Scripture: Lectionary #465. Galatians 3:7-14. Psalm 111: 1-2,3-4,5-6. Luke 11:15-26:
Our Year of Faith began yesterday and we join each other throughout the world in this year of prayer and faith. By our being mindful of the theme each day and joining it to our reading of Scripture and our meditation on the word of God we will be in solidarity with the entire Church, the People of God/the Mystical Body of Christ. As a Marianist I would like to suggest that you join in the spirit of Mary by “pondering over the events and the words of God” that she experienced in giving birth to Jesus. (Luke 2:19,51).
Our first reading fits perfectly the call of Benedict XVI to celebrate our faith this year from Oct.11-Oct.12. We also are people of the Second Vatican Council which has helped us to grow in our faith by reading the signs of the times and turning again and again to the holy scriptures. Paul is an exemplary model for faith both in Galatians and in his greatest epistle that of Romans. Today we hear or read in Paul the following: “All who believe are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” Abraham’s faith journey is found in Genesis 12 -24. This would be another good read for the Year of Faith. Paul continues to develop the theme of faith and to see in the Hebrew Scriptures an expression that we can keep in mind: “The righteous person (holy, wholesome one) lives by faith.” (See Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38; and Habakkuk 2:4).
As a Marianist our Founder Blessed William Joseph Chaminade used the expression “the righteous one lives by faith” and joined it to another expression used by Marianists on some Marianist medals and on our shield, namely, “Be strong in faith.” (Fortes in fide).
The final part of Paul’s message on faith for us today follows upon his reference to the death of Jesus on the Cross. This happened according to Paul that “through Christ Jesus the blessing bestowed on Abraham might descend on the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, thereby making it possible for us to receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade encouraged all of his followers—sodalists, lay persons, priests, brothers, and sisters to meditate with faith of the heart on the Creed. By taking one phrase at a time very slowly while pondering it over till we are satisfied with the thought and prayer; then going to the next phrase in the same way. The Presence of God is paramount in this spiritual pondering as well as Chaminade’s encouraging remark to place ourselves also in the presence of the Mother of God. He said, “that must be a dreary meditation in which she is not brought to mind.”
Did you know that there are twelve articles of faith in the Apostles’ Creed? Think of it as one for each apostle. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.