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Novena of Grace 2016

Home : Faith/Spirituality : Columns
3/6/2013 7:59:00 AM
We Grow in Faith

Mary Jo Tully
Chancellor, Archdiocese of Portland


March 10, 2013 
Fourth Sunday of Lent

Joshua 5:9a, 10-12
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Luke 15:1-3, 11-322
Or Cycle A
1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
Ephesians 5:8-14
John 9:1-41 or 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

(Reflections for this Sunday come from Cycle A )

There are all sorts of benefits that come with being a “cradle Catholic.” The Catholic culture becomes a part of our very being. We grow up with a habit of Catholic prayer, a love for the Blessed Mother and with the Eucharist at the center of our lives. Still, even as a young adult, I sometimes regretted not having had that flash of faith-insight to lead me to the Church. I envied those who like the Samaritan Woman in last Sunday’s Gospel seemed to find Jesus suddenly and could respond in a radical and profound way. My own way was much more like that of the man born blind. I would be tempted to say “without the miracle” but perhaps the miracle is there.

In the RCIA, we quickly learn that individuals have different stories about how they came to the faith. The story of the man born blind is symbolic of a specific kind of faith-encounter. The blind man’s initial flash of faith is significant but not enough. He comes to see who Jesus is only after increased questioning and hostility. What seems to occur in only a few hours encapsulates what many experience throughout their lives on their journey toward faith. For those of us Baptized as infants, the seed of faith is planted very early in life but only through a series of confrontations with life and doubt and trial do we come to announce with real faith, “I do believe, Lord.”

The image of light—so much a part of Easter and Baptism—is a good one for me in thinking about my faith. I recall my first pair of eyeglasses when I discovered that the light over the altar was not an aura. It was a series of very distinct flames. Today, I know that my faith did not come “all at once.” I remember the time when I realized that the light faith brings is not something merely intellectual. Today, I know that my faith calls me to action and repentance. Faith is not simply the answer to our problems. It is the ground of our being. Jesus, in fact, lights up our entire lives.

Yes, those who gather at this Eucharist have walked different paths on their journey of faith but we are one at this celebration and we continue to walk toward the Light together. As St. Paul tells us in the epistle, “We are children of the Light.”

 

 





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