Low Sunday 12.4.15 Faith
Blessed are those who have not seen yet still believe.
There are ways of knowing things without seeing them.
Much of what we believe as Christians we have not seen (eg Heaven, angels). How can we have confidence in these beliefs?
It is because we are drawn into a much larger world than our own personal observation can provide.
Because we are one body in Christ we can claim for our own use anything that has been contributed to the wisdom of the body by others.
We have a lot of very wise and holy people who have preceded us as believers in Christ – apostles, martyrs, popes, confessors… many of great intellect; many of great holiness.
The power of thought and the holiness of life should concur. To be good is to be wise; to be wise is to be good.
All these people in their own place and time, in their own way, have demonstrated to us the supreme rightness of believing in and following Jesus Christ.
So when we come to decide whether or not to believe in Him we do not just say, But I have never seen him – we have seen His impact on others; we have seen that He has changed the world by His coming and His actions.
We have wiser and better people than ourselves showing us that it is safe and good to believe in Him. How can we refuse?
All the miracles worked by Him and in His name are there for our benefit, if we should falter in faith.
It is easy for us to be overwhelmed by present circumstances. When we have a major disappointment or a pressing problem we can lose faith because we focus too much on that particular thing. Yet all the centuries of miracles and holiness that have passed before us are still applicable.
We cannot see with the physical eyes but we have evidence all around us.
Blessed are those who can draw upon all this evidence and live accordingly.
It is very consoling to know we are not alone. It is often pointed out that people are becoming more isolated today despite having so many gadgets with which to communicate.
Being part of the larger body of Christ enables us to feel much more secure than if we have to do all this on our own.
Those who say they believe in Christ but not the Church are missing a vital point.
Our Lord’s will was that all who believe in Him would form one body; that they would not only believe all the right things but agree with each other in the process.
As it is we have much divergence between one believer and another.
The only way we can be sure which position is right is if we are in union with the Church which has proceeded from Our Lord’s time on earth, the Church built on the apostles.
Thus where Our Lord gives us this statement about believing without seeing He also establishes the power of the Church to define what binds believers; what things they must believe and do.
We cannot just believe whatever we like; we have to be guided by the Church, and so we allow ourselves to be.
The Church has great authority in Our Lord’s plan; this is something many Christians have lost sight of. We have allowed individualism to infect our faith life as well as other aspects of life.
We are too inclined to go it alone, and this leaves us vulnerable to many errors – and many sins.
Today we ask for Divine Mercy, for all our sins, and for what causes those sins – the mistaken idea that ‘I’ have the right to decide what I do.
Mercy gets us back to union with God and with the Church – thinking straight and walking in a straight path. Mercy frees us from the ‘self’ and incorporates us in the Body of Christ, a much better place to be.