July 8, 2018
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
EZ 2:2-5 PS 123:1-2, 2, 3-4 2 COR 12:7-10 MK 6:1-6
The final verse of today’s Gospel, “He was amazed at their lack of faith”, brought to mind Jesus’ words as recorded by Luke, “When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith upon the Earth?” Throughout all of salvation history, faith amongst God’s people has waxed and waned. In every age of the Church, the faith has ebbed and flowed. In our present day, it seems that the Catholic faith is in crisis – at least in the West – as Mass attendance is in steep decline, there are fewer Baptisms and Marriages, vocations aren’t rising, and more and more people are claiming to be spiritual but not religious, or becoming atheist.
When you also consider that Christians are being persecuted in other parts of the world, it’s easy to get dismayed and worried. Nonetheless, we are exhorted to “not be afraid”, to “fear not”, to “not let our hearts be troubled”, to be a light in the darkness, and to put our trust in God.
Simply having faith and living the faith are not the same, though. God continually calls up prophets to stand in the breach and proclaim his Word. Those prophets are you and I. We are prophets by virtue of our Baptism, and we must believe God’s grace will be sufficient for us, despite knowing friends and family will reject us. That is the price for heralding the truth in an age that no longer seeks Truth, but rather seeks to create truth.
Today’s Magnifcat reflection was an excerpt from Ven. Madeleine Delbrel, in which she wrote:
“Genuine faith holds firm…Genuine faith is wholly made to guide us in time toward eternal life, to make us live eternal life already in time….
“Nevertheless, genuine, naked faith never finds a comfortable welcome in time. Faith is beset with the questions of an age, it is sometimes questioned by the age, and it is often called into question by the age. And the rule of the game is the law of Redemption.
“But if we take our faith as sufficient for us, if we do not add anything to it, or take away anything from it, we will be able to be questioned and called into question along with it: but faith will give us life, and will tell us how to act and what to say, no matter what sort of age we live in, even if the age is our present age.”
Genuine faith never finds a comfortable welcome in time. Let us pray that when Jesus returns, he is not amazed at our lack of faith, but rather welcomes us into eternity due to our genuine faith.
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