Year of Faith (Oct 11, 2012 to Nov 24, 2013) |


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Year of Faith (Oct 11, 2012 to Nov 24, 2013)

刊登日期: 2012.10.28
作者: Fr. Thomas Au 區耀邦神父  

Now that the Year has begun, what have you thought about? Has the priest in the parish mentioned anything that interests you: a Bible study class, a review of the teachings of the faith, a study of the Vatican Council documents, attending a retreat? 

In the course of this year, I would like to examine a few issues of our faith beginning with FAITH itself. What is it really?

Many people think that faith is how they feel about God. If they feel the presence of God, then they believe that God exists. Can I really think that God only exists if I feel Him and He does not exist if I don’t feel His presence? God either exists or does not, regardless of my feelings.

Faith (信仰)

人言,something SPOKEN by a PERSON.

Faith is first of all trusting in the person who has spoken. St. Paul says, “Faith comes from hearing.” ( Rom 10:14-17 ) In a later article I will come back to this passage and focus on verse 17 itself.

– I lift up my mind and heart to what is said. I respond to the message because I trust in the person.

In the Catechism article 26: “Faith is man's RESPONSE to God, who reveals Himself and gives Himself to man.” 

This means that faith is initiated by God. Our part is to “answer” His invitation to trust in Him. Imagine someone calling us on the phone. We have to answer it. Some people let the phone ring and ring and not answer it. Some people may pick up the phone when no one is calling. Our feelings about the phone ringing have little to do with the ringing. For a conversation to take place, it requires first a caller and then an answerer. In Christianity, we believe that God loves us and calls us to share a life with Him, to be in Communion with Him. We believe that even our response is a gift, Grace, from God.

A second consideration for Faith rests in the “content” of Faith.

In Hebrews 11:1, St. Paul wrote, “Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see.”

Without going too far into the word “hope”, it implies something that will happen. I will write about “hope” and “wish” later. Here, because Jesus promises us eternal life, this hope is based on Him who always tells the truth. Our faith is based on the One who speaks the Truth and, indeed, is Truth Himself. Our faith then has a “content” told us by a trustworthy Person and the “content” is also the Person who is God. If this sounds confusing, take a little time and come back and read it again.

Pope Benedict urges us to use this Year of Faith to first examine the “content” of Faith. Who is it that we believe? When we open the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the very first section deals with “Faith” and everything that flows from believing in God in Christianity. The major difference between Christianity and all other religions is that in Christianity God comes to lead us to Him. Again, the focus is on our response. Blessed Pope John Paul II, in “As The Third Millennium Draws Near”, wrote in paragraph 6: “ In Christ, religion is no longer a "blind search for God" (cf. Acts 17:27) but the response of faith to God who reveals himself ” and that “Christ is thus the fulfillment of the yearning of all the world's religion.” This means that Jesus is the true answer to everything the world wants and desires. This is the power of believing in Jesus. This faith is real. All it is waiting for is for us to recognize it and desire it. 

Jesus is waiting. Answer Him.

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