hear, “Lord, increase our Faith,” and if you have the Faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to the Mulberry tree, ‘be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it would obey you.’ ”

Now we can’t just let this word Faith hang out there alone without some support. This too is reflected on in our Gospel reading for today and that word turns out to be Obedience and is concluded in the last sentence of the Gospel, that says, “we are unprofitable servants; we have done what we are were obliged to do.”

If now we should take our Catechism and referred to paragraphs 142 through 165 we get a far more complete explanation of Obedience and Faith.

To obey in Faith is to submit to the word that has been heard, because it’s truth is guaranteed by God, who is truth itself. 144

Abraham fulfills the definition of Faith as recorded in Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

For Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Because he was strong in his Faith, Abraham has been given the title of the father of all who believe. 146. The Old Testament is rich in witness to this faith. 147.

Then the Catechism goes on to reflect on Mary the mother of God, as one who believed. From 148149 we hear things like, Mary is most perfectly embodied in the Obedience of Faith. Here we hear again that Obedience and Faith go together. The statement is made than, “blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” It is for this faith that all generations have called Mary Blessed. And then that the church venerates Mary as the purest realization of Faith.

From paragraph 150 we hear Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. In other words to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. To believed, then, that God cannot be separated from believing in the One He sent, His beloved son, in whom the Father is well pleased. God further tells us to listen to Him. Because he, “has seen the father,” Jesus Christ is the only one who knows Him and can reveal Him.

In 152. One cannot believe in Jesus Christ without sharing in his Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals to men who Jesus is. For no one can say Jesus is Lord accept the Holy Spirit who searches everything even to the depth of God. And it goes on to say no one can comprehend the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God, only God knows God completely, we believe in the Holy Spirit because He is God.

I’m using the numbered paragraphs, simply with the hope that you will dig out your own catechisms and refer to paragraphs 142 through 165. For time does not permit to a complete reflection on what is available in these paragraphs.

To conclude with two brief quotes from 156 and 163. “What moves us to believe is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in the light of our natural reason: we believe ‘because of the authority of God Himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.’ ”

And from 163 faith makes us taste in advance the light of the Beatific Vision, the goal of our journey here below. Then we shall see ‘God face-to-face,’ ‘as He is,’ so Faith is already the beginning of Eternal Life.”

Faith and Obedience are One!

Be good, be holy, preached the Gospel, using Words and Holy Actions!

(‘Thank you’ to Deacon Kaas, for letting me post his reflection here — Brian H. Gill.)

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