From the pastor’s desk
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time– Year C– Be solidly build up in your faith
In every religion, there is the concept of faith that gives identity to its adherents and their beliefs. The same
is applicable in Christianity, especially in Catholicism. In Catholicism, the deposit of faith is systematically
outlined in the creed and carefully guided by the magisterium or the teaching authority of the Church.
Faith leads to knowing Jesus Christ, prolonged and continued by means of the holy church. In Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ and through Jesus Christ, we enter into the great depth of the Trinitarian mystery and into
the communion of the Saints, constituting the mystical Body of Christ, the Church.
Today, the redactor of the letter to the Hebrews tells that faith is the realization of what is hoped for and
evidence of things not seen. He goes on to praise the great accomplishments of heroes and heroine of faith
in the history of salvation. With these, we know that faith presupposes acknowledgement of God who is
almighty, all-knowing, all-loving, present everywhere, merciful, all-powerful who is able to accomplish
what he says and fulfills his promises. It is this God who called Abraham out of his place of origin, Ur of
the Chaldeans, to an unknown land. With promises of blessings, Abraham obeyed God with strong faith
(see Genesis 12:1-3). Abraham’s faith in God was credited to him as act of righteousness (see Romans 4:3).
It is this faith of Abraham that inspired Israel’s ancestors of the time of the Exodus in Egypt.
The wise-man of the Old Testament speaking about the night of the Exodus, refers to how that night was
known beforehand to our fathers in faith. He says that their courage was based on the sure knowledge of
the oaths in which they put their faith. We could recall the solemn oaths of God made to their ancestors,
especially to Abraham promising land and posterity. In the call of Abraham, God promised to bless those
who blessed him and to curse those who cursed him. It was on this that his descendants in Egypt awaited
the salvation of the just and the destruction of their foes. The faith of Abraham carried along the Israelites
of the Exodus through those trying moments. From Abraham’s faith and those of his descendants, we can
see that we, too, are his spiritual descendants in faith. Like him, our faith in God can give our life serenity,
security and joy.
What kept Abraham and his descendants going all through their lives were their great trust in God’s
promises. By faith we believe that God wants us to leave the past behind and launch out into an unknown
future. Our response must be like that of Abraham and we are expected to adopt the obedience of faith.
We must avoid fear and have full trust in God who has never disappointed us in the past. That is why
Jesus tells us today: “do not live in fear, little flock. It has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom
(Luke 12:32);” Jesus tells us that God makes demands on us to be watchful and to be ready to serve, doing
his will at all times. The Faith of every true disciple of Christ leads to orderly life pattern and happiness.
It makes one to experience life’s journey that leads to our true and happy home where the loving Father
welcomes us. By faith, we must get rid of every burden of sin and persevere in running the race that lies
before us, while fixing our gaze on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.
Rev. Fr. Michael Onyekwere, SDV, Phd