“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 works through charity.” -Catechism of the Catholic Church 1814
Today’s Gospel is beautiful in its simplicity, as is the theological virtue of faith. I think we can get too inside our own heads sometimes when it comes to God and religion. We build up walls and laws and everything else in between in order to make the faith absurdly complicated and seemingly impossible to live.
In reality, it is simple. Have faith in God and everything He has revealed. When He says He is present in the Eucharist, we believe. When He says He can forgive our sins and make us whole, we believe. When He says He has the power to save us from our wretchedness, we believe.
“But he could never mean those things about me, especially knowing what I have done.” “It seems impossible that Jesus would be humble enough to come in the form of bread and wine to us; maybe it’s just a metaphor.” “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son so that those who believe in Him, everyone except me, will have eternal life.”
And there we are in our heads again. You notice that whenever we try to doubt what God has revealed to us, we put ourselves in place of God. We let him know that He must have made a mistake and we, in our ultimate power and authority, are here to help fix what is broken. And Jesus steps in through today’s Gospel and says stop.
You can almost hear Him saying, “Don’t overcomplicate this. When I say I will give you power, I mean it. When I say I will be with you, I mean it. When I say I love you, I mean it.”
Do we believe it? These are hard truths to grasp for purely human minds, which is why we have to ask for faith. Even the Church is aware that some of her teachings are difficult to understand. In adoration, we often sing, “Faith will tell us Christ is present when our human senses fail.” Our minds are finite, and it can be hard to grasp the infinite unless the infinite shares with us the power to do so. That’s the beauty of faith. We can see as God sees, walk as God walks, love as God loves.
A good priest friend of mine has this gift. When there is a massive problem in his life, he prays and knows that God will answer. He has this incredible faith that Jesus is still the same person who walked on the earth 2,000 years ago, and He always cares. His power has not lessened due to time and age.
I know I need to work on this virtue in my life. I rely on my power and knowledge all too often. Why do we give ourselves such stress? Let’s keep it simple and have faith in God. From all of us here at Diocesan, God Bless!
Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.