Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

My brothers and sisters, if you have been paying attention to the previous Sunday, and if you've read the parish bulletin, you know that this week we will begin the Year of Faith, a very important event in the Universal Church, in our Archdiocese of San Antonio and our parish[1].

Why this year? Well, next Thursday October 11, the first day of the Year of Faith, is the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and also the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Directly by Pope Benedict XVI Catholics around the world are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism so that we may deepen our knowledge and understanding of our faith. As simple as this.

The Pope is very clear why he is inviting us to this Year of the Faith: «since the start of my ministry as Successor of Peter, I have spoken of the need to rediscover the journey of faith. The Church must lead people towards the place of life, towards friendship with the Son of God. It often happens that Christians are more concerned for the social, cultural and political consequences of their commitment (…) We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or the light be kept hidden[2]. The people of today –says Benedict XVI- can still experience the need to go to the well, like the Samaritan woman, in order to hear Jesus, who invites us to believe in him and to draw upon the source of living water welling up within him[3].

»We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God (…) Indeed, the words of Jesus still resounds in our day with the same power: Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life[4].[5]

This is the central point of the Year of Faith: rediscover, revalue, feel again the love of the first time[6].

Few weeks ago, in Milan, a great cardinal of the Church passed away: Carlo Maria Martini. He was a beloved figure in Italy and in Europe; he was a man who really loved the Church, but at the same tome He use to made uncomfortable questions, questions that invite thinking. In the last interview he gave to the Italian press, he said something that made ​​me think a lot, is the same question that I bring here today, a question for you and your soul: «The Church is two hundred years behind. Why is it not being stirred? Are we afraid? Afraid instead of courageous? Faith is the Church’s foundation–faith, confidence, and courage. I’m old and ill and depend on the help of others. The good people around me enable me to experience love. This love is stronger than the feeling of discouragement that I sometimes feel in looking at the Church in Europe. Only love conquers weariness. God is Love. I have a question for you: “What can you do for the Church?»[7].

The Year of Faith is a wonderful opportunity to revive our faith, to know more. The topic we have in our parish is Approach, Read and Undersand; we also have prepared a full program of lectures and study sessions on Sunday evening because that is also the day of the Lord and we have a little more time…just check the bulletin.

So, my brother, my sister, stop complaining about the Church; stop complaining about the ministers, stop to criticizing bishops; it is time to do something about our faith and about the Church; it is time to know her much better. This Year of Faith is a great chance, a great challenge let us take it! And let us entrust this time of grace to our Lady, saying together blessed are you, Holy Mother of God because you believed![8]

[2] Cf. Mt 5:13-16
[3] Cf. Jn 4:14
[4] Jn 6:27
[5] Porta Fidei 2-3.
[6] Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first (Rev 2:4).
[8] Lk 1:45.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris