Archives for February 2012

Faith Without Works

As we approach and now begin the season of Lent, we pray to the holy spirit: guide us. We are reminded in the readings from Scriptures (from James) that “faith without works” is dead. Similar to what we find on the streets today, two thousand years ago there were plenty of people who “talked a good game.” They would profess their faith, but would pass by others who were poor, hungry or tired, on their way to get to the front pew on Sunday.

Know anyone like that?

It’s one thing to believe in something. We all need something to believe in. But having faith… without LIVING the faith, is really a useless exercise.

For just as a body without a spirit is dead,
so also faith without works is dead.

Said a simpler way: actions speak louder than words. Abraham took his only son, Isaac to the mountain, following the angel’s command. Abraham had waited and prayed his entire life for a family, this was all this man ever wanted. And when he was finally granted one child — ONE — he was instructed he must offer his only son as a sacrifice to God.

You want faith? Abraham took his only gift (or so he thought) and prepared to offer him up to God as a sacrifice, following his faithful command. How many people do we know who would exercise that kind of faith?

Sacrament of Reconciliation

He said “I don’t remember.”

I heard some great content — right from the pew “at the 7” this morning.

In Sunday’s first reading, Isaiah wrote about remembering your sins no more. Let it go, I am doing something new (things of long ago, consider not!). “It is I, I, who wipe out, for my own sake, your offenses; your sins I remember no more.”

This lead to the topic of today’s homily.

This is a story I heard years ago, but did not recall it until I heard it again today. In the Philippines, there was a Catholic priest who carried a sin from his past. Apparently, the priest committed a sin way back, while in the seminary.

Yes, this priest had since repented a long time ago.

But the priest continued to carry the sin with him to the present day.

Carrying a sin beyond the confessional walls is such a needless burden.
Along the way, this priest met a woman who claimed to have visions of Christ, and said she would speak with God.

The priest asked the woman, “The next time you speak with God, ask Him what sin I had committed while in the seminary.” A few days later, the priest ran into the woman. And the priest asked, “Well, did you asked God what sin I committed in seminary?”

“Yes, I asked Him.”
“Well, what did He say?”

“He said, ‘I don’t remember.'”

Look, if God can forgive us and leave it all in the past — and cannot remember sins we seem to dwell on —

why do humans have such problems with forgiveness?

As we begin the season of Lent this week, the topic of forgiving others — as well forgiving ourselves — needs to be a topic to focus on. Why do you feel we have so many issues centering around “forgiveness?”