"All you have to do is take Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior." I heard this recently from a delivery man. Really? What about the part about acting on your faith to show that it is real? In today's readings for Mass we hear about the faith of Abraham and the lack of the authentic faith of the Pharisees. Together with the witness of Pope St Calixtus, whose memorial we celebrate today, our faith should be authentic and fully catholic.
Listen to my homily for today.
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According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
By faith "man freely commits his entire self to God."(Vatican II, Dei Verbum, 5). For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God's will. "The righteous shall live by faith." (Romans 1:17; Galatians 5:6) Living faith "works through charity."
So it is not enough to simply make an interior act of belief. One must put it into practice by submitting one's inmost being to God, by offering one's life to him in obedience of his will, by graciously and trustingly accepting all the crosses that come to us through his kindness.
Contrary to the Pharisees, faith is not a matter of appearing to have it, but ultimately of sacrificing our whole being, our time and energy to the living and Eucharistic God who comes to us in humble circumstances and situations.
Pope St Calixtus fought the inauthentic faith of the modalists and adoptionists, which both deny the inner power of God, while proposing an exterior veneer. Modalism is a heresy that says God is one in being but wears three different masks or modes. Adoptionism is heresy that Jesus is not consubstantial with the Father, but just a man who has been divinized. Many today follow this heresy saying that Jesus is just another profit and that therefore all religions are all the same.
Like Pope St Calixtus, we must fight these lies with gently and confidently proclaiming the one and true authentic Eucharistic Jesus who is God, to whom we offer our lives in worship. We ought not fear those who may harm us for this proclamation, but rather fear God and worship him.