Do Not Fear the Water

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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I remember when all three of my children were learning to swim. In the beginning, it seemed like no matter how much assurance I gave them, they were certain of drowning. Even after watching me float in the water, they were pretty sure their bodies were created to sink. In time, they grew more comfortable in the water. Eventually, they could even swim the length of the pool. But this did not happen overnight. They had to grow in their faith that swimming was possible, not just for others, but for them as well.

Too many of us who are Christians believe that holiness is for someone else. We believe that the stories of the saints are about super-humans who had something in greater supply than us. When our faith is weak, we assume that we can never have the faith of these holy men and women.

On the contrary, faith and holiness are not things only possible for a few. But we must practice our faith to grow in our faith. We must strive for holiness if we are to become holy.

Like a child fears the water before they can swim, we often fear the path that leads to greater faith or holiness. We are not convinced that God can work in our lives to create a saint. Yet except for Mary, the Immaculate Conception, every saint was a sinner. God called every saint to exit the boat and walk toward Jesus on the water. In time, with practice and trust in God, they found they did not sink either.

Believing the Unbelievable

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for 2nd Sunday of Easter / Divine Mercy Sunday 2017

Caravaggio_-_The_Incredulity_of_Saint_Thomas

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio

Due to the constant unchecked flow of data and information through the Internet, it can be hard to know when a story is real news or rubbish. It never ceases to amaze me when someone I know has bought into some crazy fake news story. Sometimes the story is just so unbelievable: celebrities who gained 200 pounds in a month, women having babies who were never pregnant, or people actually being seen who are dead! Like Elvis!

The apostle Thomas found the news that Jesus was alive just too far-fetched to believe. But he didn’t first hear the news on the Internet or read it standing in the grocery store checkout line. His friends told him. His fellow apostles told him they had actually seen the Lord with their own eyes. Their testimony was not enough. He needed proof.

The Resurrection of Jesus gives us not only hope, but also a reason to be His disciples. We have not seen with our own eyes, but like Thomas, we have a community, the Church, that has relayed the truth to us. This same Jesus now calls us to go forth to spread the Gospel. More unbelievable than that, we have through the gifts we have been given, a chance to change and even save lives. The day may come that you, moved by this news of the Risen Lord, will be an agent of His love to the point where someone will tell the tale that you, a follower of Jesus, actually helped to change his or her life. Pretty unbelievable, right?