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. Dec 2019 .
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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

Righteousness comes through faith
By REV. FR. SAMUEL FREDERICK

Rom. 4:13.16-18, Lk. 12:8-12. Some Christians often analyse today’s first reading through the lens of “justification by faith.” Paul’s letter demonstrates how “righteousness comes through faith” rather than works. However, this is not against the teaching of James in his letter (2:26) that, “faith without works is dead.” This age-old “faith and works” puts “justification by faith" into its right perspective. Since Paul reconceives Abraham as a “father of many nations", righteousness comes through faith. The “faith of Abraham” is used not to exclude unbelievers; rather it is used to include uncircumcised Gentiles into the Body of Christ. Faith opens the door to the outsider, expanding the frontier of the Church to be a community of all nations. In crucial ways, our world grapples with similar challenges to those faced by Paul and his opponents. Ethnic reconciliation was the greatest challenge encountered by Paul’s communities; it is also one of the greatest challenges our Churches face today.

A person of lesser faith in God would call this hope ridiculous. When a situation seems humanly hopeless, we can take hope from the story of Abraham and Sarah. Paul invites us to look to Abraham and Sarah, so that the Lord may turn our 'barren existence' into a fruitful future. Abraham never witnessed how marvellous the promised land would be. His only son Isaac was the channel of hope towards the future. His faith reached beyond his own death to a people yet to come. For this reason Jesus in today's Gospel, appeals to the example of Abraham for belief in the resurrection. Believers in Jesus must not say a word against the Holy Spirit, who is God’s inspiring presence with us. We have a promise from Jesus that at any moment of crisis, the Spirit will teach us what needs to be said.

May the Lord send us His Spirit to lead us and may He open the eyes of the blind, to proclaim the Word of light and to reap the harvest of life! Amen!! Good morning and happy weekend!!!

 
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