Called Forth

August 4, 2022

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,

“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1-2). St. Paul defines what the theological virtue of faith is in this important scripture passage. Faith is having confidence in God’s Providence and trusting in Him, even when we do not see what we believe. For example, we believe in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist, even though we do not see the physical body of Christ. Faith is important for us as disciples of Christ, as it gives us trust in the Father’s plan.

As we begin our theme of “Called Forth,” we look at where we are. We are in the heart of the Father. Our Father loves us and holds us dearly. He cannot stop looking at us in love. His love is revealed through Jesus Christ. We are reminded of that love at every Mass. At the beginning, the Father forgives us of our sins in the penitential rite. Then, He guides us as His word is proclaimed in the Sacred Scriptures. He provides for us the life of His Son in the gift of the Eucharist. He seals that grace with His blessing through the hands of the priest at the end of Mass. He loves, loves, LOVES us, and holds us tightly in His heart.

Yet, we know we are “Called Forth” from the Mass at the end when the clergy says, “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” God blesses us with His peace, but also invites us to honor Him by the way we live our lives. We may be tempted to say our faith is only activated on Sundays when we go to church. However, we are called forth from the heart of the Father to live the faith boldly throughout our daily life. We can do that when we have true faith as St. Paul defines it. We are invited to have confidence in God. This is hard when we are taught to define ourselves and hold on to all control, thinking that we are in charge. However, as we surrender to God and place our faith in Him, we realize that He is faithful and is journeying with us. Our desires are not always fulfilled and sometimes our prayers are not answered the way we want, but God is still in control. It is important to look back and see how life is not just a bunch of coincidences, but God-incidences.  He leads us and guides us through our ups and downs. He is all merciful and loving. That is what His heart looks like and feels like.

This week, let your prayer be to grow in the theological virtue of faith. May you have a deeper sense of the Heart of the Father, as He calls you forth. Knowing His heart will give you boldness to trust in Him and step out in faith.

As the Father loves me, so I also love you,

Father Paul Shovelain