Saturday, August 08, 2009

Call to a livelier faith

19th Sunday in Ordinary time
cycle B

For three weeks now we have been reflecting on the Eucharist. Actually, following the gospel of St. John, the encounter between Jesus and the crowd reflects a call to a livelier faith. Unfortunately, crowd is not taking this too well; eventually they leave our Lord.

Is our faith degenerating or getting worse or are we growing deeper in our faith? Things are never stagnant with the faith; either we are slowing growing or we are dying. Let us pray that we are growing in faith. Let us test the depth of our faith through the following questions below:

1. Is our concept of faith individualistic or ecclesial? If we claim that our religion is our own and does not affect others; if religion for us is a matter of personal piety, then we are degenerating. From the very start God called a set of people and not just individuals. Our faith should lead us to a reality that we are all called by God and that we all have duties and responsibilities to one another.

2. Is our faith exclusively spiritual that it affects only our souls or is it incarnational and integral? When we say incarnational, it starts from the moment of our birth Jesus and is dedicated to do the Lord's will in our entire lives. It is integral in that it affects every aspect of my entire being - to my family, to my social, political, economic, and social life. We are embodied spirits and not only souls; that in this world what we do to our brethren today constitutes the moments of our salvation.

3. Is our faith concerned only with freeing ourselves from sin; or are we concerned with the sinful structures affecting us all? We see social realities around us - the incidence of couples not getting married in the church, that corruption is our country's second skin, and that the youth corrupt themselves with vices. If we fail to do something to eradicate these things, no matter how many times we go to confession and we don't do anything to cure the social ills, our faith is useless.

These three and much more, the Lord is calling us to a deeper and more concrete sense of faith, a livelier faith that we can pass on to our children. Take your pick, which faith would you rather espouse?

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