Faith: A Human Response of Love


October 10, 2020 – Saturday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time

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Faith, as Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI said, is a human response of love to God who first loved us. This human response is neither bound to obligation nor a mandate because of law as what St. Paul told us in his letter to the Galatians. He said, “through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus.” We become God’s children because we have opened ourselves to God’s offer of life and freedom. We become children because we too are made heirs of the kingdom of God.

Moreover, faith is not something that is abstract or a mere allegiance to God. Since faith is a human response of love, it is alive, active and life-giving.

Thus, the Gospel tells us how faith transforms a person. And so, the woman in the gospel praised Mary, the mother of Jesus for having a great son like him. Likewise, Jesus even praised Mary not just on this basis of her motherhood, but rather for being able to listen to the Word of God, pondering upon it and observing it.

St. Anselm even affirmed that because of the great devotion of Mary to the Word of God in listening and pondering everything in her heart, the Word was made flesh within her.

This tells us that Mary’s devotion to the Word of God did not only stop in mere hearing but the word spoken by God transformed Mary herself. Accordingly, Mary has become our best example of a person who did listen, accept and embrace God’s word. It was in that way that Mary found her joy, her peace and her freedom as a person, as a woman, as a wife and as a mother.

Today, we, who received the gift of faith and the Word of God, through the Holy Scriptures, through the Sacraments, through our community, are also being invited that our devotion to the Word of God will not just remain a mere obligation or not just a part of our speech but will also transform us. Like Mary, let the Word of God and (faith) our human response of love to God become concrete and life-giving.

let the Word of God and (faith) our human response of love to God become concrete and life-giving.

Jesus invites us that as we listen to him, who is speaking to us now, we too will be able to accept and embrace His words. His words may become difficult and challenging, risky and time-consuming but also comforting and inspiring, life-changing and liberating. We will surely then find that as we listen and ponder the Word of God in our heart, our actions, thoughts and speech and our person will also be transformed into what God desires us to be.

Let our experiences of difficulties, anxieties, confusion and fear in this age of pandemic lead us to listen more and deeper to God’s word and to God’s everyday invitations for us.

Let us be conscious about to the Word of God revealed in this Eucharist and in the Holy Scriptures so that its inspiration, its warmth and power will give light and life in our relationships with our families and friends, and in the many efforts that we make in our studies and in our work. Hinaut pa.

Jom Baring, CSsR


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