The Just Will Live By
October 6, 2013
readings speak about faith. Also the parable of Jesus can be understood in this
sense. Jesus says to each one of us: “Prepare supper for me, put on your apron
and serve me while I eat and drink," that is to say, we serve Jesus on
earth while he is already in heaven, at the banquet of the children of God. But
he adds immediately: “later you may eat and drink," that is to say, after
serving the Lord in faith on earth, we can certainly hope to share his banquet
in heaven. Also, we have to think that our faith is a banquet for him, a
pleasing offering to our Lord. For by faith we give the Lord nothing but
ourselves. This is what delights our Lord: not any gift, but our persons, our
faith, our love.
“Faith is the
theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said
and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is
truth itself. By faith "man freely commits his entire self to God." For this reason, the believer seeks to
know and do God's will. "The righteous shall live by faith." Living
faith "work(s) through charity" (1814).
that there is a living faith, and a dead faith: “The gift of faith remains in
one who has not sinned against it. But "faith apart from works is
dead" when it is deprived of hope and love, faith does not fully unite the
believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body"
of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but also profess it,
confidently bear witness to it, and spread it: "All must be prepared to
confess Christ before men and to follow him along the way of the Cross, amidst
the persecutions which the Church never lacks." Service of and witness to the
faith are necessary for salvation: "So everyone who acknowledges me before
men, I also will acknowledge him before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever
denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."
“Hope is the
theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as
our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our
own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. "Let us
hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful"
of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the
heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men's activities and
purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from
discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his
heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Moved by hope, he is preserved from
selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity" (1818).
hope takes up and fulfills the hope of the chosen people which has its origin
and model in the hope of Abraham” (1819).
hope unfolds from the beginning of Jesus' preaching in the proclamation of the
beatitudes. The beatitudes raise our hope toward heaven as the new Promised
Land; they trace the path that leads through the trials that await the
disciples of Jesus. But through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his Passion,
God keeps us in the "hope that does not disappoint." Hope
is the "sure and steadfast anchor of the soul . . . that enters . . .
where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf." […] Hope is expressed
and nourished in prayer, especially in the Our Father, the summary of everything
that hope leads us to desire" (1820).
therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and
do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the
grace of God, to persevere "to the end" and to obtain the joy of
heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace
of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for "all men to be
saved." She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the
glory of heaven:
O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for
everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is
certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Realize that the more you
struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you
will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can
never end." (St. Therese of Jesus)” (1821).
Hope is a beautiful thing, because it makes
us certain that one day the desire of our soul will be fulfilled, our desire of
life and love without limits and without end. It
is a "hope that does not disappoint." Our reward from God will be
eternal life and love; and God himself will be our reward, because “God is
love” (1 John 4:8) and he is “the
life” (John 14:6). –Fr.