1/15/2017-Our Father Wants To Confirm Your Faith In His Son!
As a Benedictine monk, I was formed to love the prayers of Holy Mother Church. When I prepare a homily, seeking to hear what Jesus wants to say to His people, a prayerful reading of the prayers of Holy Mass are always an integral part. Last Sunday, the Collect (the opening prayer) provided the inspiration for the whole message. Because the Bride of Jesus, Holy Church, knows Him and loves Him so much, when she prays, she is also teaching us something important about what it means to be Catholic; what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Last Sunday, this is what she asked of our Father: “that we who know you already by faith may be brought to behold the beauty of your sublime glory.” Through this prayer, Holy Church is teaching us that our faith in Jesus is something which grows, develops, and is confirmed by our Father through experiences He leads us to or through.
DID HOLY MARY’S FAITH GROW AND DEVELOP? Let’s start by taking a look at three truths that our Father revealed to Mary about His Son and Her Son, Jesus: He is God, He is King, and He is Savior. When the Archangel Gabriel brought the Good News of Jesus to Mother Mary, Mary was told that the Son she was to conceive would truly be the Son of God, that He would be truly God! Jesus, in His flesh, was of the tribe of Judah and He was going to ascend the throne of David. Jesus wasn’t just going to be King, He was going to be an Everlasting King for all ages and for all peoples. Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary, was also to be our Savior: He was going to save us from our sins. So, these three truths, Mary knew by faith: Jesus is God, King, and Savior. Let’s now see if Mary’s faith in her Son was ever confirmed through an experience.
THE VISIT OF THE THREE MAGI The Magi welcomed the gift of faith. When they saw the Star of Bethlehem, they understood that God was communicating the Birth of someone very important, not just for the Jews, but for all people. The Magi set out on a long journey of faith. Once they finally made it to Bethlehem, and gazed upon the star that was leading them, bringing them to Jesus, they rejoiced because they knew they were about to make a discovery and learn something new. When the Magi entered the room where Jesus was, they saw a simple and poor young mother with her baby boy. Yet, is that all they saw? They proceeded to prostrate themselves on the ground and do Jesus homage. They then opened up their treasures and brought forth gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Through their gifts, the Magi were proclaiming that Jesus is God, King, and Savior! Frankincense is a gift that is offered to God. Gold is a gift that is offered to a King. Myrrh is a precious ointment used especially for burial: a prophecy of the death of Jesus on the Cross for our salvation! Do you see how much the faith of Mary grew and developed as our Father confirmed her faith in Jesus through this visit of the Magi?
OUR FAITH OUGHT TO GROW AND DEVELOP AT EVERY HOLY MASS! Every Sunday, you and I have the wonderful opportunity to have the exact same experience that our Blessed Mother had. We know by faith that the Blessed Sacrament is really and truly the Body and Blood of Jesus. We hear Jesus telling us and we see Jesus showing us that our bread is about to become His Body and Blood. Just like the Magi, we will kneel in worship. Although we see bread and wine, our Father desires to confirm through our faith that we are truly looking at the Body and Blood of His Son. Jesus, your God, is really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. Your King will come to the door of your heart through Holy Communion. Your Savior will confirm your faith in His love and mercy towards you!
HOW DO WE RESPOND? When you receive the Eucharist with the gift of faith our Father gives, you experience a call to worship Jesus present within your heart; to obey Jesus as your Lord and King; and to thank Him for dying on the Cross for you. This is why we worship! This is why we are invited to come to Church every Sunday. As more of us respond to the gift of our Father, Jesus will be able to transform our parish family in a mighty way!
Have a blessed week and remember to pray for each other