Strength of Faith
So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.
Over the months of Ordinary Time, a time dedicated to growth, we focus on how we live out the Christian faith, how we walk in Strength of Faith. Remember, we are focusing on our Strength of Faith.
We have heard various examples of strength of faith among those whom Jesus encountered, and in Jesus Himself. I cannot stress strongly enough that our call is to walk the gospel way, to follow in Jesusâ€™ footsteps, to encounter Him over and over because in living His way we receive ever greater grace to do so.
Grace is this, an encounter in the eternal and heavenly doorway where Jesus stands opposite us and hands over all we need to be powerfully successful in our mission and ministry.
As we experience today, this encounter begins at baptism. We meet Jesus in that doorway for the first time and He says, you are now a member of my body, the Church. You now have access to this doorway anytime and every time you approach. Come back a lot.
The catch, we must show up, certainly in church every Sunday for the particularly strong encounter we have for Jesus said: I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever. That is the bread we need, the sharing in the heavenly bread that gives us the victorious eternal life Jesus won for us and that renews us for the work we need to show up for every day.
The catch, we who are called by the Father must return to the doorway again and again, each day, asking Jesus to meet us there is prayer so we become better and better outfitted for walking in strength of faith, for living the gospel way, walking the gospel path. Then speaking, proclaiming, and sharing Jesus.
Living Jesusâ€™ way is not easy. This week Renee and I were up in Maine for Carly and Domâ€™s wedding â€“ a truly beautiful event. We walked the streets of York and visited the Kittery Trading Post on our way back. We encountered people totally dedicated to readiness, spending the time needed. They were ready for the sea. They were ready to hike the highways and byways. They were prepared against dehydration and hunger. Their lesson to us â€“ be ready. Like they do, let us be dedicated to readiness by strengthening our faith in the doorway every day.
Like anyone dedicated, we must spend the time needed to encounter the deep sea of grace, to walk the highways and byways proclaiming the Word of God and partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus so that we may never hunger or thirst.
We the baptized, and today, Cameron, pledgeÂ to be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love by strengthening our faith and living it out in strong active witness to Jesus.