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SUNDAY SCRIPTURES FOR APRIL 28 | The seeds of faith require a life-giving relationship with Jesus

The seeds of faith require a life-giving relationship with Jesus

Being in the right relationship with Jesus will yield the fruitfulness that the Scriptures address this weekend. Most of us recently experienced the fruitfulness of our connection with Jesus through the incoming group of catechumens and candidates who entered the Church this Easter season. Significant numbers of young and old, men and women, people of every race and nation entered the Church as they experienced Jesus calling them to a deeper relationship. Most will claim that the witness of another Christian is what brought them to the faith. We understand that their cooperation with the call of the Holy Spirit has played a major part in their conversion. How can this fruitfulness continue throughout the rest of the year?

The seeds of faith are planted every day in everyone we meet. To plant the seeds of faith in others, we need to have a life-giving relationship with Jesus. During the Lenten season, we learned that repentance, almsgiving, service to others and prayer are the major building blocks of a close, personal relationship with Jesus. We should not exclude those practices just because Lent is over. To remain connected to Jesus, we must continue those habits and patterns that help us grow closer to Him.

This weekend, the Scriptures clarify two aspects of our Christian life: the gathering of the assembly of believers and actions of love.

We can praise God in our prayers and meditations and remember the importance of assembling with those who share our faith. Each weekend, we are given the opportunity to be with others who share our Catholic faith. Some of us still gather because we’re afraid of going to hell. I hope we’ve moved beyond a faith motivated by fear and have begun to act in the assembly as people motivated by love. We bring our awe and wonder of the goodness of God to the community of faith, and together, we praise God for His marvelous accomplishments and deeds in our lives. This assembly is also where we can come when God’s presence is not so apparent to us, and others can help carry us through those dry periods of life.

Words are cheap. As the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, we live on cheap grace if our faith is only expressed in words. We are called to love in deed and truth, not just in word or speech. During this Easter season, as we move toward the feast of Pentecost, we are encouraged to notice where we still allow fear to paralyze our lives and ask for the courage to move in the direction of our fear. Just as the apostles and disciples moved out of the locked room and were able to communicate God’s grace and truth to others of different origins, we, too, can embrace a seemingly scary and hopeless world and let our witness bring light, truth and peace.

If, for some reason, you are not gathering with the assembly of your parish, begin to do so. Set aside the excuses that have allowed you to remain paralyzed and hidden. Come out of those locked rooms and be together with your fellow believers. If you have been living on cheap grace, a faith expressed in words but not actions, plan how to act on faith and not just speak about it. Take the lead of Jesus and seek those who live on the outskirts of society. Allow your fear to lead you, not paralyze you. Move toward the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the stranger, the sick and the imprisoned. We are guaranteed to meet Jesus and see Him in all those disguises.

From the Archive Module

SUNDAY SCRIPTURES FOR APRIL 28 The seeds of faith require a lifegiving relationship with Jesus 9547

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