Are You a Person of Faith?

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Acts 6: 1-7; 1 Peter 2: 4-9; John 12: 1-12

Dc. Larry Brockman


There are two kinds of people in this world- those with Faith and those without Faith.  Our second reading makes that abundantly clear.  Which group do you belong to?   

For those with faith, the rewards are said to be very great, for they will never experience shame according to Jesus.  Rather, they will experience God’s Kingdom forever and ever.  But for those without faith, then all of what our faith calls for, obedience to God and his will for them, can be a stumbling block and hindrance because that conflicts with their personal agenda in this world.  This, from Peter’s words for us today as he quotes scripture.  And how absolutely true Peter’s words are, especially in today’s world.   

We are in the middle of the Easter Season.  Easter is about Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead and his passage into everlasting life in the Kingdom of God.  We are rejoicing because we have been promised the same resurrection of the body and everlasting life and so, the message seems so positive.  Rejoice, the Lord is risen!   Yes, and you have been saved. Can’t you feel the joy!  We sing Allelulia and other joyful songs, dress up in our best clothes, and celebrate with feasts. Amen.   

But wait a minute.  God calls us not only to believe, but to practice our belief, to put into practice the Faith that we have in Him by living out the word of God.  That means not only believing, but picking up our own crosses, and following after Him.  And that is the rub, isn’t it.  Life as a Christian isn’t just about singing alleluia and praising Jesus for dying for us and rising to everlasting life.  We have to accept our own crosses and follow Jesus’ example by standing firm for our Faith.  That’s what life as a Christian is all about.   

And we can see that when we look at the lives of the saints.  People like the Apostles, all of whom except John were martyred.  And even the lives of modern day saints, people like Pope St. John XXIII and Pope St. John Paul II, St. Padre Pio, and Blessed Mother Theresa.   These people lived their faith- they put it into action.   

When you were Baptized, you were figuratively plunged into the waters of Baptism   You did that because you assented to your faith; you agreed to believe all that the Church teaches.  And so, when you rose out of the waters of Baptism, you were declared a new person- free from any and all sin; forgiven for any and all sin; and you emerged committed to spread your faith to others so that they could be saved as well.  That was the essence of your Baptismal promise.   

But to retain your Baptismal purity, you need to live out that Baptismal promise, to be what you promised to be, a person of Faith who keeps the commandments, and so, to be a witness to your faith.   

Now I realize that most of you were Baptized as infants.  But consider this:  On Easter Sunday, all of you renewed your Baptismal promises.  That means it was as if you were plunged into the waters of Baptism on this past Easter and you are starting over just as if you were Baptized as an infant.  Jesus confirms for us this spiritual rebirth by the emphasis he has placed on Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter.  He has guaranteed all of us mercy for whatever we have done by participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion at Easter and by reciting a simple 9 day novena prayer.   

This morning, we are blessed with those who are participating in our RCIA program.  As we began Mass, you heard us begin the right of acceptance with them.  These wonderful people have chosen our Faith which they accept today.  But now, we challenge then to live out that Faith. 

Likewise, all of us Baptized Christians have a chance to start anew each Easter, to accept our call to be Christians by putting our past behind us- that is by repentance for our sins; and then practicing what we believe going forward- that is promising to live our lives differently going forward.  That is what it means to have Faith.  That is the kind of Faith that helps build the body of Christ, to build on to the cornerstone that Christ symbolizes.  All of us have an opportunity to show that Faith by living our lives as a Christian and making the Church stronger going forward by not just affirming our Faith with our lips but by living it out in our actions.   

How do we do that? We do that by living our Faith where we are planted: by defending Life; by showing good example to our Children; by being honest in our business dealings; by accepting our infirmities and illnesses with dignity and humility; by finding time to give honor and respect to God; by supporting our Church financially; by taking care of our aging relatives; by being there for friends and family when they are in need; and by voting according to our Christian values.   All of us know people in our lives who have done these things with dignity and grace.  They are Dynamic Catholics, the truly extraordinary Christians of our times.   

In today’s Gospel, Jesus says this:  “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these”.  There are two kinds of people in the world- those with Faith; and those without Faith.  Which group do you belong to?


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