Faith, Forgiveness, and Freedom
In the readings of the day, Abraham is presented as the biblical man of faith. With this gift from God, Abraham was able to turn his whole life over to God with complete confidence…despite the challenges he would have to endure. With heroic and blind trust in God, Abraham was ready to carry out the sacrifice of his son Isaac…but God did not require that death, only a sign of Abraham’s deep faith. Isaac lived and became another member of God’s unfolding plan of salvation…forgiveness of sins and freedom to love fully.
Jesus was called to work a miracle for the paralytic: He shared with the man the miracle of freedom from his sins and a physical healing that restored him to life. The scribes of the time did not have the kind of faith in Jesus that allowed them belief in Jesus’ love and power…but God can do any thing in any one…even the likes of us 21st Century folks in another part of the world!
Today we celebrate our gift of freedom as citizens of the United States. We are a nation founded on faith in God. Though all-too-human in our endeavors and making mistakes at times, we are called to promote the God-given virtues of justice, peace and the common good among our many peoples. Through the words of our "Declaration of Independence" as pondered and applied over the years, we seek to foster growth in ourselves. As members of the world community we look to our brothers and sisters throughout the world and seek the God-given good of all. God invites us to help create a world of justice and peace, to journey with our brothers and sisters who are in special need.
Our gift of faith in the God of love and service makes today a special day of celebration…with time for remembering and recommittment – as well as enjoyable family gatherings, fireworks, and parades. May our faith continue to sustain and encourage us in the challenging days ahead!
With Abraham, the cured paralytic, and Jesus we say: Amen.
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky.