Grace to you!
Today I reflect on the gift of faith and how it strengthens us to reach our ultimate spiritual goal.
Sometimes, I have the opportunity and privilege to coach. One of the tools I have found useful is helping people see the end result for which they’re vested in any process. If they are able to see the end results, or realistically estimate it, they tend to be more enthused to act.
Positive result, or if you will, positive outcome, is the most powerful inspiration to act. In basic philosophy following the Aristotelian tradition, it is the final cause. St. Thomas Aquinas used the analogy of the final cause often in his theory of causality, much of which he adapted from Aristotle.
From the Aristotelian-Thomistic view, we learn that the final cause is the first to be conceived in our mind when we want to start up a thing. However, we only arrive at it in the end when we have accomplished what we’ve set out to do.
Visualize you wanting to land your dream job. You already know in your mind, in some measure, what kind of job. Then you work your way towards it, including looking for the necessary certifications to make you fit for it. The same process happens in our relationships. You want a particular kind of person for a wife, a husband or simply a friend. When you see people with those kinds of qualities, you naturally gravitate towards them.
In our religious experience, when we have a glimpse of our final, ultimate goal; that is, the vision of God (beatific vision), we tend to have a more rooted faith. Faith is God’s special gift to us to see and hold on in the form fitting for our human nature the glory, the goal for which we are made. Faith affords us the incredible vision of ourselves as we are fully known in God. Faith is God’s special gift to us as we look back to from where we come and see the end for which we are made.
The Lord, the teacher per excellence, would show Peter, James and John what they were to see (see Mk 9:2-13). He wanted to assure them that the cross which he talked about, for himself and for you, his follower, isn’t an empty cross. He wanted them to know that beyond the sufferings and pains they would see as he embraces the sacrifice on the cross, are all not in vein. He wanted them to understand that the cost of being a disciple of the Lord, is a stepping stone to beatific vision.
The three apostles must have to see the glory of the Lord, so they would know that the future glory is real. They saw the Lord glorified, adorned in such beauty no human word could describe. They were short of words. The leader, Peter, having asked for three tents for Jesus, Moses and Elijah, wanted to remain on that mountain and enjoy the sight they’ve seen. Scripture says, Peter didn’t know what he was talking about (Mk9:9:6). He was simply short of words. Peter, James and John saw the glory. They had a glimpse of the end. The sight changed everything.
What they saw is what we see today through faith, the spiritual eye of perception. The Letter to the Hebrewsemphasizes that “faith is the assurance (realization) of things hoped for, the conviction (evidence) of things not seen” (Heb 11:1).
The person who has faith has complete perception. This is because the one sees or perceives not only with our physical senses. The person perceives with the eyes of the spirit. The person perceives now even what is to come in the spirit and is better equipped to receive. The light of faith is an incredible spiritual asset to glory. Through it, we are assured of our final destination.
Praying for the grace and increase of faith. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Saturday Week 6 Ordinary Time: Heb 11:1-7; Mk 9:2-13]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
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.