Nineteenth Sunday Ordinary Time
August 7, 2022 •
Our Lord today in the Gospel is trying to teach us to put greater faith in Him. That's why He begins by telling the disciples that they should not be afraid any longer. That's a complete statement. He's not saying about some things. There's no reason to be afraid of anything any longer. He calls us His "little flock." The reason we shouldn't be be afraid of anything any longer, He says, is because "your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom."
Of course He's speaking about the Kingdom of Heaven. Ultimately, that's salvation, that's life for eternity with Him in Heaven. But it's even the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth in His Church and in her Sacraments. It's in these things that our Lord wants us to put our faith.
Now, if we have our greatest faith in these gifts, then we won't be afraid of things. The problem is we're still concerned and anxious, like Martha, about many things in this world. . . . It's not that we don't have faith in Christ, it's that our faith in Christ has not yet been perfected. . . .
Faith, first and foremost, is a gift we receive from the Church in her teachings, but ultimately in the grace of the Sacraments, won for us in Jesus Christ. But after this gift has been given to us, we have this obligation to increase, or to grow in our faith. There's an important truth in the spiritual life that the saints teach: there is no standing still in the spiritual life. You're either moving forward or you're falling back. . . . Generally speaking, if we're not striving to grow in our faith, even in small ways, then we are actually losing faith. We're slipping away. . . .
The moment you stop engaging this gift of faith - the truths that have been revealed to you, given to you and strengthened in the sacraments - the moment you stop engaging it, it starts to slip away.
When was the last time you went to Confession? Are you in any grave or mortal sin?
What's your prayer life like?
If you're not living in the grace, the sacraments of the Church, how can you maintain this supernatural gift? It's not run on natural energy, it's only the life of Christ within us that can maintain true faith. . . .
If I'm not communicating with God - intentionally - each day, then the relationship weakens. . . . It's absolutely essential: striving to remain in the state of grace and daily, daily prayer. The goal Christ gives us is to "pray without ceasing". . . .
Heaven is eternal prayer, and your job right now, as a disciple is to get ready for that. To get ready to pray without ceasing.
The gift that is offered to us is far greater than any cost to ourselves.
Wis 18:6-9; Ps 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20-22; Heb 11:1-2, 8-19 ; Lk 12:32-48
Homily begins at 21:47