What is the State of My Faith?

In today’s first reading, St. Paul reassures the Galatians who were counted among the Gentiles. But while the laws as laid down by Moses (the Mosaic law) fulfilled a role, its adherents put more emphasis on “form” rather than on “substance,” and they believed that salvation could be attained exclusively by believers who fulfilled the law to the letter. The scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ time did not understand that what mattered more was their faith and the state of their hearts. They were blind to the freedom that Christ offered to those who believed in him. Gentiles and Jews are co-equal heirs, as long as they “hear the Word of God and observe it” (Luke 11:28) with their hearts.

Christian traditions, rituals, and symbolism hold an important place in our faith life, but Christ tells us that more than mere observance of rules and rituals, God delights in a people who listen to His voice and who model their lives after His teachings, acting with kindness, humility, mercy, and concern for others.

What is the state of my faith? Do I take pains to know my Savior through reading and meditation on Scripture? Do I recite a novena to a saint during the Mass, failing instead to listen and meditate on the gospel that chronicles Christ’s own words and his life? Today, let us resolve to put more “substance” rather than “form” to the day-to-day practice of our faith.

  • Laura

    In today’s gospel Christ said that people are blessed not just by hearing the word of God, but also by observing it. Without the rules relativism takes over. That’s what happened to our country.

  • Brian Juby

    Dear Father Harrison …We are not facebookies, but this Homily is bang on! Putting our Faith into action by FULL participation at Mass is such a gift we can offer back to The Father! Thank you Father …
    we are St. Michael parishioners ….love ya …Brian & Suzanne Juby 🙂