Grace to you!
We continue our reflection from yesterday in which I shared that faith is a source of victory.
You recall we suggested that virtually everyone wants to win. Winning feels good. Sports, especially the final games, show how winning is a dream come true, and how losing could be terrible and depressing. When the final whistle of the game is blown, some pop champaign; others wipe tears off their faces because they’ve lost.
Though there are good lessons in every loss, winning is the goal.
Christ came so we can win. He came so we can win life’s “game,” reach the goal. He came so we can have life in abundance (John 10:10).
The winning isn’t simply about winning stuff or accolades, as prosperity gospel preachers sometimes preach. The winning is about finding true happiness. It’s about fulfillment, the kind that makes us discover who we truly are, and not to be imprisoned by a loss of authentic self-identity.
Blessed are those who have found themselves and who are authentically satisfied. Faith, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, is indeed a true grace of winning. Saint John says, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (I John 5:4-5).
Once a man, who didn’t have the gift of faith, said he felt hopeless because of so many things happening around him. He didn’t know how to handle the uncertainties. When, however, he received the gift of faith, he began to approach life with a renewed sense of hope, not mere mental sense of optimism.
Faith opens the door to hope, a grace and virtue beyond mere optimism. Christ is our hope. Faith in him builds and makes us confident, because he already lives within us. Christian faith isn’t abstract. It’s incarnate. It takes flesh and dwells in the believer in the community of faith, the Church.
Faith in a person, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, takes us to a new level of confidence, the type that triumphs the despair of the evil in the world. The worldly thrives in the dark, the gloomy, the sully, bad news and the depressing hypes. It glories in fear, and anxiety, often pebbling the hopeless news no thanks to the fallacious slippery slope. It places so much emphasis on the cosmetic, the glittery; and by so doing puts down many people—those who aren’t “cool” as it sees it. Many are made outcasts of their own people.
Faith, on the other hand, gifts all with equal opportunities, equal access and equal hope. We can confidently approach God and hope for the best for us and others, as well as discover the best we are made to be. No PR gimmicks are needed. No pushy sales. No promotional. Faith carries the force of it’s own, the force of true freedom, victory over the world.
The 2018 hint from Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg,that he has matured to realize religious faith is crucial, is simply stating the obvious. I wonder how society would have been, how life would have been, if there were no transcendence, nothing to live for beyond ourselves, and beyond our present.
I am glad God has not placed us in such a world. Instead, we are gifted to look beyond what we see now and beyond ourselves. We have faith. We have hope. Christ who is the source of our faith and is our hope lives in us. Glory be to God.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday After Epiphany: 1 5 Jn 5-13; Lk 5:12-16]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.