A Cycle – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time 17

According to Jesus things are hidden from the wise so why do we spend so much time seeking wisdom or knowledge of our faith.  In your own journey of faith how did you come to believe?   When did you decide to appropriate this faith as your own?

Most of us came to believe because we were taught by someone.  If you are a cradle Catholics, then some of you went to CCD or PSR while others went to Catholic grammar schools.  During those years you and I learned about our core theology and prepared for the sacrament of reconciliation and Eucharist. Then we continued our learning by either going to a Catholic middle school or some form of PSR to prepare for the sacrament of confirmation.  There are many of you who chose to become Catholic from other faith traditions and you learned what you know about faith from your other traditions and also from the RCIA program you attended.

Data confirms many Catholic’s stop seeking to learn things of faith after they are confirmed.  So for many of us we are not seeking faith enrichment programs because we think we have  learned all we needed to know to survive in our faith.  This is just as dangerous for us as is seeking wisdom without seeking the giver of all wisdom.

Yet with all we know or think we know about our faith Jesus’ warning about becoming wise about things of faith should cause us to stop and consider what the foundation of faith is.  Is the foundation of our faith due to what we have learned or is it because our heart tells us it absolute truth?  If you pay attention to the words of Jesus in scriptures it is not important how much we learn but how much our faith is motivated by an intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Jesus made this clear for us when he tells us it is our hearts he desires.   This passage about those “wise” through knowledge tells us we will always have things that will remain hidden if we only seek to learn.  This is the lesson of those Jesus calls “little ones.”  These little ones have the openness to respond to things Jesus desires to do within them and respond with exuberance and joy because they feel the power and love of God.  This is the difference between loving and being loved versus reading about being loved and loving in return.

How many miracles did Jesus work among the people and who was it that did not respond to his message?  Those who failed to respond were the wise, the religious elite and those who could not let go of the things of the world to follow him.

This is where we find ourselves today.  We still have the religious elite among us. We still have those who cannot accept his message of mercy and forgiveness as they continue to strive for perfection and holiness by their own strength and power.  We still have those who judge others because they do not follow the same devotions they do or because their posture during mass is not “respectful enough.”

Jesus tells us plainly that no one knows the Father except to those the Son wills to reveal him.  We must understand that this word “to know” is more than an intellectual knowledge of knowing. It goes beyond what we have learned and accept as truth.  It is an intimate knowing in the context of Adam knowing Eve and her bearing a child.  It is when we have this intimate union with the Son that we begin to also have an intimate relationship with the Father.  It is when we have “the love of God poured into our hearts by the Spirit” (Rom. 5:5) our faith moves from our heads to our hearts.

Inviting this move of the Spirit within us is the catalyst to our faith becoming more than something we have learned and follow.  Our faith becomes our compass guiding our decisions, our manner of speaking and our foundation for all choices in our life.  Our faith is transformed by the Spirit and it moves us deeper into the heart of God and we know nothing can rob us of our salvation and joy.

Christ invites us to come to him so we can fully understand how nothing can burden us because we have a savior who will never abandon us.  When Christ invites us to take his yoke it is an invitation to allow him to guide our formation into disciples instead of us deciding what it is we need to learn about faith.  How can we know that his way is the only way to the Father?  Being able to answer this question is the difference to “knowledge of faith” and having a faith in Jesus Christ.

Attaining this kind of faith is easier than you might believe and harder than anything you have ever done.  Jesus gives you the only way when he said “come to me all you and I will give you what you seek.” It is the ability to first invite Jesus into your heart by saying the words Peter said – “you have the words of everlasting life.”  Then ask Jesus to pour the Spirit into your heart and expecting him to do just that.  Then ask the Spirit to change your heart as God promised the Spirit would do.

Then you will be ready to learn by seeking Jesus and the Father in the scriptures asking the Holy Spirit to open your mind and heart to understand.  Then you will be freed to pray as Jesus prayed by asking the Spirit to guide your prayer so it draws you closer to Jesus.  It is then you become like a child and with exuberance feel the love of the trinity surrounding you and your love fof the Father, Son and Spirit will grow.

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