Feb 6 • 13M

Homily: St.Paul "Our Faith Relies on the Power of God

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I want you to notice an important sentence in today’s second reading: “Your faith rests on not on human wisdom but on the power of God.”

This is an important distinction. We do not simply believe, we are in relationship with the God himself and we act in his power. Our faith is therefore something we act on within that power.

Over the past fifty years, we watched people define the power of God in the Charismatic renewal which is fine but God’s power is even greater and we need to rest on it and act within it.

Let’s look at what we are doing. If we go back to the reading notice that Paul has come humbly to teach about this man Jesus. Now let us ask what Paul is doing? He is really starting a revolution. Remember, he has come to the gentiles of Ephesus and teaching them a whole new understanding of the universe by teaching them of this Jesus Christ and his relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

What is the fruit of his action? In a sense, you can see he is planting seeds and what is the fruit of these seeds? A complete change in civilization and a total revolution in all of humanity and you are surrounded by it. Paul’s planting seeds here in the culture which is in modern-day Turkey is to bring a whole direction to humanity as led by God himself in all his power.

You are part of that revolution as it continues. Revolutions have interesting elements to them because they are rooted in change which is the nature of the revolution. Jesus began a revolution of change first to the Jews and then to the Greeks. This revolution brought a whole new understanding of who we are as human beings.

I often say that we are living in a time that many people feel Catholicism is falling and even Christianity but if you see the bigger picture, we are living in a time God is showing us proof of his truth all the time.

There is an interesting dynamic you can see in various parts of the Bible. That the signs are there showing the presence of God in the world and that he is acting in the world around us. However, most people miss them, but St. Paul among others says that we do not.

The signs are there all the time and you and I have a calling to see them and know them but if you look around others do not see the signs. Their hearts are blinded by their refusal to be humble enough to see God is alive in the world. So they act as if God does not exist and then wonder why things go wrong.

Let us look at a good example: The death of Tyree Nichols. People are saying how can this happen? Killed by police officers for allegedly driving recklessly and to this day no one has produced evidence that he in fact was driving recklessly.

What is one of the causes of this, they are showing that the defund the police movement is part because many police officers said they were done with being treated the way they were painted with a broad brush that they were all racist and bad. What was left, those who would do things like this.

Al Sharpton at Tyree Nichols funeral made an interesting statement. Tyree Nichols was killed in Memphis Tennessee by a bunch of Black officers in the same city where Martin Luther King was shot. How can this happen?

The reason is that people are enforcing a narrative that says there is no God and we humans are just living a meaningless life on a planet in the solar system and yes that narrative has been preached and published in many of our intellectual institutions.

That is the pushback against God’s revolution. A revolution implies a change that will be resisted and that is the resistance against the human understanding of who we truly are.

This is why you have to understand this truth.

One of the great problems in our Church here in the United States is that it is filled with people who will be focused on what is called Orthodoxy. They want to make sure they live the right teaching. However, they are so focused on the right teaching that they have taken from it all the power of God.

We have to return to St. Paul’s words and live in the power of God. We have to understand the power of God and act in the power of God. That does not mean living miracles but rather the revolution that Jesus started which may include miracles but is not exclusive to them.

We have to live in the vision and the power of faith, which requires serious prayer, and a quest to live in the power of God and to act on that power in all we do.

We have to know they are there both in and outside of the Church but focus on Christ in all we do because the revolution is fierce and it is won not by us but by humbly allowing God’s power to work through us.

As we approach Lent, let us prepare ourselves to strengthen our faith so that in easter we can be do more in this revolution to bring forth God’s power into world around us at St. Paul did in his time.


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