Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
The loveliest story the world has ever heard is the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Wonderful as this story sounds it is also true for God Himself has revealed it. In the Gospel of St. John the Holy Spirit tells us that Jesus came in to the world to give to those who believe in Him the “power of becoming sons of God”.
The summary and crux of today’s reading can be summarized in the verse 23, “since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God they are now justified by the grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”. There have been plenty of debates and discussions on the faith in Jesus. Over the years there was always a conflict between faith and reason. While one group upholds the primacy of reason the other group upholds the primacy of faith. But in today’s world the aspect of faith is questioned by reason both within the Church and outside the Church. Without venturing into any theological or philosophical debates, let us rather delve into the loving and divine world of God for us. Jesus during His life time always spoke against the existing laws which were full of prejudice and restrictions, and which would even restrain people’s experience of God. Their relationship with God was more law-based rather than love-based. That is the reason why Jesus rebuked the lawyer saying, “You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
Laws are good but when these laws become the stumbling blocks for us to experience the mercy, compassion and the love of God, they need to be given a thought. That is the exact reason why Jesus says, “the sabbath is made for man not man for Sabbath.” In Rom 3:28 we read that a person is justified by faith apart from the works prescribed by the law. The only condition for one to be saved is faith. Our faith should reflect in our action. When we have a firm faith in Jesus, it will automatically reflect in our Christian life. The life of faith we live should become a witness to others who have not yet experienced Jesus. Our faith becomes fruitful when people experience His compassion, love and peace through our lives.
Let us pray like St. Thomas, “Lord increase my faith” so that I may hold the hands of those who waver in their life of faith, quench the thirst of those who long to experience Jesus and above all become beacons of faith like the apostles.