MOSAIC Spring 2017 | Page 15

Jeffrey Bruno , Catholic News Agency
“ Hope empowers men and women
to act , even amidst the most difficult of circumstances .”
One way to “ transform the culture ” is to witness to the natural right to express religious conviction in the public arena . hope that my own life and history in general , despite all failures , are held firm by the indestructible power of Love , and that this gives them their meaning and importance , only this kind of hope can give the courage to act and to persevere ” ( no . 35 ).
We live and love in hope because we believe . The substance of hope is faith — faith in the Father ’ s love , faith in the one whom he sent , faith in the enduring power and truth of the Paschal Mystery .
Faith : Light for the Way
Pope Francis in his first encyclical , co-authored with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI , writes , “ Faith is born of an encounter with a living God , who calls us and reveals his love , a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives ( Lumen Fidei , no . 4 ). Further , he writes , “ Faith , received from God as a supernatural gift , becomes a light for our way , guiding our journey through time ” ( no . 4 ). Faith is the lens through which we view reality , through which we live our lives , through which we choose , in confidence , the path forward .
As Christians , “ we walk by faith , not by sight ” ( 2 Cor 5:7 ). We walk not by the measure of this world , but by faith in Jesus Christ , faith in the one who sent him .
It is in the living out of the truth of God ’ s love in faith and hope that we bear witness as disciples . Because we are adopted sons and daughters ( Eph 1:5 ) and co-heirs with Christ ( Rom 8:17 ), we jointly and severally have a supernatural duty to bear witness to the Father ’ s love , to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father ( Phil 2:11 ). This is the witness we must offer the world whose heralds we have become in baptism , empowered to do so by the grace of confirmation .
As we are convicted of the singular truth of Jesus ’ lordship over our lives , this truth in which we abide transforms us , transforms the culture we live in , and , in turn , transforms world . Our conviction is not simply an intellectual assent but rather a pressing into the truth of Jesus ’ lordship with our entire self , with our whole being in faith , hope and love .
It is , in a very real sense , the coming of his kingdom ( Lk 17:21 ).
Heaven ’ s Vision
Faith , hope , and love are gifts of a loving God who shares his life and heavenly vision with each of us . As we acquire heaven ’ s vision as a habitual disposition for our lives , as we respond to these divine gifts , we begin to live differently , to love differently , and to serve differently .
Let us implore the divine favor upon each of us this Paschal Season . Let us ask for the prayers of St . Anne and the intercession of Our Blessed Lady to implore the divine favor for an increase in the supernatural gifts of faith , hope , and love , that we might believe more fully , hope more ardently , and love more completely , unto the Glory of the One slain who now lives forever ( Rv 13:8 ).
Most Rev . Gerard Battersby ( 1994 , 1998 , 2009 ) is auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit and former vice rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary .
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