The Eye-Glasses of Faith -Homily
at St. Mary’s High School Feb. 25/16
They gave me a prescription for glasses.
If I don’t wear them, I see you guys up to that row, but if I put them on, I
can see that guy at the back who is falling asleep… My
new glasses made me think that faith is something similar, something that
allows you to see beyond. Let me make two points: faith goes beyond reason, and
faith does not go against reason.
- Without the glasses of faith, you see only death. If you put them on, you see
farther, the Resurrection.
- Suffering is close, for everybody to see… But when you wear your glasses
you see beyond suffering the rewards of Heaven, and when you have faith you
have also a consolation in suffering. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they
shall be consoled.” Christians also suffer, but not like those who have no
faith. Faith gives us a consolation and a hope that the world does not know.
- Without the glasses of faith you see only your sinfulness. Put them on
again, and you will see forgiveness and the mercy of God, who welcomes you
always when you repent and try to change.
- When you do not have faith, you see only injustice, even in the Church of God. When you have faith, you see also
the patience of God with those who sin, so that they may also have time to
repent and be forgiven. When you have faith, you see beyond the injustice of
men the final judgment of God, who will give to each one what he or she
- When you do not have faith, you may see good qualities in yourself. When
you put your glasses, you see your good qualities as gifts, as things you would
not have if Someone had not given them to you. When
you have faith every joy and every good thing is a gift, a sign that Someone loves you and is waiting for you in Heaven.
- When you do not have faith, other people look like fellow human beings.
When you have your glasses on, they look like Jesus, and each brother or sister
stirs up in a Christian heart a love stronger than death. Mother Theresa of Calcutta was a woman with
glasses, who gave herself to every leper she found, because in each of them she
could see only Jesus.
But these glasses are not only good to make you see farther. They do not
prevent you from still seeing what is close. You see both what is near and what
is beyond. If we apply this to faith, it means two things.
1) Faith is not an escape from the world, the denial of the real problems
of the world in order to feel a little bit of peace. Faith gives a meaning to
the problems, and makes you embrace reality with hope. True faith makes you
work for those who suffer, in the hope that there is help from above, and there
will be an end to suffering and a reward for sacrifice.
2) At the same time, true faith goes beyond reason, not against it. As
Chesterton says, in order to enter church God does not ask you to take off your head, but just your hat. Science and faith
are never opposed. Faith does not make you think something that does not make
sense. There are reasons to believe, and you have the right to know them. There
are explanations for the seeming
contradictions, and you have the right to ask for those explanations. I should
better say, we have the duty of trying to understand
more about our faith: if we love God, we should always try to know more about
him, to reflect on his word, etc. But the point is: the glasses of faith do not
make your reason blind: rather, faith provides your reason with the possibility
of going beyond the realm of nature to the realm of the supernatural.
I invite you all to have true faith, a faith that knows that there is
something else we do not see, and a faith that makes you work for change. It is
beautiful to have faith. May God help us to grow in faith, in hope and in love,
for God and for our brothers and sisters. –Fr. Andrew
24 HOURS FOR THE LORD
FOR THE JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY
signed up yet?
Pope Francis asks that we participate in a
worldwide initiative called “24 Hours for the Lord”. It begins on the morning
of Saturday, March 5, and runs until the morning of Sunday, March 6. This
twenty-four hour period during Lent is to be set aside by parishes as a time of
special opportunity for mercy. It should demonstrate how the doors of the
Church - and of God’s mercy - are open and ready to embrace even the most
prodigal of sons and daughters. Bishop McGrattan
would like all of the parishes to respond in solidarity to the Holy Father’s
call to be united in this worldwide initiative. Please see the attached
explanation and sample parish schedule. It is hoped that each parish will make
its own plans to do something special to serve the faithful during this “24
Hours for the Lord.”
Adoration of the
Most Blessed Sacrament
Beginning Saturday, March 5 at 8:30 am
March 5 10:00 am to 11:00 am
& 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Closing of 24 Hours for the Lord and
Celebration of Mass on Sunday
Sunday, March 6 at 9:00 am
NOTE: At 11:00 pm on Saturday, March 5, Adoration
will move to St. Joseph Chapel until Sunday at 7:30 am; then Adoration will
move back to the Church.