Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | June 19, 2009

12th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Job 38, 1.8-11; Ps 107, 23-31; 2 Cor 5, 14-17; Mk 4, 35-41

Jesus says in our Gospel reading “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

What is Faith?

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.

Now if you’re like me, you’re hearing this or reading this thinking, what was that?

St. Paul says this much better as he tells us “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things that appear not” (Ref Heb 11, 1)

In otherwords my friends there are two parts the exterior (the objective) and the interior (the subjective).

Let me explain in our Gospel reading, we see Jesus and the Apostles in the boat with the storm that’s qualling. In otherwords, there’s violent storm out. As is typical Apostles form, they freak out and act completely hard headed toward the situation…hence the reaction “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

Jesus then proceeds to ask the question “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have Faith?

Neither the objective sense nor the interior sense of Faith are shown in this reading. The Apostles’ have not yet figured out that Jesus is the Son of God. (Though you’d think with the Miracles they would of gotten it already, but then again, that gives the rest of us hope)

The objective part of Faith in this sense: The Apostles’ even though they have not yet figured out the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, from the miracles that Jesus has been performing throughout Mark’s Gospel should have pointed them to the fact that they were going to be fine on this trip across the sea. Remember that things that are objective can be seen.

The subjective part of Faith in this passage: The interior of the Apostles’ worrying about themselves, (the Apostles’ are a hard headed bunch). The interior belief is dependent on the objective fact that Jesus is the Son of God.

Faith is not something that is just intended for private use only…For example some people say, “I Faith in Jesus, but I don’t go to Church or anything like that.”

We know that God has been revealed as the Holy Trinity. They are one in essence and three distinct persons. They can not be separated where one is, the other two are as well. Everything that we are is based upon this mystery of Faith.

If God himself isn’t alone, how can we expect to act alone with Faith? We can not. (But generally those that say the I have Faith in Jesus part deny the Trinity, but that’s not the point of this lesson),

Our profession of the Creed is Public, the reception of the Sacraments is Public, as a matter of fact, pretty much everything we do in the Church is public. In so called “private” Masses, the company of Saints and Angels joins at the Sanctus.

Last time I checked, none of us saw the Resurrection, Institution of the Eucharist, the Crucifixion, etc. Because we didn’t see this, this is the 2nd half of Heb 11, 1…the evidence of that which is seen not. What we don’t see we must have Faith, as well as what we do.

Our Catholic Faith should form our consciences properly and we bring our properly formed consciences to the public square to engage in political debate. We are not enforcing our religion on anyone in the public square. The laws that are in the secular culture should conform to the Natural Law, which is God’s law written on everyone’s heart.

With all of the Scandals that have hit the Church recently, whether the embarassments at Notre Shame, the entire Diocese of Linz, Miguel Diaz, the USCCB, etc. This Sunday is a great Sunday to remind all of us what it means to have Faith. We have Faith in Jesus that he’ll keep his promise that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, and He will guard her.

The boat is rocky, are we going to be like the Apostles’ and freak out? and not have Faith, or are we going to learn from them and persevere in the Faith?

Pax Vobis.

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