Sunday, February 24, 2013

Entering the Door of Faith!

The “door of faith” (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. It begins with baptism (cf. Rom 6:4), through which we can address God as Father, and it ends with the passage through death to eternal life, fruit of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, whose will it was, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, to draw those who believe in him into his own glory (cf. Jn 17:22). To profess faith in the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is to believe in one God who is Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8): the Father, who in the fullness of time sent his Son for our salvation; Jesus Christ, who in the mystery of his death and resurrection redeemed the world; the Holy Spirit, who leads the Church across the centuries as we await the Lord’s glorious return.    (Benedict XVI, Porta fidei, #1)

In announcing the Year of Faith, the Holy Father challenges us to pause and reflect on our own lives and relationship with the Lord.  If we are to a pilgrim people, a people who are on mission, we must be rooted in God, otherwise the message we proclaim isn't His.  This is quite a challenge. How to remain rooted in God while facing the realities of life in this world.  We can't hide from the world, we are called to live in it, but not to be of the world. 

To remain rooted in God in our day to day lives requires that we take time to be with God.  To be aware of his presence, to communicate and commune with him, to learn how to listen for his voice and how he continues to reach out to us through the Church.  It requires personal time in prayer, gathering with the family of faith for prayer, sharing faith, Mass and the sacraments.  It means taking time from the usual demands of life to rest with him for a while.

We will do this March 18, 19, 20, as we gather to reflect on the opportunity God has presented to us and how we ought to respond.  Join us at St. Francis Xavier Parish for the celebration of the Eucharist at 12:10PM or 7PM.  In addition, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available Tuesday and Wednesday from 4:30PM to 5:30PM.

In the 2 weeks leading up to the Mission, there will be daily thoughts posted on the parish Facebook page, here and on my Twitter feed (with the hashtag #faithdoor) . These will serve as a kind of preparation for the mission.

I invite you to join us.  Together we will pause to reflect on this God who loves us so and recommit ourselves to not only entering the door of faith ourselves, but helping others to do so as well.

(Design by Sarah Miele, UMD '13)