Fr. Kevin’s Column 8/1/2021

Dear friends of God,

Faith can be a challenging word for many of us. A traditional definition from theology by the great scholar St. Anselm is that theology is “faith seeking understanding.” That might seem far removed from our everyday experience. I don’t think many of us think about theology: the study of God. But we are always marinated in God’s presence. For me to think about God’s presence and action is both an occupational hazard and a gift as a priest and preacher. As a parish priest, I have the gift of meeting so many different people in our parish and our local community. I have found this benefit of ministry in each of my assignments. I am better for the people that I have met in my years as a priest for our diocese. I met some of them in their death. That might sound strange, but being present to families and having them share their grief with me has taught me so much about God and how God calls each of us to faith in our unique ways.

 

Recently, some thoughts about faith came to my mind as I was preparing a funeral homily. I want to share some of these thoughts as I continue to understand the impact of faith has on my own relationship with God and neighbor, and as I minister as a parish priest.

 

  • Faith is active and It might be personal, but faith is never a private endeavor – just about God and me. It is so much more than that. As Catholics we see faith as a relationship: our relationship with our God and with our neighbor.

 

  • A friend of mine suggested something that continues to challenge and inspire me every day: “Faith is a way of seeing, and consequently, it is about a way of ”

 

My wise friend didn’t mean in a “holier than thou” way. Have you met those folks who think that they are better than anyone else because of their church membership? They attend church but then become mean spirited people

  • Faith as lived by Jesus means that we love with a love that breaks down walls and barriers.

 

  • Faith as loving how Jesus loved means that we ought not be afraid to

 

  • Faith is knowing that God is always for

 

He continually has our backs; we as disciples of Jesus are to care for those who have “their back against the wall.” People who have “their backs against the wall” are those who society seems to have forgotten, those who are left behind in the successes of the world. That might seem like a new idea, but I would suggest that is where Jesus’ placed his priorities. He lived what the church calls the “preferential option for the poor.” If we are to follow Jesus, we need to live the same way. Look around our world, our nation and our neighborhoods and find those who have the roughest time in our society. These are the people who have had their backs against the wall and we need to cover them with our active love.

 

These are simply thoughts crossing my mind in my own spiritual life and the growing relationship that I have with God and neighbor and my life as your priest.

 

May God bless us with a deeper understanding of faith as we stumble along the way of the Kingdom of God as followers of Jesus Christ!

 

Much love,
 
Fr. Kevin