WITH ST. MARY'S
THE NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
God is asking us to have faith.
NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
The Theological Virtues are the steps in the process towards God. We begin with faith, which motivates us to begin our journey towards God. On that journey, our hope keeps us motivated to continue. Finally, love is what we are ultimately seeking after while also fueling us to move. However, this all begins with the virtue of Faith. If we want to take our Catholicism seriously, we must understand that true faith cannot be fostered if we remain stagnant and in-place. Faith moves. It calls us forward to something greater than ourselves. Faith is the first step to the process of knowing, receiving, and giving Love, the greatest of gifts.
READ THIS SUNDAY'S MESSAGE
On this nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, our readings for today are unique from other Sundays. Usually, we hear the stories of the Bible, real examples of God working within the lives of His people. It then becomes the responsibility of the priest to use these stories and apply them to the way we live out our faith in the homily. But today, the Priest’s job is a little easier: beginning with the first reading from the book of Wisdom, and the second reading which comes from Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, and concludes with the Gospel, we are given reflections by the writers on the role of faith in past events in Jewish history. The author of the book of wisdom reflects on how the Israelites were willing to obey Christ and begin their journey home at the first Passover because they had authentic faith in their covenant with God, which the responsorial psalm for today emphasizes. Paul’s message to the Hebrews reflects on faith being the unique virtue of Abraham, our shared spiritual father. Faith motivated him to get up and pursue what God called him for, and he passed on that faith to Isaac and Jacob, finding its rewards in the nation of Israel. But in today’s Gospel, it hammers home the necessity of our focus on faith as motivation: in the words of Christ to his disciples, we are now being called by Christ to begin our journey home to God. Give up what ties us to our comfort zones, prepare ourselves for the journey, and look forward to the eventual gifts of hope that will nourish us on the way and love that guides us to its perfection in union with God. It all begins, however, with a simple leap of faith.
Family activity to do at home: Parents, there will come a time when you will send off your children into the real world. The process begins when you first send them to school, but eventually, they will be tasked to start their own families, pursue their own careers, or build up their homes, all apart from you. This can be difficult because of the parental attachment you have with them, but it's also scary because there is no real way to know if they will succeed on their own journeys. Remind yourself that our journeys in life must always be oriented towards God; if you have to send out your children into the world, you should make sure that they are properly motivated and oriented through the theological virtue of faith. This begins with you instilling the faith in your home. Use this simple prayer from St. Hilary of Poitiers in your home to remind yourself that faith is a gift from God that constantly needs to be cared for and maintained.