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Put Your Trust in Him

August 11, 2019

 A reflection for the19th Sunday, Ordinary Time, Year C. The readings are Wisdom 18:6-9; Psalm 33; Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 and Luke 12:32-48.

Let me begin by quoting the first thing that Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel:

“Do not be afraid any longer little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom.”

Read it again: “Your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom.” Do you believe that? Do you really believe that God will give you the Kingdom?

Most of us don’t.

Not really.

Because it’s hard to believe all these promises. It’s hard to believe that they are for me.

Do you really believe Jesus when He says that God will give you the Kingdom (Luke 12:32)? Do you believe Jesus when He says that everything you ask in His name, the Father will give you (John 14:13-16)? Do you believe Him when He says that He will be with us always until the end of time (Matthew 28:20)?

We don’t really – we are like the servant in the Gospel who doesn’t really think that the Master is going to return any time soon.

This is going to sound harsh.

And I don’t mean to sound harsh.

But…. we struggle to believe all these promises because we don’t have a strong faith.

We have a little faith: we believe in God; we go to Church; we pray. But that’s only part of Faith. Real Faith has to do with trust.

The traditional definition of faith is that “faith is believing in something without proof”.

But in the second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews it says that “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1) How is faith blind if it’s “evidence”?

What’s that quote? Faith is not believing that God can, but knowing that He will?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that faith has to do with belief and it also has to do with knowledge.

We have Faith because we know. A little later in the reading from Hebrews it says that Abraham had Faith because he “thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy”(Heb 11:11b). He trusted God. Faith is trust.

And why did he trust God? Because he knew God.

It’s the same “evidence” that the Israelites had that is mentioned in the first reading from the Book of Wisdom. They had “sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith” (Wisdom 18:6). How did they have sure knowledge? Because they knew God.

Abraham has so much faith that he is willing to sacrifice his son, because he trusted that God was going to do what He promised. God promised that Abraham was going to have as many descendants as the stars – that they could not be counted – through Isaac. He was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, because he trusted that God would still do what he had promised. Even if that meant bringing Isaac back from the dead. That’s faith!

He knew God.

That’s why he trusted.

But we don’t have a strong faith because we don’t trust and we don’t trust because we don’t know God. How can you trust someone you don’t know?

How can we know God the way Abraham knew God? How can we know Jesus so that we can know that His promises are trustworthy?

I’m going to give you four suggestions (and note, it’s the same suggestions we always give you):

  1. Prayer
  2. Sacraments
  3. Scripture and Spiritual Readings
  4. Community

Let’s start with Community: How connected are you to a community of faith? How involved are you in your parish? Do you belong to a parish group? Are you involved in a parish ministry? Do you rush in to Mass at the last minute, sit in the back and dash out as soon as you can? If you want to know Jesus, it may help to get to know his body, the Church. Get involved in your parish. It will strengthen your faith.

Scripture and Spiritual Reading: Are you reading Scripture every day? Or is the only Scripture you hear during the week at Mass? Most of us have three or four bibles at home and we never open them. If opening the bible too daunting a task, get yourself a daily missal or book with the daily readings with reflections or commentary (so you understand what you are reading) and read the Word of God every day. If you’d rather, find a website of daily readings with commentary instead. There’s no excuse. And find some good spiritual reading, something from the Saints or Church Fathers – even a good contemporary spiritual book. If you want suggestions ask, I can give you lots. If you want to know God, it will help to spend time listening to what He says to you in the Scriptures and also to learn about him through the writing and teachings of the Church and to learn from others who have got to know him better than us. It will strengthen your faith.

Sacraments: Most of us have received three or four Sacraments but after we received them, we completely forget about them. We don’t even understand why we received them. A Sacrament is effective not just because it is received, but also because it is lived. How are you living your Baptism? How are you living your Marriage? Are you Confirmed? A couple of weeks ago I was at the Confirmation of a 35 year-old. She grew up in the Church, made her First Communion, went to Catholic school, was always involved in the parish – probably knows church teaching as well as I do, but for some reason, never got around to make her Confirmation. She never left the Church, was always involved – but was not Confirmed. As an adult she didn’t join the RCIA because she wasn’t joining the Church. Maybe some of you are in the same boat. Are you confirmed? If not, go and talk to your pastor and get confirmed. And, there are two Sacraments that we can receive every day: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Are you receiving them? If you want to know Jesus, it’s good to allow Him to be present to you in His Sacraments. It will strengthen your faith.

Lastly,

Prayer: There is much I can say about prayer – the reflection from two weeks ago was all about prayer. Are you praying? Are you spending time talking with, talking to (sometimes all we do is talking to… that’s good too), listening to, spending time with Christ? The best way to get to know someone is to spend time with them. Are you praying to the Father and the Holy Spirit? (a few months ago our reflection had to do with praying to the Holy Spirit.)

I’m going to leave you with just one suggestion: Eucharistic Adoration. Go. Sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament not to gaze at Him, but to let Him gaze at you. Pop in for 10 minutes on the way to work or on your way home from work. Go and be present to Him who is present to you. Sit quietly and listen or pray the Rosary. Bring a book of prayers, reflections or do your spiritual reading in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet – the Divine Mercy with the motto “Jesus, I Trust in You.” There’s no one way to do Adoration.

Sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament and ask God to strengthen your faith. Tell Him that you want to know Him; that you want to trust Him.

You’ll see how your Faith will be strengthened.

It’s hard to know God when He doesn’t appear to us like He appeared to Abraham. It’s hard to know Jesus when He’s not walking here on earth as He did with his disciples. It’s hard to trust in a Church that is not perfect. It’s hard to have faith in the midst of life’s struggles; with disease and divorce and debt and death.

But those struggles are much easier when we have faith. Christ has promised that He will be with us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20). He that made that promise is trustworthy.

God wants you to know Him and He wants to know you. God wants you to trust Him. God wants you to have faith in Him. Because, just as the master in the parable puts his faith and trust in the prudent servant, God has already put His faith and trust in you.

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From → English, Reflections

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