Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Deuteronomy 30:10-14; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 10:25-37
In the face of that baby we can see the stars.
I know a man, a fine, thoughtful person, who has decided to become Catholic, and he has asked me to help him get started. He doesn’t know the Bible very well or theology or many of our traditions and practices, and I’m of course really glad to help as best I can. And this is what RCIA is for, in part, and the Catechism.
Faith is in the love of this man for his wife and his children and his grandchildren. Faith is in his kindness and his compassion. Faith is in the music he plays—he’s in a band on the weekends—and in everything that gives him pleasure.
But it seems to me that the three readings for today are a really good place to start. They put everything into perspective, because as the reading from Deuteronomy says, faith isn’t finally complicated or a question of terminology and ideas. “For this command that I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you.” We don’t have to climb mountains or cross seas. We don’t have to read every book in the world. No, faith is “something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts.” Faith is in the love of this man for his wife and his children and his grandchildren. Faith is in his kindness and his compassion. Faith is in the music he plays—he’s in a band on the weekends—and in everything that gives him pleasure. Faith is in his desire to be Catholic, in his very attraction, in the pull itself, and all the terminology and all the history and all the particular practices of the mass are various ways of expressing this longing, this hope, this inner goodness, and honoring it, and acting it out.
When this man comes to understand the teachings, they will be deeply familiar. He will realize that he’s known them all along.