Faith and Commitment
My dear brothers and sisters, I want to personally thank each and every one of you for, freely, out of your love, out of your faith in God, coming here today to worship God. May the good Lord whom we have come to worship bless and be there for us always. I also want to appeal to you to freely and out of love for God make this our commitment Sunday, a moment of grace. We are invited to prayerfully and in faith make a commitment as our covenant with God. A commitment to consciously and consistently through our various gifts and blessings, support the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ in our parish of St. Mary Delaware. This is a call for faith in action. Faith is more than just the five-letter word that spells it. Faith is not one simple definition but an ongoing process of constant learning, growing, failure, restoration, and empowerment. It takes effort and stamina to build faith. It takes courage to fail and rise up, persistence to attack negative thoughts and defend true precepts. It is a commitment in one’s life to live what you believe, a call to preparation to represent your belief, accepting your mistakes as necessary to strengthen your faith, to live wisely, and above all to remain true to the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I think of the blessings God has given us and the many beauties of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I am aware that along the way we are asked to make certain contributions in return, contributions of time or of money or of other resources. These are all valued and all necessary, but they do not constitute our full offering to God. Ultimately, what our Father in Heaven will require of us is more than a contribution; it is a total commitment, a complete devotion, all that we are and all that we can be. Please understand that I do not speak only of a commitment to the Church and its activities, although that always needs to be strengthened. No, I speak more specifically of a commitment that is shown in our individual behavior, in our personal integrity, in our loyalty to home and family and community, as well as to the Church.
I want to share with you one of the invitations in the rites of priestly ordination. The Bishop says to the candidate: “Receive in your hand the book of the Gospel, believe what you read, teach what you believe and Practice what you teach.” I have always prayed that this invitation will guide my life, that I will everyday believe the teachings of Christ, teach and live it out every day. I invite you to make it a pattern in your life, may we every day live out our baptismal vows, to know and to love God, using what we have received to enhance the Kingdom of God. I pray the good Lord to accept our commitments and through our gifts bring about the greater glory of His name, the salvation of all and our individual sanctification.
God bless you,
Fr. Sylvester O.