Saturday, November 14, 2020

32nd Saturday of Ordinary Time/Mass of Our Lady: Encouraging Faith

Fr Richard's words for today, the 32nd Saturday of Ordinary Time and a Memorial of Our Lady

Encouraging Faith

 "When the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?"

Jesus' direct question in today's Gospel should make us reflect on the responsibilities we have to evangelisation. Sadly, we know that faith in Christ in our country has waned over the years. Even in my lifetime (35 years), the practice of the Catholic faith has undergone a collapse, evident in the very few numbers of my generation and younger at weekly Sunday Mass.

Rather than being despondent, the situation should prompt us to action. Firstly, to constant prayer - that the lapsed will come back to the celebration of the Sacraments and that the "nones" (i.e. those with no religion) may have the reality of God's love opened up for them. Today's parable of the unjust judge is all about persistence in prayer - to literally "nag" God constantly. Therefore, petitions for our families, friends and strangers to come to the living waters of the Sacraments should be prominent in our prayer life. A good practice, when walking down the street, is to say a brief silent prayer for those you encounter - that they may be saved.

Secondly, it's up to us to accompany people to encounter Christ by what we say and do. By this witness, we can draw people to Jesus Our Saviour. St John in his Third Letter we hear today says to a friend of his: "it would be a very good thing" if he could help a group of preachers on their journey. St John too encourages each of us to walk with people so that they stay on the path towards eternal life.

We ask for St John's intercession, that we may be constant in prayer and tireless in our witness to Christ so that more people may be drawn to the saving streams of God's grace.

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