The Year of Faith

13 Oct

October 11, 2012 marks the beginning of the year of Faith, announced by our beloved Pope Benedict XVI.   The year of faith will be from October 11, 2012 through November 24, 2013.

As we begin this year of faith, we are commissioned to deepen our faith, to learn more about our faith, and to integrate our knowledge of the faith into our daily lives.

Thursday night I had the privilege of attending the opening Mass for the Year of Faith here in my diocese with the local bishop as the celebrant.  What a beautiful witness to our faith, and what a wonderful way to start off the Year of Faith by attending Mass with hundreds of fellow Catholics!  The bishop as our shepherd, the other local parish priests as fellow shepherds to the bishop, and the lay people as the flock, all in attendance to begin the Year of Faith with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the most Sacred Mystery of our Holy Faith, was a very special blessing.

As we begin the Year of Faith, we ask ourselves, “What is Faith?”  “Why is Faith important?”  “Why is it important for myself to live out my faith, to grow in practice of and love of the Faith?”

Faith is a gift.  Faith is a gift from God, which we in turn give as a gift to those whom we encounter in our daily lives, i.e. co-workers, peers, fellow students, family members, the person who we talk to at the grocery store check-out lane.  We must, as Christians, live our faith as a radical (yes radical) witness to Christ’s grace in our lives.  We must live our faith in a radical way, insofar as we respond to the call of Christ, the call to action.  As one priest put it, faith is not something that I have for myself and myself only, but faith is a gift that is to be shared.  The very nature of faith requires that it spread from person to person.  Fire spreads by “encountering” “things” around the flame, i.e. wood, paper, gasoline, bombs (WHAT??!!!  JUST KIDDING about the gasoline & bombs!)  A candle cannot be lit by an unlit candle.  So too, the faith cannot be spread by someone who does not believe it or who does not live it.  As Catholics, we’ve been given the Ultimate Gift; we’ve been given Jesus Himself in the Blessed Sacrament.  We’ve been given the gift of faith from the very person of Jesus Christ some 2000+ years ago.  Yes, we are very blessed.  Yet we sometimes become complacent and take our faith for granted, and don’t bother about picking up the gift of faith and sharing it.

While reflecting on this Year of Faith, I’ve been thinking about what I can do, something concrete that will help myself grow in my faith this year.  Here is a challenge for me and for you: thank God daily for the gift of faith, praise God for His gift of Himself, and to pray for an increase in doing God’s will.  Ya know, Jesus came to earth to accomplish the will of The Father.  Jesus set the example for us.  Let’s follow Him!

One of the most important things I’ve been working on in regard to the Faith is informing others of the importance to vote Pro-Life for the presidential elections this fall.

I’d love to hear from you and about your faith walk with Christ.  What are the rewards that you see in your life from doing the will of God by living the Faith?  What do you plan to do to grow in Faith during this Year of Faith?  What are the challenges that you are going to overcome by increasing your Faith live through daily prayer?

Here are some of the answers to questions about the Year of Faith, found on the United States Council of Catholic Bishops’ website:  http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/year-of-faith/

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One Response to “The Year of Faith”

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