Faith – Jesus Christ Loves You

Pope Francis wrote faith is dependent on the first proclamation; that first time we realized God’s love in our lives. “Jesus Christ loves you;” he tells us, “he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you” (EG, 164). Faith doesn’t just depend on this, it lives on this.

This is the secret to having Faith. Let God love you and let yourself love him in return.

This is why this parish exists.  The church is the place where people of Faith belong.  Where all of God’s children; those whom he loves, belong. Faith recognizes that we belong.  I belong, you belong with God and each other for all eternity.  Faith presupposes, or rather comes out of our conviction, our belief that each of us has been saved by Christ, and loved by him totally and completely.

In our second reading, in the letter to the Hebrews, we heard that Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.

Faith is the realization of what is hoped for. What is that thing that we are hoping for?  It is to live, with all of the angels and saints, in God’s life and love for all eternity in the kingdom of heaven. What we hope for is an end to all violence, suffering, and division.  We long for a world of peace, unity, and love.  And so active faith is convinced of God’s love and promises that it perseveres through the difficulties of this world.

Second, it is the evidence of things not seen. Faith is the evidence of the things not seen… Faith is belonging with God because of our belief that God desires so much that   This is about works of charity.  That the way we act, the way we treat each other is evidence for what is unseen.  That is, our personal relationship with God.  By personal— I mean that it is intimate— not that it is private.  One’s faith is never for himself alone, but to be shared with others.  Faith is that interior, personal, experience of the God who loves me.  It is made evident by our behavior. Because I live in the reality that I am a beloved, I will treat you as a beloved as well. Active faith is a vigilant faith. One that responds daily to the demands of charity owed to each other and to our Father in heaven.

These are the three marks of active faith.  Faith convinces us that we belong because we have a God who loves us, Faith encourages us to trust and hope in God’s providence, and Faith inspires us to act as God does—to love as he loves…. why?  Because he loved us first.   

In Christ’s love and friendship,

Fr. Stephen

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