4 September, Saturday — Unwrapping the gift of Faith

Saturday of Week 22 in Ordinary Time

Col 1:21-23
Lk 6:1-5

…as long as you persevere and stand firm on the solid base of faith…

The times we live in are indeed very uncertain. The media of today constantly reminds us of the challenges which various countries face. Indeed, it is a struggle for each one of us to make sense of the global events happening in our daily lives. The readings of today remind us that we need to ground ourselves in the spirit of faith and love to equip us with the need to respond appropriately.

St Paul, in the first reading, reminds us to remain grounded in the faith which we have inherited. Sometimes it makes me wonder how deep is the level of faith which I possess. Every day, my smartphone reminds me that there are updates to the apps in my phone and I will always click the ‘update’ button. Most people may follow my example, maybe not on a daily basis, but definitely at some point in time, they will click the ‘update’ button. Have we managed to update our faith?

Some folks may say that the content is the same. I agree, the deposit of Faith remains unchanged, but what changes is the method of the presentation. Each one of us is called to re-present the faith to each generation. It is a gift which we have inherited from believers ahead of us. A gift which is unwrapped is of no use to the recipient. Similarly, we as Catholics, will need to unwrap the gift of Faith and make full use of it. The content which has been shared to us by those who have formed us in our faith may have been relevant to us now but is it of relevance today?

Brothers and sisters, I encourage each one of us today is to set aside two important resources — money and time — to strengthen our faith. Look for an online course or a podcast that requires a subscription and bless the organisation with our funds. The pandemic has provided each one of us with wonderful opportunities to harness the power of technology to learn more about faith. As for time, give Jesus the best time of our day. Identify the time in a day which allows us to learn more about the faith. Perhaps we could set aside the time in our commute or the drive to work as the time meant for God. Praying the Rosary is also a valuable activity to deepen our faith so perhaps we could pray for our fellow commuters and more importantly, the public transport workers who tirelessly provide us with a safe and comfortable trip from point to point.

If we take the time to deepen our faith and set aside time for prayer, we will be equipped and ready to handle moments where we can be called to evangelise to the people around us. It could be a casual conversation or remark which allows us the opportunity to engage with the other party. Do not fear because the Psalmist reminds us today that “I have God for my help.”

(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray for the courage to proclaim your love to each person we meet.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all workers in essential services — security services, cleaning services, public transport and the many people without which this reflection could not have been prepared.

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