The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

3rd Week of Easter

Date: 
Thu, 05/04/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Last night, I watched a program on KET.
It was the story of the life of Robert Ripley and how he founded “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not”.
He collected and presented odd and bizarre facts about people, items and events.
 
In a way our Christian faith comes down to “believe it or not.”
Jesus Christ, Son of God, became a human being:  believe it or not.
Jesus Christ turned water into wine,  multiplied the fishes and the loaves,
walked on water, raised the dead to life:  believe it or not.
Jesus Christ was executed but in three days he rose from the dead:  believe it or not.
Jesus Christ revealed the truth that nothing in this physical world can save humanity from the death of sin:  believe it or not.
 
In today’s gospel, Jesus proclaims “I am the bread of life”.
“Whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
“This bread is my flesh I give for the life of the world.”
The truth of such words can only be known through faith.
Even so, as people who believe, we need to guard against religious exaggeration and presumption.
 
1. Jesus has chosen his own (this includes us) out of the world….we no longer belong the world.
However, it is presumptuous to believe that we can grasp and understand what is divine.
We can grasp and seek to understand what has been revealed by Jesus,
i.e., what he tells us and shows us about the divine:  believe it or not.
 
2. Human beings do not and can never possess salvation.
We can believe in the possibility, the promise.  We are being saved in the moment by grace.
Salvation is the act of being received into eternal life.  We must shed our humanity for this to happen.  We cannot be human and be saved at the same time:  believe it or not.
 
3. There is no faith without commitment:  believe it or not.
 
4. Sacramentalism is the belief that the sacraments are given to us for the sake of our salvation.  We must be careful about not adopting an exaggerated sacramentalism where the sacraments are accepted as the only things needed for salvation.  There are other non-sacramental realities that are vital and just as imperative for salvation….where God promises and imparts grace through Jesus His son: love of neighbor, remembering the poor, dying to self, caring for the needy (see Matt 25:31-46).  Believe it or not.
 
5. Even though Jesus has chosen us out of the world and we no longer belong to the world,
the Christian life is not a matter of fleeing from the world.
The Christian mission is to bring the light of Christ to the darkness of the world.
We turn away from evil; we don’t turn away from the world.
Through our witness of Christian charity, through our words of life,
we intentionally call into question the ways of the world: immorality, violence, destruction.
We call into question belief in the autonomous power of human beings.
We direct the attention of the world to Christian truths
so as to reverse and even destroy worldly norms and values.
By our lives we proclaim to the world that something better than sin exists….
that love, happiness, peace, fulfillment, satisfaction are only possible
within the mystery of the Divine.  Believe it or not!
 
Today’s prayer: “O Lord, continue to instruct us in the ways of divine truth…continue to open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to what brings us salvation:  Jesus Christ, Your Son, the Risen Lord.  He has come into this world in the flesh to ransom us from sin.  We accept this gift and will live so as to bring honor and glory to You.  Amen!