Wednesday, February 6, 2019

“Yes, faith is a choice, and it must be sought after and developed. Thus, we are responsible for our own faith. We are also responsible for our lack of faith. The choice is yours.”

The primary cause of unhappiness in the world today is... lack of faith. - Carl Jung: ( 1875 –  1961: was a  Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst)

Gospel Text: (MK 6:1-6)
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, "Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?"
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house."
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Why did they lack faith? Why do we lack faith? Why do we focus on the less important things in life: the less important types of freedom? St. Mark begins his Gospel account by answering this question. The first recorded words of Jesus are proclaimed immediately after He spends forty days in the desert, tempted by Satan. He emerges from the desert, and the first words He speaks frame the entire Gospel. Jesus proclaims, “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”

Repent, and believe in the Gospel. We might say that these two demands of Jesus sum up the entire Christian faith. They lead us to faith. They lead to true freedom. And they require us to exercise our freedom in its deepest sense: that is, in our relationship with God.

True repentance means to turn oneself around 180°: to turn oneself away from sin, and towards God, not simply towards ourselves, and what we think we want. This is the highest type of freedom: to be able to do things for others, or in other words, to give our very self to another (another human person, or God).

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