Thursday of Fifth Week of Easter
The faith journey of each of us is, of course, unique. But, it is undeniable that it has got a few common characteristics. A couple of them are expressed in the Liturgy of the Word today.
First, holding fast to what has been preached. St. Paul (in the first reading of the day) appreciates the people of Corinth for receiving the preached Word and for standing by it. Also, he exhorts them to hold fast to it; else, the journey they began might end up in vanity. It is applicable to all of us. Having been introduced to Christ, learning the mysteries, experiencing the love of God, we should never turn aside from Christ. If so, we would be worse off at the end than what we were at the beginning. (2 Pet 2: 20). Also, the letter to the Hebrews places a strong warning in this regard: “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace” (Heb 6:4-6). Let us resolve not to turn back to the former state of life.
Second, we need to courageously believe the secrets and mysteries expressed in the Scripture without questioning it. It is never “understanding seeking faith; rather, faith seeking understanding.” In the faith journey we do not understand everything before we begin the spiritual trip; but, when we begin the trip with faith, we gradually understand the greatest mysteries, for it is the Holy Spirit who reveals everything as and when needed. Those who make their faith journey in this way will do greater works than what Jesus Himself has done (John 6:12).
Let the apostles we celebrate this day, St. Philip and St. James, inspire us to make an authentic faith journey.