December 2, 2012
“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Jesus Christ, as Divine Head of the Catholic Church, has inspired the visible head of his Church, Pope Benedict XVI to proclaim the Year of Faith. It began on October 11, 2012, the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), as well as the 20th Anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Year of Faith is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” ( Porta Fidei 6). It is an opportunity for Catholics to pray for a deepening conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ and to pray for the conversion of hardened and violent sinners who have lost true faith in the God of life and eternal salvation.
The Year of Faith will inspire and challenge us to put God’s priorities, his warm love and illuminating truth, before all else in order that we might fulfill his plan of redemption found perfectly in Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe. The closing of the Year of Faith will be November 24, 2013 on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Our beloved Pope, Benedict XVI, wrote an Apostolic Letter entitled Porta Fidei which is Latin for “The door of faith” which is a reference to the Book of the Acts of the Apostles found in the New Testament to indicate the Holy Spirit’s call to live deeply this Year of Faith.
“The ‘door of faith’ (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. It begins with baptism (cf. Rom. 6:4), through which we can address God as Father, and it ends with the passage through death to eternal life, fruit of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, whose will it was, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, to draw those who believe in him into his own glory (cf. Jn. 17:22). To profess faith in the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is to believe in one God who is love.”
In order to take advantage of the Lord’s favors during this Year of Faith, the members of our Parish Pastoral Council support this year’s mission statement: “Family and Friends Fully Alive in Jesus Christ.” They will advise me and explore with me ways to help increase the growth of faith and membership of our faith community. We have looked at what contributes to the growth of faith individually and communally, and in searching Sacred Scripture and hearing about the lives of the Saints, we believe that there are 5 Essential Responses that we need to continue to understand, promote and live more deeply:
- Daily Prayer: (Individual and family) To listen and speak to God and one another in love.
- Weekly Worship: To gather as a community to celebrate the Word of God and his Sacraments.
- Christian Service: To serve the dignity of every human being in the light of faith and salvation.
- Discipleship: To regularly study the faith as a student follower of Jesus and his Catholic Church.
- Welcoming and Evangelization (W/E): To ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in sharing our faith and life with family, friends and others around us.
The Year of Faith corresponds with our St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese effort to enliven the faith through the Rediscover initiative. All those who are interested to learn more are invited to an inspirational gathering at theCrusaderCivicCenter on Tuesday, December 4 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM.
Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ,
-Fr. Thomas McCabe