March 3, 2013
3rd Sunday of Lent
“But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”
Reasonable Faith in God
Can we know God? We observe the world and can understand the order of creation. There are mere material beings: rock, fire, water. We also observe living creatures that have a higher level of being, creatures that are animated; they grow, not by accumulation like a rock, but by assimilation: the acorn grows into a tree by assimilating the sun, soil, water, air; and it grows of its own proper nature while maturing to adulthood.
Animals are a higher level of being, and they are more responsive to their environment: foxes dig dens and carry their cubs away from a forest fire.
Human beings are a higher level of life and also move children away from danger, but we also observe that the fire stops at water. Unlike animals, we are able to make an inference: “Water is more powerful than fire,” and we plan to stop the fire.
This ability to infer is spiritual, indicating the human soul can transcend space and time through words. If the words are true they reflect the true stability of things, the natural law. Thus, we can see the progress of crude instruments of firefighting becoming fire trucks. Since there is progress, there is natural law, and since natural law, there must be a Lawgiver-God. Our culture can improve, but only if we are true to natural law and to “nature’s God”.
With this experience of transcendence and true progress, we can know God as the giver of life and of natural law, and that we participate in it through our spiritual souls that will go on forever, even after death. Furthermore, we infer that God must be “eternal” who can sustain our souls forever. For this reason the Founders of our nation refer to God four times in our Declaration of Independence: Creator, God, Providence and Supreme Judge.
The question becomes, “What does God want from us?”
God wants us to love his Divine Word, repent of our sins and follow his Word fully manifested in Jesus Christ: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” Jn 1:1, 14
To faithfully follow Jesus – God the Father’s Word made flesh in Mary – is to know the certain path of salvation. Jesus taught, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Mk 10:6-9. For this reason we must oppose homosexual activity and so called homosexual “marriage”.
Believe in this reasonable faith, share it and live together in the love and truth of God with Jesus and Mary, and all his faithful followers who are on the way to heaven.
Peace in Christ,
Fr. Thomas McCabe