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Keep Your Eyes Open!

Go; your faith has saved you
Jeremiah 31:7-9; Psalm 126:1-6; Hebrews 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52

Sermon Week Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 10:52

From time to time, as Christians, we are compelled to face a fundamental question: What is the Christian Faith all about?

How are we to receive this gift of Grace we call "Faith?" The ancient Hebrews believed that the way to receive the Grace of God was to work, do good deeds, and obey the Law. We say they were legalistic in their approach to God, meaning if you work at being a good person, then God will love you and reward you with His gift of Grace -- either here or hereafter.

No person in history tried harder to work at this "faith" question than St. Paul -- who you could call a "Pharisee's Pharisee." But it didn't work for him. He almost broke down, physically and emotionally. On the Road to Damascus, he had a vision of the Risen Christ, and he began to understand that he had been going about his faith in the wrong way. His conversion from the wrong way of approaching God to Christ's way became, of course, the main event of his life. Paul had learned that the Grace of God we call "faith" does not result from our good works or intellectual reasoning. Rather, it comes from a vision of the Risen Christ that is God's gift to us.

"Be on your way! Your faith has healed you." Faith is the main event in your life. Like Paul, it is what many people consider their "conversion experience" when, in a once-and-for-all way, they said, "Yes! That's it! I understand! I accept this as the key to my life!" That is what Jesus Christ came to bring to us: this gift of salvation, God's gift of Faith.

Faith conversion is an event, in this sense, but it is also a process. Day-by-day, you live trustfully, moment-by-moment accepting God's Grace. Not legalistically, in the sense of working yourself into a position where you might deserve God's gift. The gift of Faith cannot be earned in this way, through our own effort.

Too often in the life of the Christian Community, this event and process [...]

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