Do people see in Christians people who proclaim comfort in Jesus? Or, is it the case that we are all too often perceived as harsh, mean, uncaring? And yet, is not the point of a relationship with Jesus that we will know we are always loved when Jesus is close? Our lives are not spared from sorrow, but in Christ we never have to deal with them alone.
It is no secret, especially to those who keep an eye open for studies on faith participation, that these days for the Christian faith present a challenge. It is simple. For more and more people, especially the young, Christian faith is simply not a factor in their lives.
Fr. Kevin Stephens, OP calls our attention to the fear and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 as a reality which brings us to greater solidarity with the fear and anxiety of the past. He helps us to identify with the man who begs Jesus to heal his son, and to save his son from death. That man believed that Jesus could save his son, and Jesus rewarded his faith with the healing he asked for.
What matters to God? Do our sins, even if we repent? Do our virtuous actions count even if we turn away? What really matters to God?
One of the first workshops on education I attended emphasized the importance of beginnings and endings when it came to individual classes, and the semester. In today’s readings we hear about two people who begin a new life in God. Yet their lives end quite differently. Hear about the power of God’s grace.